A Day for All: An Excerpt From Dave Eggers ’New Novel
“I think so,” Kiki said. “Apan you must know-you are the keeper of the forest! ”
Delaney went crazy foolishly and thought he was going to stare. He tried to breathe.
“Almost forgettable,” Kiki said, looking alarmed. “Can you download? I will send you an update for your phone. ”
Delaney found the update and downloaded it. “Got it.”
“You already use TruVoice, I’ll take that?”
“Always,” Delaney said.
TruVoice has handled most of the online communication since Delaney was still in high school. It starts out simply as a filter. Someone will type or dictate a text, and TruVoice will scan the message for any Os-annoying, unobtrusive, violent, colorless, unfocused, out of date. The O-speech will be purchased or replaced, and the message will be sent in a manner appropriate for the generation. Sounds like yourself, Promised by TruVoice, and the majority of its users, about 2 billion more in 130 languages, see it as a divinity.
“The update is just on that,” Kiki said, “but for verbal communication. Obviously we can’t change your words in real time, but now TruVoice is checking what you’re saying, gives you a summary of your use of the word at the end of each day, and shows you where you can improve. ”
“Amazing!” Said Delaney.
“It really is is amazing, ”Kiki said. “I know a lot about my own communication. I have a son. She’s 5. She’s at school here. Did I already tell you that? ”
Delaney had a feeling he was talking to someone on speed or cocaine. Is this burgundy backpack really water? He rarely sees this kind of wonder.
“And research says kids should be able to hear a hundred thousand words by the time they’re 3. Something like that. That’s why TruVoice helped me with the overall number and also with the conversion. or in a word. I’m still at 65 percent in terms of change and difficulty-I’m a verbal dummy, it turns out-but now I know what I have to work on. ”
“Amazing!” Delaney said again, louder than before.
“You see, they’ll notice the repetition at the end of the day,” Kiki said. “You can’t be punished or anything. To help us do better. ”
Delaney was about to say Wonderful again, just for his own amusement. Instead he said, “Of course.”
“And I’m about to lose my cursing,” Kiki said, “which used to be a problem. Same focus and length. I have a tendency to ramble, and TruVoice introduces off-track…” Kiki stopped “What’s the word? It’s really funny.”
“Verbiage? Slander? Blather? ”Delaney suggested.
“Yes, thank you,” Kiki said. “It helped me get to the point. Earlier, my directing score was at 40, but now it’s 50.”
“Kudos,” Delaney said.
“Excuse me?” Like Kiki.
“Oh. I just said kudos. ”
Kiki flicked her screen. “Ah. Kudos. Like ‘congratulations.’ I already got it. That’s a Level-3 word too. I get more points for one. Kudos. Kudos. See. ”
Kiki shows her phone to Delaney. A man passed between them, dressed as if he were an Olympic swimmer, his phallus pointing from his hammock to his left knee.
“I’m sorry!” Kiki said, and tapped her screen. “You see, here’s my total word for today: 3,691. That’s not counting every restraint and combination, of course. On the second line, you can see it’s broken down by level. Now I said 2,928 Level-1 words, 678 Level-2, 67 Level-3, and nine Level-4 words.Which is not good, in Level-4 terms.But, that’s the main part to self -improve the app. I can build it. Grow mentally, right? ”
“That’s my motto,” Delaney said.
“Good motto!” Like Kiki. “Kudos!”
They sang together. Delaney was sick. He wanted Kiki, felt for Kiki, wanted to save Kiki, and he lied to Kiki. How long can he lie with an ignorant, mad face? He felt sorry for his own soul. Out of the corner of his eye, Delaney saw a pair of men wearing slalom ski outfits, decorated with faux-flames, talking while squatting.