Being a devoted reader of science fiction in my youth, the concept of a cyborg—a fusion of human and machine—felt familiar, albeit futuristic. Like many others across America and around the world, I avidly watched “The 6 Million Dollar Man.” During the day, I would petal up Snake Mountain, the tallest hill I knew, always catching my breath before my friends joined me at the summit.

After high school, I was drawn to military service. The Drill Instructor’s voice thundered, “Your body is mine.” Inwardly I rebelled, thinking, “No, it’s all mine, just let me catch my breath.” A month later, while marching to the dinner mess, a sudden pain exploded in my chest. After military medics worked to ease the attack, they billeted me to an ambulatory hospital floor. My recovery was slow, prompting a discharge to recuperate at home.

As time passed, I regained my stamina to walk again and eventually enrolled in college. After completing my first semester, a nightclubbing partner turned to me and said, “I need to rest before nursing rounds tomorrow. Are you ready to leave?” I defiantly replied, “No, I’m making up for lost time.” But fate had other plans. After too many late nights, breathing became a struggle once more, even after taking just a few steps. A virus had fallen in love with my heart, leading me back to doctors and yet another hospital stay—this time lasting for months. The rhythmic chime of the grandfather clock in the hallway became my companion during those four long months of bedrest until my heart finally found its steady rhythm again.

After college, I programmed for a major telecommunication company. Amidst the responsibilities of marriage, raising small children and late night call-outs on work problems, my heart rhythm developed hiccups and walking again required ignoring chest pain. Concerned, my general practitioner referred me to a cardiologist who directed me to the hospital for angioplasty and the delicate task of severing rogue atrial connections. The miracle of medical science extended my life beyond its natural boundary.

Upon returning to home life, I relied on cardiac medicines to supplement my daily routine. The realization hit me: In the era of Christ or even during Newton’s time, my fate would have been death or bedridden confinement.

As the years went by, after enduring more hospitalizations, a cardiomyopathy specialist issued a decisive command: “Pacemaker.” Suddenly, the pulse of life was no longer mine, but provided by a non-living object. Another step in my evolution—Call Me Cyborg!

Pixel Art image of a man with a pacemaker connected to EKG and monitors

Additional Information
Image of man with pacemaker connected to EKG and display monitors created by Bing at my request.
Immortal presents a different future based on a related idea.

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