Across the front windows is your map. The transport grid displays the colonies, new and old and their movement. Your map shows activity congregations and sorts it into data. The gray lines remind me of artwork. They resemble Cubist nature works but not by concept. The faded rust coloured dots that pinpoint location pulse light, like heartbeats and have always represented human quality to me.
Occasional blue lines flash on the grid and move like small trains from from one red dot to the next. I admire your map and call it your spectacular masterpiece for humanity. If you never create anything again in your lifetime that would be just fine.
I walk past the kitchen island with my small cup of coffee cup balancing the saucer underneath and brush your shoulders. I squeeze myself through what remains of the space between the back of the chair and the counter top.
“It's nice to have you home once and a while,” I casually tease you finally sitting in my chair.
You raise your brow and glance over the top of your glasses with an amused look. We both bust out laughing. A fun jab at a familiar button. A benign flash of prowess. I believe you may have fallen in love with me for that reason in the first place.
“The tigers seem content here,” I tell you. “You could spend more time with them,” I continue. You nod yes knowing full-well that increased time with our beautiful and rare survivors is not likely. We barely have have time for each other. Time moves quickly.
At the table I open our LipheGraph. The screen displays a blue and white bar graph chart. I take mental note of our time fluctuation patterns during Neptunian April. These weeks seems to have a deep gouge in compression which equals a loss of values. I sigh quietly and think of time lost with you and steal a glance at your face. I worry briefly about time loss in general and decide not to bring the subject up over breakfast. I shut the application off and set the Cadpod on the table. I reach over and rest my hand on top of yours. Your hands still look so soft and young. It amazes me how you stay so youthful considering the amount of work you take on. Your hair neatly grayed at the temples, symmetrically as if it obeyed you; as if you control anatomical physics.
Field security 3057 sweeps over the top of our tree line. The little drones are quick moving and soundless. The drone's reflective glass white eyes hover passed the window pausing only for a partial second. I stick out my tongue at the robot and it takes off in shot.
“Security clearance three, zero, five seven,” states our house.
“Nice to know.” I answer it. “Who would be here?” I ask you, waiving my hands.
You answer with a shrug.
“No idea,” you reply while finishing the last of your coffee. “How do you want to spend time today?”
“I hadn't thought about it -we could just stay home?”
“We visit Earth I think. You know, take a train or something,”you suggest. You love trains.
“The trains are fun.” I say.
I plunge into the shower and turn on the music and the water. Music is life blood for the soul. Rhythm and sound travel through the mind, busts up mental boxes and re-sorts the constant shifts of silt in the brain. Sometimes I think with all the enabled hyper-technology that evolves faster than its warded population, a primal musical body movement creates reconnection. I grasp the imaginary reins of rhythmic groove and wrap them tightly around my wrists. Genetic memories start to flow like oxygen in the bloodstream, like the water running down the sides of the glass from the shower head. Music is reason to breath again when the mind has overgrown our gardens.
I imagine the grand theaters we can visit together with their heavy red velvet curtains. Although the acrobatic troupes are mostly robotic there remain human champions that really impress me. They are physical marvels that challenge gravity and gravitational physics and all known anatomical movement. I feel my eyes sparkle at the image as the shampoo foams on my head.
Robots and holograms are an amazing site in themselves. Theater robots are today's classical mental manifestation. They are the work of tech-artists and composed entirely of language. They are the modern day sonnet, a translation of human dreams, visions and how the body could exist without limitation. The combination of the two; physically bound bodies and robotic projections create a spectacle unequaled in our history. I turn off the water. I wrap the drying towel around my hair and walk naked from the shower to our room.
“Babe? What do you think the dress will be at the events?” I ask.
“I think there is a culture festival running. You may want the red dress.”
I note your black suit and decide to dress to compliment. I had either gold or red in mind but decide on black. I enjoy black these days. I slide open the wardrobe and examine each garment individually. It is nice not to feel pressure of constraint. It is nice that you don't have to run off. My fingers settle on a tailored dress-suit with a shoulder drape and I feel satisfied. I notice you still watching me, unaware of your own smile. You snatch my underwear sitting beside you on the bed and start laughing.
“We'll never get out of here if you keep thinking that way.”
“I don't seem to care,” you reply and you reach for the window shades.
On the train I watch you looking out the window. Together we watch the barren desert roll past the framed polymer glass. It looks like historical photos I saw of the American dust bowls that left farmers, immigrant workers and most of Old America without food or resource. Large rock formations protrude out from the landscape and point towards the sky. The tall spiky crystal aggregate clusters formed by solar fusion sparkle in the harsh sunlight. The instant the Earth's atmosphere dissolved intense heatwaves formed flat sheets of glass on the ground and the beautiful crystal towers. It dazzles. The remainder of Earth life now survives under scrutinized atmospheric control. It is necessary to keep what we have left, even for sentimental reasons.
There are two exhibitions to see tonight. The theater and the music hall. I feel excitement rise even though access to all such things are available at any time through our screens at home. Being present in the physical is irreplaceable. There is a logic dichotomy presented by our inventions; reality is no less real if an experience is undergone by a human being. And yet moving one's body into an environment is an act in itself. Simulators can still only simulate.
Imagine the first experiences after the invention telephone. Imagine how those people felt lifting a mouth piece to their lips and speaking into an object. Imagine the confusion of logic they felt as a voice they may have known responded from another object located beside their ear. The reaction was often a reasonable hysteria sometimes even manifesting in religious icons. The inventors must have had a great chuckle.
Our train stops at an encapsulated station and people leave through the doors onto the platforms. Physical speed has become irrelevant but for novelty and in order to spare human bodies from excessive re-assemblage particle manifestation fatigue linear travel is still employed. Here again is the beauty of unfolding landscape and spending time. The stations were designed to be modular and sterile. I take note of the organic oxygen sculptures and appreciate the colour they add to an otherwise metallic enclosure. The smell of the filtered and cooled Earth air gusts in when the doors open. It smells salty and reminiscent of our former oceans.
Taking my hand we step onto the conveyor and glide down the boardwalk. The people around us appear to float past like the flying security robots at home. Their dress is a thousand colours. The festivals gear up and I see small children chatting with parents, fussing over what they will eat and how many treats are just too many. I am happy to visit again. It balances the sadness I have over Earth's abrupt end. I choke back my emotions with a clear of my throat and you catch my eye.
“Smile a bit.” you nudge me.
“Doing that.” I reply and attempt to.