There I was lying on the reclined chair, poolside, as late afternoon decayed bewitched-ly into evening with the Moon (Earth’s own) scurrying behind the mountain that dominates Palm Springs, even the Palm Springs of 2084(ish), thinking of my newfound client whom I felt for, whom I pitied. The water droplets dwindling in size in the perpetually dry air, off of my nude body, rolling sometime, tickling. My musculature ached -sore from swimming. And the water went hissss and slapped the pool’s sides as it undulated. I was lulled by the murmuring from the party inside, alone on the patio. The guests engaged with the election results on the television.
This place, spiritually as well as physically, in reality would be New-New California. The scientist who owned the breathtaking home had shown me the point on a large map that charted the possible locations, or Times, on a shape that resembled a large silver jelly-bean: a Time-Map he called it from the wheel chair he was confined to – showing how the possibilities were related, where they were, as it were – the Map so dramatic, so colorful, that it served double as a painting over a proud mantle in a room designed for guests, for parties, for entertaining – the snapping flames of a fire inside.
I misspoke a few chapters before. New California had successfully declared its independence and taken 90% of the territory of California when New New California, consisting mostly of the environs of Palm Springs followed suit – not losing any time – as the saying goes. The dim light of the Moon and that which streamed into the great outdoors through the Mid-Century Modern house held me in its spellbinding magic. The Cayotes roamed beyond the concrete barriers that defined the wall around Palm Springs, which was now a walled city, as all the successful cities that were left would be barricaded. This exterior, haphazard wall was somewhat battle-torn concrete with rebar hanging from a side here and there. I did not linger too long, realizing my danger. That the Cayotes killed for survival. That the rarified beauty of the desert may be filled with gods, but that life was often brutally short.
My client, my client.
And I thought of him. I mean his business. I mean the future of his business, which at the moment is my past, or at least was. There would be a return trip. Or at least my sense of duty dictated it.
I had recommended Plymouth, NH as the walkable, appropriately scaled, small New England town for the CEO to move his business along with its rather tiny footprint as measured in square feet, and, mammoth footprint as measured in capitalization (a measure which changed every trading day.) It would be colossal. Trading continues into the next millennium.
I was still disoriented in my new status as a “Hyperspace being” – those who can travel time, availing themselves of the dimensions beyond the standard three…or four counting Time. My client, of the year 2020, would be able to manage his business -the stockholders, engage the customers, and profit from cyberspace, all in the comforts of an elegant, two-story, office building with a lovely granite façade -a building which was originally intended to be a bank – back in the days when banking was conducted in person. I told my client that the building was “well sited.”
I attempted to not be swayed by the town’s simple charms, nestled in the foothills of New Hampshire, the White Mountains, the lovely Pemigewasset River, the charming steel-girded bridge bringing motorists across it, the commanding hill upon which the University stood, nor even the railroad tracks that girded the buildings of the small town. I falter but am able to apply myself to thinking abstractly when it is critical. All that – the distractions, disappeared from consideration to make way for things such as: how easy the town could feed its own small population with the food grown organically, the feasibility of turning the clock back to a time before the environmental destruction, to a time when at least 80% of the population is engaged in the production of food directly or indirectly. And the competence of the citizens to muddle through with less resources that they had here-to-fore never given a thought to – things even as basic as electricity. I told him I was an expert in the Energy Sphere, a term that would gain credence sometime in the 2030’s, or so it had. Wind and solar would not power the continuation of the Industrial Revolution. But humanity could not look back to a simpler time, but a desperate one.