Daniel Xonedu 71.206.373.672
The Global Record. Friday, November 6, 2128
It has been a most remarkable time. Not simply for myself alone, of course, but how can one truly experience the world from beyond the confines of one’s own skin? How can one possibly witness life other than from behind one’s own eyes? This is the natural order of things—if such a natural order can be said to exist any more. We are limited beings, designed that way, for better or worse. And yet, 35 billion souls like myself, all males, perhaps less if one allows for the pre-pubescents, have entered upon and survived the same rigours that have prevailed in the last two weeks upon my flesh.
An extraordinary season indeed.
I came upon Giles last week and he was sitting on the trunk of a grandfather elm, and he was weeping. His old grey head was buried in the cave of his hands and he was bereft. Thirty five years I have known this man, he is closer to me than any brother, and yet that day was the first time I had seen the man cry. I sat down beside him onto the damp skin of the tree, and I confess to shedding a few tears myself. ‘All changed, changed utterly. A terrible beauty is born.’ Those old lines from an almost forgotten poet sprung to my mind.
Eunice carried out two mugs of camomile tea and a plate of short-cake cookies. We blubbed, Giles and I, for well over an hour at what has come to pass. Over dinner, that evening, Eunice delivered one of what I call her ’bracing lectures’. She was kind but firm. No use in bemoaning spilt milk. Things could be a hell of a lot worse. Chin up, best foot forward. Regret is a bottomless pit. That sort of thing. She remarked that the race had marched forward for millennia despite the female half shedding monthly blood, and that she could see no earthly reason why the race could not continue its onward march with men doing likewise. The Dissolution and Rememberment, she predicted, could in time be classified as quite a trifling event.
And look how well you are, she said. See how strong and vigorous you feel. I have to admit, that at least on this last point, she is correct. At the conclusion of the trauma I did experience an intoxicating surge of renewal. ‘A beast in the spring-time’ pep. To be whole and complete once more! And yet somehow tempered.
This thing is having its effect on the global stage. Levels of crime and warfare have dropped away dramatically. A global pause for introspection seems to have occurred.
Scientists continue to be undecided as to what exactly has caused the condition, but it seems the most likely thesis is an inbuilt genetic cascade. One that has remained dormant throughout the aeons, but that for some reason, be it environmental or somehow inherent in the superstructure, has kicked in at this particular time.
My neighbour and I are to trek out tomorrow morning to the top of our mountain, packed lunches in our knapsacks, wending our way through the leafless trees, following the maple-wood stream to its source on the plateau.
We do so, that we might gaze about us from those lofty heights at the geography that surrounds us. We have intended to make this trip for years, but some piffle has always delayed it. Tomorrow, however, we will accomplish the task, before the snows of winter fall and blanket us in.
Daniel Xonedu. 71.206.373.672
Retired Colonel of the Northern Armies
Retired Professor of Divinities, Princeton University
(Francesca Inspyx 71.206.491.610 is busy feeding the ducks in Central Park.)