Made by Hand

Time Bomb [L1, draft]



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August 15, 2087

As I write this I’m dead already. It’s a crazy thing to think, to write down. I can’t think through it. It’s like a wall that runs off forever in either direction and rises too high to climb. All I can do is write this down and hope you’ll find it, like we planned. But these are strange times. Since the development of time travel what does dead really mean? Had we understood the liquid nature of time, that it was more like waves, currents undulating like water columns in the ocean, stratified but susceptible to sudden and violent disturbance, and how it’s all really just a matter of scale. Was that not enough to keep us fascinated forever? It’s never enough with us. First it was the expeditions and conquests, genocide and oppression of the survivors, more land, more industry, more technology, more extraction, more war, more money, more death, more money, more and more until even the earth had nothing left. We’d taken from her all she ever had to give, all that ever was or would be... Okay, so I might exaggerate. There was something left, for those who could afford it, but the peak times had passed decades ago, oil, water and people. All earthly resources were in a post peak. The population, human and nonhuman had begun to drop precipitously. A curse or a gift depending on who you ask. Some of us knew the truth. The Future was disappearing.

It’s been determined that homo sapiens cannot time-travel to the future beyond 2087.  There’s some insurmountable wall that the routers can’t penetrate. I’ve been here, this year, this time, for a month. I think. I keep a pile of pebbles to track the days. 28, 4 weeks, one month, right? There is more and more slippage. Sometimes it feels like we are going backwards or the sun seems to stay in one place in the sky for hours. If I had my phone, a watch, maybe I could tell for certain, but we have none of that here. No power. Even when you find someone Outside with an s-panel, there is no way to set a clock. There are sun dials in the clearings and deserts. They are all relative to the sun. Some people say we are slowing down, the earth, it’s orbit has slowed. Winding down now. The sunsets are longer. Each color rushes across the sky as I breathe in and blood pulses through my veins blue like the darkening sky. That sudden shot of green we used to try to see just when the sun drops below the horizon, it lasts a good 5-10 breaths now. I’ve started measuring time with my body. It’s all just relative to the sun, to our bodies, this planet. Fuck clocks. They can have there fucking clocks.

The Complex is enormous here. As far as my eyes can see. It curves around and blocks out the horizon to the east. The channel separating it from the Outside is so wide some mornings the mist rising from the runoff makes it all disappear, like fog over the bay. But it’s there. You can feel it’s hum in your chest. You can feel the heat coming off the routers when the wind blows onshore. Others say all the best minds from the last 100 years are in there, taken from their time to work on cracking the Future. What’s that like? How strange it must feel to be suddenly taken out of your time?  It was strange for us too, but it came on more gradually over decades after the Mars cataclysm. Like the planet itself shook them off. Tragic really. Kids were among the 10,000. The workers too and their families. The animals and cyborgs that had no choice. And the Elites, I have to believe not all are bad. We come from the same place. We are one. How different we are now.

It was a definite blow to their numbers. There are so many more of us Outside. Like it’s always been. They have power. But we have the numbers.

———————- 

New work blossoming as I prepare to leave my home for the last 37 years. I’m feeling feelings. Sentimental, reflective, nostaligic, anxious, excitement. California I am grateful. Your sunshine and fields have let me grow tall and strong. I found shelter and peace in your mountains and forests. I’m always in awe of your ocean, vast and unknowable. I move north along your edges. And your people, from everywhere, here, sparks in your eyes, the sky in your heart, the sun in your touch. As I pull away, I realize how deep my roots have become. I’m not really leaving, I am expanding. Home is just bigger now.