“It’s winter, and you’ve dictated your life based on the temperature I’d say for the final time. I would prefer if you just for once listened to me and stayed with us tonight and heal yourself. After all, you’re tired,” he said to the fragile alien. Fainting and falling down was looking like more of a possibility because he has seen this (and read about this) a number of times. He could not stand the alien’s bitterness and brooding any more than he was able to accept her fainting spells that came and went without any reliable explanation. The underground’s leading physician reminded him not to be disenchanted over such horrific encounters, but this only made those standing around the room disturbed like never before. In order to escape this scene he stood outside in the parking garage, alone. He yelled at the top of his lungs, “I CAN BARELY STAND IT!” Nobody heard except the building janitor on his way to dump a load of dirty rags off to the laundry depot for the final time this particular evening.
Johnny is the janitor at Solar Food Inc., the largest manufacturer of the Solar Bento, a contraption that took the planet by storm around the year 2019. Johnny was average height, with a fading appearance that suggests perhaps he had an active past. As a matter of fact, Johnny carries his reputation wherever he goes. It has to do with his less-desired upbringing he has never shared, in full, with anyone. Johnny was in control of some very important inventory. Johnny often times had heard the voices of frustration, so there was nothing shocking when he noticed Joe howling at the crescent moon, but Johnny was sensitive and those words rang inside his mind for the remainder of the cool, cinnamon scented winter air.
It was now ten years since the last report revealed 75% of the world’s population became its own virtual food market thanks to a single branch of a united non-governmental program that found monetary support from the world’s leaders. That number has significantly risen and many feel that the true challenge to humanity has arrived for those willing to take a deeper look.
The sweep and the grandeur of this scientific breakthrough overwhelmed society, so much so that the scope and the laughter left the faces and mouths of everyone with a sudden burst of realization that this shit just got real. “Ah, the future. The future,” muttered Johnny to himself in a tone just barely higher than a whisper. “I have seen some discoveries in my day, but I would say that it’s tough to complain about the little stuff when it seems like we’ve got it all covered with this. I don’t work because I have to, it’s not the inconvenience it used to be. I’m here because I’m good at my job and because people I bump in to are nice. Now Joe over there, well, I’ll think about it and see if there’s something of substance I can do for him.”
The weather started to change and thunder, rain and the seasonal mood disorders showed themselves on a number of street corners throughout Los Angeles. Visitors were on the news being interviewed about their thoughts about having fun without the sun, and as always they were dropping that tired old line about coming here for the weather.
Joe returned to the building. He passed the security checkpoints and lumbered down the three flights of stairs before meeting up with the psychiatrist, and two men he did not know but he assumed were part of The Commission. At the moment he met their eyes, he sensed the alien had left as she had warned. “Gentlemen, this is no way to respect the future of things to come,” Joe said as he turned and headed back up the stairs.
When he got to the front desk, Leroy handed him a bottle of vino with a note attached. The note read:
COMING SOON AND EVERYWHERE
EVERYONE WILL WALK ON AIR
IT SEEMS SO FAR AWAY
BUT EACH DAY IT’S GETTING CLOSER AND CLOSER
Joe took the bottle and went to his office where Johnny was doing some finishing touches to close out his shift. “She’s gone again, eh Joe?” Joe, in a perfectly monotone voice replied “Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you realize you can’t fool them all. Thanks for the bottle, friend.”
Tags: alien, bento, bitterness, contraption, crescent moon, dirty rags, fainting spells, food inc, frustration, governmental program, grandeur, grief, janitor, loss, lungs, market thanks, monetary support, parking garage, remainder, science fiction, solar food, true challenge, upbringing, virtual market, winter air