Of a Summer Day (July 27, 2019)

A war was being fought over who owned the moon. Mineral and water rights were at the forefront of national concerns. But as the ocean tides rose, the earth’s human population let out a vast yawn and rolled over in their perpetual slumber. “At least it is not my island, yet, that is sunk,” was the common refrain. Everyone was inundated with distractions. It was all a sham to shield extremely wealthy individuals from paying their fair share: tear gas instead of real tears. Tourist families strolled down littered streets, a squirt kid lagging behind to sniff human feces’ marks and trash piles where the pink roses used to grow beside the sidewalk’s beveled ledge. People felt the bad news in their bones, their future all spread out and open behind them. A delinquent Daughter of the American Revolution scratched her nose with her wedding ring. High-temperature records were being broken all across the globe. “It’s hotter than it has ever been. People are literally dying from it today,” said an Italian police officer just before he was stabbed to death by two American students. Young couples worked out with kettle bells together in the windows of repurposed woodshops as homeless encampment refugees looked on with sustained awe and confusion. The United States President called Baltimore, “a disgusting rat and rodent infested mess,” after one of its representatives was critical of his child prisons on the country’s southern border, and the U.S. Supreme Court freed up $2.5 billion for a border wall with Mexico. In New York, twin infants died after being left alone in a hot car all day by their father, who apparently forgot about them while he was at work. Tainted alcohol killed 20 people in Costa Rica. 900 people were arrested for peacefully protesting the Russian election in Moscow, and contractors with Apple became privy to people’s “sex noises” by listening in on their iPhones’ secret recordings. Elon Musk’s “Starhopper” prototype lifted off for the first time, ascending 65 feet in the air before plummeting downward. A Japanese billionaire commented, “Congrats! Moon is right there!” A so-called “city killer” asteroid narrowly missed colliding with earth; scientists were surprised. Many senior citizens were lonely and isolated. A remake of “The Lion King” continued to make millions at the box office. A helicopter circled. The sun beat down. Used-car lots called it an early day and the salesmen gathered in dark bars to discuss overheating sedans and a new bionic hand named after Luke Skywalker that was said to help amputees recover their sense of touch. Beaches became overcrowded. It was revealed that Juul purposely got teens addicted to nicotine, one company official telling a classroom of ninth graders that vaping was, “totally safe.” People went about their day, wearing sunglasses and hats, checking the weather on their phones, enjoying the heat on their sunscreen-lathered skin, and imbibing cold drinks in the shade, possibly thinking, “Ah, now this is living…”

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