steampunk heart

Scenes from 2030

“Hi, dude!”

“Oh. Hi. How are you?”

“I’m good. How do you like my shoes?”

“Nice. Are those…”

“Yeah. The original Nike Lil Nas X Satan’s Shoes, version 2030.”

“Wow. But don’t those cost a fortune? How can you afford them, with just the Universal Basic Income?”

“Well, duh. I didn’t buy them, dude. I’m just renting them from Amazon Prime, of course. All of my clothes are rented, including the original Calvin Klein underwear.”

“Eew… Well, they did say that ‘you’ll own nothing, and you’ll be happy’…”

“What are you talking about?”

“Nothing, just remembering an old joke here. So, what’s new? What are your plans for next week?”

“Not sure. Maybe I’ll go to the City Hall Yearly Masked Ball. You want to come? The masks are all N95 compliant, so it’s safe.”

“No, thanks. I thought you were travelling to Italy for the holidays?”

“Nah, I can’t board a plane this month. I didn’t get my Moderna monthly booster shots. I wanted to, but the lines were so big, the next appointment available for me is only next month.”

“This COVID-29 is really pesky, isn’t it?”

“You bet. But I’m sure the vaccine is working. Just give it time. It takes a few years to achieve full immunization, but of course, with the new variants and viruses that appear every month, it’s always a game of catching up. We got to be patient. So, yeah, no travel this month for me.”

“Well, you know, you could always travel around your own room.”


“Oh. I just got reminded of an old 18th century novel. ‘Voyage around my room,’ by Xavier de Maistre.

“What it’s about?”

“It’s about a guy who, well, travels around his room.”

“18th century? Man, that’s like, old. When was that exactly? I guess that’s when the first lockdowns happened, right? In the first Covid era?”

“Yeah, sort of… Anyway, forget it, you just reminded me of that book. But I guess reading is not really your thing.”

“Nah. Is there a YouTube version? You are funny, you’re one of those guys who still read, right? You’re really old-fashioned. I bet you don’t even have a microchip in your brain, L.O.L.”

“Thankfully not…”


“What’s wrong?”

“Don’t get close to me.”

“What? Why? Who are you calling?”

“Who am I calling? Who am I calling? The police, dude. Not having a brain chip is a felony, and it’s my duty as a citizen to report you, sorry. I know you’re a friend and neighbour and all, but, that’s just sick, dude. That’s really fucked-up.”

“No, No… Wait, stop! I meant that I don’t have the latest version of he chip. But I still have the 2029 model. As you said, I’m old-fashioned…”

“Ah… Ok… But… I don’t see the scar in your head…”

“Oh, it’s there, trust me. It’s just that I got a hair implant on top of it, so, it’s not visible.”

“Ah, OK. That’s cool. You were starting to scare me, dude. I mean, not having a brain chip, in this day and age… I was starting to think you were a radical or something…”


“Oh man, it’s getting late. It was nice seeing you, but, sorry, I got to go now. I have a Zoom meeting with my family. But, see you another time, I guess. Should we do an elbow bump, or a foot shake?”


“What’s up dude? What’s wrong with you?”

“Nothing, you know, memories. I’m kind of old now, and sometimes I get flashes of images from previous times. And now I was thinking of an old movie I saw once, long ago…“The Flowers of Saint Francis”, it was called. By Roberto Rossellini, about Saint Francis of Assisi. There is one scene in which a leper comes, ringing a bell… You know, at that time, in the Middle Ages, lepers were forced to wear bells on their clothes to announce their arrival… And so this leper comes, his little bell ringing, asking for some money, but all people move away from him, and he’s there all alone, looking so forlorn. So Saint Francis sees this, and he is so overcome with pity, that he approaches the leper and hugs him. A long hug, for several minutes. And when the poor leper goes away, he starts to cry.”

“Eew… That’s sick, man. I mean, hugging someone. That’s just gross! What’s a leper?”

“Oh… it’s a… Leprosy was a disease that existed a long time ago. I mean, it still exists, but it was more common then.”

“Oh. I guess mRNA vaccines cured it, right? Man, viruses are evil. But thankfully we have those magic vaccines today.”

“Sort of. It’s not really caused by a virus, and the treatment is not a vaccine. But anyway, I was just reminded of that scene, I don’t know why…”

“OK. So, elbow bump or foot shake, then?”

“Honestly, I prefer neither.”

“Sure, that’s the safest way. See you around then, man. And get that 2030 brain chip, bro, for Satan’s sake. I mean, we’re in 2030, dude. We are not in the Middle Ages anymore.”

“Yeah… We sure aren’t…”

Source: TE Creus – Off-Guardian