It is sometime in the distant future, way beyond what most of us imagine.
The concept of race has become a non-existent issue as years have melted into years. Black merged with white. White with brown. Brown with yellow. For most, the idea of race has become antiquated. In the United States, it is no longer a part of consciousness to identify as Italian or Mexican or African or Chinese or Polish or Irish or Korean or Puerto Rican. No one under the age of 20 even knows from which race they hailed. Americans simply think of and refer to themselves as Human, not of any specific distinct and separate race or creed, but as part of one inclusive family. No longer is there the outcry of inequality or bias due to skin color because there is no such injustice. There are finally equal rights in law, in mind, in spirit.
Sunday morning, a bright, clear, azure sky. The warm, smooth scent of fresh Venusian coffee and the comforting buzz of sweet voices lures me from my bedroom into the kitchen. I hug my daughter Sofia and kiss the foreheads of her twin son and daughter. My husband of 51 years, Yamil, rises ponderously, enveloping me in his hairy, heavily muscled arms, tickling my neck with his thick salt-and-pepper beard (mostly salt now) and whispers, "I love you more than stoning Hatanists. More than ridiculing Dogmacrats and voting Humanist." "And I love you more than mid-20th Century modern furniture, which never goes out of style," I reply. I sink into a padded wire Eames dining chair with a tall cup of coffee while Yamil flips on the wall tele-screen. President RuPaul IV's majestic image pops into focus. She is being interviewed by HNN (Human News Network) and is discussing last month's 100th anniversary of the celebrated HIV eradication mega-pill. ... "what I find astounding," drones the android reporterBOT, "is that the cure was actually discovered 10 years earlier and it consists mostly of seaweed and Earl Grey tea leaves."
"Oh, yes, girlBOTfriend, but the greedy pharmaceutical giants refused to push through testing and approval because it would drastically cut their all-important, soul-crushing profits," replied our FABulous president.
My granddaughter Max, who is working on her PhD in extinct communicable diseases, couldn't resist. "100 years ago, what were then referred to as 'communities of color' accounted for 65% of the over 50,000 new HIV infections occurring in the United States each year. In females, African American women had a prevalence rate that was 20 times that of non-Hispanic whites. Women accounted for more than one-quarter of new HIV cases while Latina and African American women made up 79 percent of all women with HIV."
Sofia, who is a Civics and New Government professor, chimed in, "The then lethargic, fragmented, and unaccountable U.S. response to the epidemic, which was a direct result of a non-existent national plan, was largely to blame. Thankfully, that was addressed by President Barack Obama's visionary leadership and the establishment of his Office of National AIDS Policy."
I interrupted Sofia and Max, "What is 'Latina?' What the hell do you mean, 'non-Hispanic whites?' If you insist on speaking in a dead language about dead diseases this early on a Sunday, I'll need more caffeine." I turned to my grandson Yaap, "Babe, tune to a different TV station, HIV is so last century."
An olfactory discussion panel show popped on the screen. The panel hostess (wearing vermillion silk with a fashionably shaved and tattooed head) was discussing the abolishment of the Republican and Democratic parties in September of 2025 with her guests. (The scent of jasmine emanated from the tele-screen.) "That September day truly made this a nation of freedom. Not one month later, world leaders spontaneously disarmed and, for the first time in recorded history, we had global peace."
A panelist commented, "The savings the U.S. realized amounted to over 650 billion dollars each year. Our Humanistic leaders funneled those billions into services and support people so sorely needed." (The tele-screen pumped out the sweet smell of freshly mown grass.)
"Indeed," commented another panelist, "and education was given the utmost priority and the system was completely overhauled."
"And let's not forget," chimed another panelist, "that same-sex marriage rights were voted into law, finally becoming part of the Constitution."
"Have faith in your dreams and someday, someday, your rainbow will come smiling through."
... WHOA -- well, that's cool -- my penis miraculously grew two inches ...
... beepbeepBEEP ...
... and each of my ex-boyfriends gained 30 pounds and grew nose warts ...
... BEEPBEEPBEEPBEEP ...
... and it was discovered that smoking cigarettes is good for you ...
I roll over, turn off my alarm, sigh, and get up to face the day.
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