Tag Archives: historical sci fi

Gaga Garbage

In January 2018, China’s National Sword policy brought the globe into awareness of its waste crisis. Well-intentioned people attempted to quit using plastics. But these measures were no match for a throw away economy where the highest good was too often in conflict with profit. Corporate citizenship had long stunted arguments for social justice and sustainability across all sectors.

A helplessness came over us as we rinsed out our produce bags and refilled them until they frayed and fell apart, landing in the waste basket along with all the plastics we could not avoid. A person could look around her household, or even into her bag and see plastic, plastic, plastic. And a need for more as these fragile items cracked and broke around us.

Companies that had once asked us to put our sorted recyclables into color coded bins on the sidewalks, instead quit collecting glass. Papers were poured into a common bin where they were soaked and polluted with grease and fluids from the other containers. Or paper was bagged in plastic.

Gone were the days when a little girl could smash her dad’s beer cans in an afternoon of cathartic stomping, then take them down to make a bit of cash for a new toy or some candy.

These were just some of the depressing thoughts.

So, when the reader began to speak of garbage, the golden women listened.

For us, it seemed to be a wonderful charitable act that resolved one of the heavy worries we lived with.

A shiny postcard came into our boxes offering garbage and recyclable collection service for a mere $5 a week. And then, as these concerns grew, we began to see all of our waste taken away for free. Bulky, hazardous, green. A fleet of shining, quiet trucks driven by matter of fact, courteous drivers moved in the early mornings through our neighborhoods.

They bought up the landfills too. They encircled them in high fences and, as was their way, quietly stirred dust and gently clattered through the piles.

And, of course there were big corporations and organized crime bosses to negotiate with. But the golden women and their force of close mouthed, diligent drivers and sorters and movers and…whatever else it was they did—well they efficiently addressed the global waste problem.

I am sure it would make an interesting story.

By 2035, we no longer needed to reach into a burlap bag we had bought for bulk oats in order to retrieve a clean produce bag. And frankly, there was a lot more to worry about by then.

Untwinned Flames

The reader spread out the cards amidst tinkles of laughter from behind the coolness of her shining veil. She would sometimes widen her eyes for effect, but she really did know things.

She could feel the whiteness of her grin as the golden women who came to her saw themselves laid out by her graceful brown fingers. Laid out on the table. The reader knew power.

But she was humble too. The gift that was to feel the skeins of the universe running through her vagus nerve—deep in organs and bone marrow, along all of her into ever fine filaments and out to the winds on her skin—she held lightly. When the message came in, the scar on her face burned clean, as sharp as the knife from this boyhood wounding.

The golden women, celebrities who sparked screens and speakers and made millions, could see the very tip of white blaze against her cheekbone above her face covering. But they knew not to ask. Or they were afraid, in awe of their prophet.

The day would come when she removed the veil and let them see the consequences of her youth on the streets, of bondage, of unchecked dominance in a crazed empire on the verge of collapse. It was then that she ceased telling them of love and wealth.

She spoke of garbage.

The divine feminine was turning her back on the Emperor, the Hierophant, and on all the kings, of fire and armor, of abundance and of blood.

It is time to go, she told them. And this is how.