Est looked beyond his driftwood desk and out the window, where a grove of redwoods stood tall and unswaying, holding conference with a live oak’s skeletal branches. They seemed to be in detente, each marking territory… though the redwoods, set in a fairy circle, had numbers, growing from the same felled old growth tree, the oak made up in girth and sheer solidity what it lacked in orthopeadic form.
As the coastal fog moved in across the ridgeline, the tree trunks turned ghostly, half shrouded in spectral fog. The dampness was everywhere and it made him hungry, in a comfort food seeking way––he walked over to the kitchen and cut a whole wheat pita round in half, slowly heating the two matching pieces in a large cast iron pan with thin-sliced onions and thick cut tomato slices from the garden. If he kept the heat low enough, he didn’t need any oil, which was how he liked it.
Est carved a few avocados slices to place inside, and set bottles of basimatsi hot sauce, vinegar fermented with various peppers, garlic, and herbs, and dijon mustard on the counter. Carvy jumped up onto the counter and narrowly missed sending all three bottles off the side before nuzzling Est’s hand and jumping off just as suddenly and mysteriously, to play with a cloud shadow.
As he readied a lime wedge, Est mused that it might be the end of the world as he knew it, but he was not going to give up on store-accessible creature comforts until the last truck stopped arriving. Since last month’s trip-end revelation he had felt purpose once again, and moreover, he had felt hope. Ok, that sounded trite. He took stock and sighed. It was too early to wake her, there was work to be done.
Since Evena had come into his life, it had been difficult to adhere to the schedule he had strictly defined for years so as to avoid emotions, sadness, and anything in excess, beyond some low-level satisfaction at accomplishing the basic tasks of living.
Finally, he was with someone who seemed to understand that one did not need to sell out, join the system, in order to thrive. Maybe it was because she had widened his vision and helped him find what he had been after all along. A new way of coexisting, with himself and with others. The purpose driven life. Was that one taken? Did it matter? Take back what is ours. Rehabilitation of the commons.
The sandwich was about as close to heaven as Est could imagine. Taking slow bites he looked out, side by side with Carvy, in wonder at the way the branches of the oak and solid trunks of the redwood diappeared and then reappeared through the fog. It was all the same and yet it wasn’t, like looking at the wake left by a ferry on the South Sulu Sea for hours and hours. Trying to make sense of what he had come across through––now this did sound trite––on an app. Not knowing at the time what would appear on his doorstep a week later.
Fog filtered silvery through eternal earth and space time. Variation in seeming monotony. Finding meaning within the actual process of creation, rather than the device-tied dissemination of discreet packages of information designed to elicit views, likes, and interactions. No Code and no coding. Some said he could have been a great lawyer, some a great hacker. Both vocations seemed second level, just as money was incidental––he had arranged life to allow himself to think. He had not had a conversation with anyone he had not wanted to in years. And yet he had had plenty of interesting conversations. No amount of money could buy that.
No time was really wasted Est thought, as long as mindfulness was at the fore. Being an endwriter was more than simply to reflect. It meant looking inward and coming up with a formulation that differed each time from the last, staying one step ahead of the algorithm. If he tried his best, he was rewarded––by Evena, by the universe. The latter needed qualification, he admitted it. How about chain of causation that would right the planet in time to prevent––if not mass extinction––complete extinction.
And who would be the chosen few? The beauty of it was that no one knew. No one could game the system and thus everyone, except the existential, suicidal, poetic, mad, stray, rabid, and defunct, were certain to stay on board––doing their best to right a sinking ship and––plan B––create a viable ark.