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High Rise Orange Groves

I sat on the end of my bed. I stretched out my legs and leaned back on my arms. None of this calling had helped me. My situation was the same. All the ways the scientists had years ago discovered to preserve, freeze, and extend life were worth nothing. It all came down to my sitting there trying to figure out how to live it. Scientists had neglected that part of the equation. Now, they didn’t care if you lived or not, and the authorities preferred the latter.

I didn’t know much about the scientific marvels of the past, but did know that the balance of nature had been disrupted. Too many people were too beautiful, too perfect, too intelligent, eventually, too nothing. We, the survivors of all that, were attempting to evolve again while under constant threat of elimination by horrific weaponry and by superiors bent on replacing us with their descendants. So, I asked myself: What can I do but call and call and try to find people to enjoy? If I fight to survive, maybe I’ll live to see change. Maybe sterilization will end and I’ll see a child before I die. If the Earth is allowed to recover, I might see a tree.

Funny how quickly we go from hopeful to doubtful. A realist, I knew more than most about mankind’s impending doom. Teddie came to mind next, but her image was fading, becoming as pale as she was white. She didn’t reflect herself, touch or make me yearn for her. Cat did. Why?

She’s more human, I thought. I should go to her room, go in when she opens the door and tell her that I’ve left Teddie. I think I can sleep with her now. There in the dark, I can do it, and hold her, and possibly feel great contentment.
And yet, I didn’t move for a long time. The longer I sat the more I began to compare my state of mind to that of the woman across the hall. Once, I thought it would be better not to have a mind. Finally, light-headed, I shook my head and stood up, swayed, and thought: Cat is the only one I can go to, and I’m not sure she’ll have me. I may have no one.

I walked to the bathroom to splash my face with cool water. As my head cleared, I was absolutely horrified by the past few minutes of mental torment. I vowed not to sit that long again and let myself fall that far. I had to survive. I had to live. I had to go to Cat, to push my way in if necessary, anything but give up like the woman across the hall.