A World Without Morning

I opened my eyes to a sun drowned room. I could hear the trees rustling through my open window. The world was at peace so I closed my eyes again and rolled over, groping for my glasses on the nightstand. They were an inconvenience, but they helped me remember the past.

Breakfast was simple, sliced banana in a bowl of milk. To be honest I can’t claim that recipe for my own. It was my grandfather’s. He would fix himself a bowl every morning. It would have been his 207th birthday today.

Atlas informed me that a few of the solar panels on the south side of my cabin were damaged from the storm last night. Sipping my coffee I strolled outside to inspect the damage. It wasn’t anything major, just a tree branch that fell and cracked a few panels. I kept walking towards the river.

The water was crystal clear and running at a faster rate than usual. I reasoned it must have been because of the storm. I rinsed my mug in the chilly water before standing and stretching, reaching my arms towards the pale blue sky. The sound of running water always had a calming effect on me, so I took a deep breath and turned to my left, following the water upstream.

Berries filled the bag I had brought. Berries of all kinds. In the past people had been frightened by these new berries. People were convinced that they were unnatural and unhealthy. They said genetically modified crops were harmful and would cause more problems than they solved. But their concerns were unwarranted.

Back at my cabin I left the berries on the counter for Atlas to scan. It was uncommon for there to be anything harmful, biological or otherwise, on the fruit, so it was mostly out of habit that I left them there. I poured myself another cup of coffee, grabbed my pad and pencil, and sat on the front porch. All was still.

Hours passed. I didn’t notice. Days could pass without my knowing the difference. But then I might be considered a bit odd among people today, which is quite ironic, since the people today are the same ones from yesterday, and will be the same ones tomorrow. When I was younger I found it necessary to interact with people on a daily basis. But even thinking in such terms makes me reflect on how long ago that was. I didn’t interact with people because it was necessary, I enjoyed it! And I still do interact with people! Though we live far apart, I still keep in touch with my siblings and parents. We chat once every decade or so and get together for big celebrations. Similarly my closest friends and I get together at least once every half century. The time is of no consequence to us.

I stop writing, no longer able to do so without sharpening my pencil. Though it is still daytime, the moon hangs above me. I can see it through the trees, and like the running water, it calms me. Another reminder that some things never change. I’m shaken from my reverie by a loud crash and high pitched whistling. I feel my lips pull back in a smile as I twist my head to see Static trotting around the corner of the cabin. She walks over to me and stands in front of the porch, ears twitching and eyes darting around expecting her favorite treat. I walk into my cabin and return, tossing her the venison I had been keeping. Though relatively small, Static had an insatiable appetite. This wasn’t unexpected though. Much like the berries, people were skeptical of hybridization, and again their fears were unfounded.

I sharpened my pencil as Static made herself comfortable on the porch. I returned to my pad to assess my progress. It was not good. The messy sketch that stared back at me did not look like the oak tree I had been trying to draw. I took comfort in the fact that I had only begun sketching a few years ago. I knew that with time I would get better. It was the same for learning any new skill. It had taken me decades to master the piano and the violin, and longer still before I was comfortable with the many intricacies of molecular biology and genetics.

I began to sketch again as Static slept. All was still.

My sketch of Static was looking no better than my sketch of the tree. My frustration mounting, I went inside and grabbed a bowl, filling it with some of the berries I picked that morning. I heard Atlas mention I should avoid some of the strawberries as they were growing fungus. I stepped onto the porch just as Static was rousing. She sniffed my bowl and appeared disappointed. I rubbed her chin. Berries don’t normally make up part of a carnivore’s diet. I stood quietly and ate while she thoroughly cleaned herself. I took the empty bowl inside and returned a moment later with my pipe. I remember carving it as if it was yesterday. Out of all the skills I had spent time honing, wood working was one of the most enjoyable. I filled my pipe with tobacco I had picked a few weeks ago and lit it. It was a relaxing ending to a relaxing day. Finally done grooming herself, Static bounded off the porch and out into the forest. After two leaps she spread her wings and angled herself in the direction of the meadow. She glided soundlessly on the wings of an owl and I soon lost her in the shadows of the trees.

I gathered my pipe, my pencil and my pad. Inside my cabin all was still. I left my things on the counter and bade Atlas a good night. Tomorrow is just another day in this world without mourning.

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