The Story of E (IV)
The display keeps playing videos…
In the video, an orange cat is lazily bathing in the sun on the sofa outdoor. The man walks out of the bedroom, comes near, and says hello to him: “Good morning, little fuzzy.” The cat looks in awe at its master in his weird outfit and yet doesn’t seem to care a thing about him. “Say something, kitten. Don’t you like the new costume I got for you? It’s the same as what the Marvel Hero, Chewie, wears. I bought it at a great price. It looks awesome.”
“Oops. I forget that you are only an idle cat. You cannot see what I see. It can only be seen through my goggles. That is so sad,” the man sighs as he is talking, “But you don’t have to worry. Before long you will also be able to see it, even without these glasses.” He is not in a very good mood. His AR company is abandoned by this era. His almost left-behind devices will also be discarded and become garbage. The tech lab where he works is also gonna be closed off soon. Today, he has some final touches to do, that is, pack his things and leave.
“So, this will be my last AR vlog. Let us memorize this last day here. Have a good day, my Iron Man.” The man gives “Chewie” some pats and walks out.
As always, he walks into the coffee shop at the corner. The owner is a kind, old lady. She opened this coffee shop 10 years ago as she retired. Every day, she greets young fellas who like to buy some coffee before work, as she is sitting by the floor-to-ceiling window on the street side and fiddling with her newly bought AR glasses.
“Morning, Madam.” The man walks and sits beside the old lady. He starts to order his coffee touching the pop-up virtual menu before his eyes while saying hi to the lady.
“It was you, son.” The old lady folds the newspaper on the screen, swipes her arms, and reveals her virtual private luxury collection. Proudly she says, “If there is any new product coming, please let me know immediately. There is only one left before the number hits 100 and then I can swap for a lifetime membership.”
The man responds in a low voice, “Ma’am. I’m sorry to say that there will be no new products anymore. From tomorrow, no one on the street will be wearing AR devices. I think you will no longer need these goggles.”
“Ohhh. You poor thing. I have heard of that,” the old lady laments, with a soft look in her eyes, “I have read the news with the goggles. But life has to go on, right? These things will never beat you up, son!”
The lady switches her goggles into sunglass mode. She serves him with the newly made de-iced mocha from the coffee machine beside her and pacifies him, “A small dose of chocolate syrup and espresso plays a mellow melody between your lips and teeth. If you like it, give me a thumb up. Your whole day will be delightful.”
The man smiles gently at the lady’s pep talk. He takes the coffee, gets up, and walks to the door, with goggles also switched to the sunglass mode. He shakes out his khaki retro suit, takes a glimpse of his old mechanical watch, pauses, and utters, “Deal, M’lady. My pleasure to work with you.” He gives his thumb up on the screen as he finishes his words. And then, he takes a selfie with the fresh mocha, clicks on the floating photo album icon at the door, drags his selfie into the album then leaves.
To be continued…
The writer says…
This is a rhapsody for Metaverse. It will be unfolded in a flashback and will focus on a group of people living in 2422 who love digging into history and seeking truth. They are exploring a period of time that is mysterious to themselves as well as us, who are living at present. I try to present the story in a relaxing way but forgive me if there is any loose logic since it sometimes became as choppy as waters when I think about metaverse.