I can’t waste energy wondering if this is a dream, or trying to wake up, or calculating which path brought me here, because I am here, and I need to figure out what I will eat.
A cooler sits beside some tables in my camp. I’m not sure if I trust the food inside. The cooler is packed with one of those blue frozen cooling-block things. The yogurt is cold.
It smells OK.
Ironically, a strawberry garnishes the top, as if to signify that the starving deserve luxury.
It tastes good.
I won’t die.
The next morning, I discover I am not alone.
In fact, crowds of people stroll the sidewalk across the street. Why don’t they walk in the road? There are no cars.
No one seems to wonder who I am or how I got here or why some of them are weirdly pale blue.
We just talk, as if it were any other Monday morning, and it was normal for the air to be buzzing with an intensely high vibration of magnetic energy.
I pretend that everything is fine and that I think I am well.
I wonder what I learn from the conversation. Not much. The blue ones seem to believe in authority; they keep talking about “they.” What “they” are doing to us. What “they” allow and don’t allow. What “they” want.
I don’t get a clue who “they” are.
I keep a look-out for someone who shares a communitarian perspective.
Veegan has a kind grin. He’s a Freegan. Veegan the Freegan.
He doesn’t pretend that everything is OK or that it’s normal for me to be here.
“You’re new,” he says.
“I am. I don’t know how I got here.”
“Who does?” he replies. “Are you getting on OK? Adjusting to the resonance?”
“I suppose so. I don’t know. I think I’m OK. I think I’m well? I’ve been studying the fish and frogs.”
“Most excellent. We need citizen scientists.”
“I’m worried about the mammals. I haven’t seen any.”
He asks if I’ve been to the Sky Islands.
I haven’t. Are they far?
They aren’t. They’re past the foothills. They’re about twenty miles from here.
I do a quick calculation. At a leisurely rate, I walk three miles an hour. If I left early in the morning, I could make it up there by mid-afternoon, or at least before sunset, if I took a few breaks along the way.
“Is it safe to go?” I ask.
“It is,” he replies. “And they have water. They have showers, even.”