Shortly after we landed we began to pay close attention to our vital signs, scrutinizing the changes in our diet, exercising obsessively. Pillars of hot wind slammed our bodies and rubbed sand in our teeth and gums. All around us were the skeletons of buildings in a state of abandoned construction or abandon destruction, their bare cement stained thick gray from the pollution. The earth chewed up along the unfinished edges of the roads, which were themselves wide and ran all the way to the horizons in either direction. Most days the skies and all the air around us was milky white, like we'd stuffed cotton balls in our eyes, like soft wedding veils were draped and threaded between each of us and everything around us.
We felt we could stay physically fit, but the conversation between the molecules of our permeable bodies and those of the outside world disagreed. Soon the backs of our noses and throats felt raw with a chemical sting and we coughed up things in secret that we washed down the drain with the toothpaste. This was The Thing which we were aware of and connected to through our participation with global consciousness, The Thing now rendered fully real and uncontrollable and pathetic. It is the brute with the acute brain injury that dumbly staggers around the room smashing the furniture and glass and dish ware.
We jumped onto bullets whipping in and out of the catastrophe that loomed in the
distance from our home and felt the acceleration of time dragging on our bodies. There was cancer everywhere. The Thing was discussed, reviled, defended, reframed as biology or false religion, reframed as something futuristic. It was ridiculed, cynically discounted and ignored. It was monstrous, terrifying, and unstoppable. I drank poison, kissed glass from the war zones, worked on my trade and felt gassed...”