What do you think the future will be like, Hafiz?
I was thinking about fusion-powered hovercrafts and molecular sequencing technologies that could produce cheeseburgers from a teaspoon of good dirt. Redrawn political borders, bullet trains that crossed the ocean, and ways to download skills and information directly into your brain. I was thinking about teleportation and glass condominiums floating in the clouds. Something you drank that allowed your body to look whatever age you desired.
Hafiz listened to all these thoughts. I am thinking about beings being in relationship to beings, he said. And gardens full of flowers! It is very exciting indeed.
Yeah, but Hafiz, think how different it could be!
I don’t understand this difference you seek, he said, but I think maybe it is already here. You will see it easily once you realize how every time and every moment is the same.
I just shook my head. Hafiz the Buzz Killer! I said as I punched him in the shoulder. I laughed. Jeez! Can’t you give me one moment to dream my own dream. You’re always on me with this stuff. What’s wrong with hovercrafts?
Hafiz laughed with me then. Like one of those guys in the martial arts movies you know is about to unleash a shit storm of chi on you with an unwavering smile on his face. Ha ha ha ha ha. Ha ha ha. Ha-hah-hah-hah ha ha. Then you keel over and blood trickles out of one nostril.
You done there, big guy? What’s wrong with hovercrafts, Hafiz? Answer the question.
Nothing, he said. What’s wrong with beings being in relationship to beings?
I sighed. You know I hate it when you do this, Hafiz.
I am sorry, my friend. It is just that sometimes I feel awkward when we talk about fashion. But I know you love it. Let me try again. I am picturing many, many beings with beautiful faces and colors. These beings are seated in a tremendous gallery of fusion-powered space suits on the dark side of an asteroid, each one of them enjoying his or her most idyllic garden of virtual reality, unique in every way to their personal predilections and glandular desires. They each picture one another in the setting of their choice. They are able to converse in this way, but they can become any species of being and any form of consciousness they would like while meeting one another in these virtual realms. Their suits have built-in aromatherapy generators that turn starlight and space dust into warm tea and the scent of geraniums. How am I doing, my friend?
Don’t take this the wrong way, Hafiz. But I don’t think you’re getting it.
No, he replied. I guess I’m probably not.