Found this on my computer. It’s pre-Opalescence. I guess I was thinking about this for awhile. I remember I posted it on a website where people were wondering about some mysterious fossilized footprints or other.
“Actually, I made those prints just last week. Let me explain. You see, I have a time machine; I’m not telling HOW I have one, but suffice to say that I do. Anyway, with this machine I have traveled. BOY have I traveled. I’ve gone back in time to distant eras and seen things that no one else ever will. All I can tell you is, man, are people screwing up this world! You wouldn’t BELIEVE what a spectacularly beautiful planet this was for the longest time. I have lots of choice spots but I think my favorite is California C14 or 15,000,000 MYA during the Miocene. The air! O’ to breathe it is like breathing in the sweetest perfume! It’s literally intoxicating. AND it’s FILLED with the most enrapturing birdsong! But besides that there is the quiet. I mean, it took awhile for me to get used to not hearing the drone of car engines and horns (and how we EVER got conditioned to the sickening stench of diesel fumes I’ll never know). Besides birdsong, what you hear is the breeze in the trees, the buzz of native bees and other insects and the throaty calls of the animal life.
By the way, did I mention them? Animals that only a paleontologist in the modern world would recognize. But what a variety! WOW! I mean, I’ve counted forty seven different species of horse so far, and I’ve been going there for only about a year. Then there are the COLORS! Oh my God, the place it ALIVE with pinks and blues and yellows and greens. The sky, by the way, makes the modern blue sky look almost brown by comparison. And to stand on that distant shore and just watch the tide roll in and out, in and out is, well, hypnotic. No toxic waste befouls it. No Great Pacific Garbage Patch defiles it’s crystal blue as sadly it does in your time. It’s heaven. No words I can use would do it justice.
The feeling of complete freedom. But not a freedom to destroy, no, to love. So why am I here? Just temporary. I’m trying to get you bozos to realize just what humanity has lost in this exchange, this tradeoff we made ages ago. The trade we made was living a real life, a wild life in a wild land for the perfectly boring, predictable and safe life of asphalt and concrete. Believe me, it’s all been downhill ever since. If you don’t get your act together soon you’re going to regret it.
Anyway, sorry about those footprints. I go barefoot. Didn’t think they’d last this long. Funny.”
I think I recall some details of the context now. Something about being on top of a high grassy ridge in the wind, and my hat blowing off. Me snatching at it but it just escaping my grasp and blowing high into the sky. Coming down two canyons over. Took all day for us to find it. But it was so lovely… Hmm, maybe it really did happen…