And when the night is clear, and the advisory is lowered, we’ll force the door at the top of the stairwell and for a moment — with the alarms ringing in our ears — we’ll see the satellites. We’ll put our children on our shoulders, we’ll point off into the night sky and say, “Look: the stars were like that.”
(The stars we watched from hillsides, where we held hands and kissed and laughed and spun.)
Our children will smile politely and take pictures with their augmented reality HMDs. They’ll update their Instagram feeds.
(Their avatars will hold hands with other avatars and kiss and laugh and spin.)
Before the Environmental Health Police arrive to close the door and give us a citation, we’ll hide our disappointment. You’ll put your head on my shoulder and I’ll make a remark about “kids these days.” We’ll try to remember what it was like to play in the rain. How it felt to kiss, sheltered in a doorway, our shirts pressed against our bodies, our bodies pressed against one another, water dripping off the ends of our noses.
We’ll try to imagine what it is like to be a child and never jump in a puddle.
Our children will try to imagine how anybody got by before augmented reality and will desperately hope that we don’t want to play another video of sparrows, or polar bears, or dolphins, or trees, or any other dead thing, when we go back home.