We had an earthquake this morning that rattled the windows and threw the drinking glass on my bedside table to the floor. I have never felt anything so strong before — they are always so mild in the Canyons! I reached a groggy hand beneath my pillow for the knife I keep there, and then I realized what the shaking meant and felt very embarrassed. I sank back into the pillows with my heart hammering in my throat.
When the earthquake stopped, I opened the windows and looked outside. The cirrus-whipped sky stretched as far as I could see, like deeply opaque, faded paper held against a light.
I leaned my elbows against the sill and watched the many-winged birds flit about in the trees until my video panel gleamed to life with the alarm. The images of Menarka with my friends made my heart sink.
I let the music play while I dressed.
Suka clarified last night that I am supposed to talk about my thoughts and reasonings in journal entries, work through them, and toss them about. It’s like a pre-conversation so I don’t think through things in front of others, I suppose, even if I am skeptical about private thoughts.
I paid careful attention to lacing my hepteri vest because I did not want a repeat of yesterday.
The knife under the pillow would sound insane to people who didn’t know. I can use a bow, but it’s suspicious when someone has arms in a bedroom regardless. I haven’t been able to sleep soundly without something since Kelis died. The knife makes more sense because I can reach it faster than I can arm myself with a bow and arrows.
I just read over the above. It doesn’t sound good. Perhaps substance would make my writing flow better and be more genuine, alcohol or ćukuseh or ćas or gabnoa root. How much do I want to commit to writing this journal?
I know that the exact words of the exchanges I have been in today are in my mind somewhere, layered into my neurons, but no one is that good, and I cannot write the exact conversations. I must resign myself to the embellishments and acknowledge that this is a dialogue with myself, not a direct report of events. I do not truly remember the exact shade of the cirrus-whipped skies this morning or my thoughts as I dressed, but I remember the way the light glinted on the sun patterns on the links I clasped around my dreadlocks. I remember the routine of pulling the transparent gyena over my hair.
Kelis and I would see each other every morning just after I dressed, sometimes before breakfast, other times when le called out from the door as I passed ler home. O, Kelis, you toyed with Kartreytin’s future gift because you ran your hand over the gyena while we kissed. I did the same. Unlike Sehutañi with the lovely breasts, the acid tongue, and Ịgzarhjenya-hating rhetoric, you never violated me.
But why did I bring up Akah Sehutañi now? It insults your memory, Kelis.
I need to think about something else, and I have more to say on the frustrations I wrote down yesterday. Akah Kara brought me to the Progressive Movement’s archives today. One of the other movement founders, Akah Khera, will retire from active service soon because le is taking over the matriarch position within ler family.
Akah Kara wants a video collage that speaks to Akah Khera’s triumphs and failures over the past thirty-two years. I have met lim once—in passing, when I was a child and le visited my grandmother—but the information is easy to find. Le edited The People’s Voice in the 1830s before transitioning into the Progressive Movement full-time. The entire task is less straightforward because the Progressive Movement’s librarian-archivist left last year for a position with Wellness Worlds. We have a new person starting at the beginning of next month, but I’m not certain what that start date actually is.
NOBODY SEEMS TO KNOW!!!!!!
The Tveshi Cultural Coalition must be more efficient than us, and we need to beat them at organizational capabilities if we will ever get our platforms advanced.
I have a stack of tapes on my desk waiting for me tomorrow, and I have worked through half. They show speeches and gatherings. Everyone looks so young, especially Kara. Some are younger than me. To think that all of the people who took back our world from the Taritit are nearing the end of their public service commitments.
What happens when all of the people who witnessed the revolution against our oppressors die? Will we forget? You cannot even trust the Karatha when it comes to history, so where does that leave my generation? Will we eventually forgive Atara for harboring traitors? Grandmother says that there was a silence, and something dark and seething waits within it.
I need to stop there.
Some of us from the office are going to a Dream Garden after work. I have never been to one. They only put the first Dream Garden in Menarka about six weeks ago, it’s High-Wilds technology, and I was in mourning at the time.
Akah Kara wants me to be careful. It’s not like the old-fashioned hologram entertainment. The illusions sometimes look so realistic that the viewers cannot tell the difference between the images and the real thing, and the pageantry of personal holograms includes a neural array that gives some interesting feedback. It’s all Atarahi brilliance or Madhzi insanity. I think it was a collaboration between the two. Brilliant madness?
Anyway, le said that two months after this one opened, a young woman went to this one and ler skull was — coworkers here. Will write later.