Thursday, October 27, 2005

Maria and Phoenix

The destination laser signal in the de-robing tube was not functioning properly. It said P oen x rather than Phoenix, and the blinking of the green ‘h’ and the ‘i’ were annoying to Maria.

She reached for the blue plastic clothing container as it rolled down the tube’s conveyer belt. It had her name, ‘Maria Sanchez’, written across the side in temporary electronic laser signing. She had already removed her one piece patterned fleece unisuit that was very popular that season in Seattle and now she needed only to remove her underwear and place it in the container.

Maria didn’t like taking the Air Rotate to Phoenix. Her distaste wasn’t so much for Air Rotate as it was for Phoenix. It had become the largest city in the US and it always made her feel insignificant. It was hard not to feel that way in a city of 27 million people. Still, the climate was warm and very much in demand. She did like the warmth, which was the one good thing she could think of about Phoenix.

The de-robing tunnel that led to her transit way was hot and she was anxious to get completely out of her clothes and put the Air Rotate supplied nylon slippers on so she could get to her seat and relax. The family behind her was disorganized and loud. The kids were excited about the trip to their aunt’s and the mother of this rowdy bunch was having trouble getting all of their unisuits removed and in the proper containers.

The husband now decided to take control and ordered their mother to place all of the clothes in one container declaring “the kids can sort it out in Phoenix.

Maria removed her underwear, placed them in the container, placed it back on the conveyor, slipped on the nylon slippers and padded down the tube toward the Air Rotate.

It was often so cold in Seattle that she had to wear the unisuit all the time when she was outdoors. At least in Phoenix that wouldn’t be true, she could go without it outdoors also, just like now on the Air Rotate. Maria was sure this was the reason for the great increase in the population of Phoenix over the years.

Maria settled into the anti-microbe lined seat of her individual compartment and closed her eyes. It was difficult to imagine a time when people would fly through the air at 30,000 feet above the earth in an airplane. Why did they think they had to fly so high? Her grandmother had told her that these ancient large aircraft sometimes crashed killing everyone aboard. How horrible and primitive was that, thought Maria?

Her grandmother’s soul had been surgically removed from her body and transported to the Konyo in 2127. Maria loved her grandmother and had listened with respectfulness and wonder to the stories of a past America. It seemed an odd and scary world to her. From time to time she wanted more detail so she would still call her on the spine connection and talk with her. However, the spine connection was so expensive that she couldn’t do it too often.

Her grandmother had told her of the time when people all over the world wore clothes all the time. She told her that they had worn them all day and night, constantly. They were nude on very rare and private occasions. Most of them even slept in clothes her grandmother had said.
Some people went without clothes in what were called 'nudie colonies' or something like that, but they were treated badly and made fun of by the other people.

Naturally a curious child like Maria had many questions.

For instance, she had asked “why did they decide to quit wearing them?" Her grandmother said it was at a time when the world still had wars and there wasn’t a safe way to get on the ancient airplanes because very bad people would take explosives on the planes in order to blow the planes up. Maria didn’t understand why they wanted to blow up the airplanes and it seemed like grandma had kind of forgotten too because she only knew about it from history templates herself.

In any case, she learned by asking questions that the owners of the airplanes and the US anti-gravity planners began to make people take off all of their clothes before getting on the airplanes. At first the people wouldn’t fly anymore, but then they realized they had to fly in order to do their jobs. What they learned was that not wearing your clothes all the time was not that important or necessary. Soon it was common to fly on the old planes without clothes.

Other changes started to happen her grandmother told her. After the planners demanded this, the people decided to go without their clothes at other times. Over some years of experimenting they learned that it wasn’t important at all except for protection from the weather.

Then the strangest of things happened. Her grandmother told her that that was when the wars had stopped; after everyone quit wearing clothes. She said the people weren’t afraid of one another anymore. That’s what the history experts had written in the templates.

That was a very strange time, thought Maria. Thank goodness she was born in 2113 and didn’t have to wear clothes all the time and fly on ancient airplanes.

The Air Rotate compartment rotated to a standstill over the gravity reattachment platform. Maria picked up her container off the conveyor as she exited through the transit way. She might need the unisuit outdoors if the Phoenix weather changed. That was unlikely really; it was always very warm and comfortable in Phoenix. She would need her new slippers from Nona's shoe store.

Maria brushed her pubic hair. She had it color treated at Langley’s Studio before she left Seattle. She straightened the blinking multi-color laser bow on her forehead and stepped onto the rotational platform.

The newer structures of Phoenix levitated at 30 degrees from their foundations, facing west, gathering the last of the day's sunshine. Maria's new slippers from Nona's squeeked on the floor as she walked into the gravity managed transport center.

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