Missives from the Future: 2045 (Jonno Revanche)
A friend tells me something vital - that when the rain is heavy enough, the plain we stand across forms to become it's own lake. It’s always bucketing down out here in the places where this isn’t enough protection. What happens is that the water pools far enough so that it can meet the surface ratio, and a series of puddles becomes a body.
I hadn't quite witnessed something like that before. In Larissa Pham's fantasia, she talks with her gemini side, an elusive stranger she meets who she assigns as her doppelganger, about Lacan's theory. He believes that our selfhood is not fully understood until we see ourselves for the first time, and ditto for all those times we glance in a mirror from then on in. Right, I know I exist now. Right, this is how things have changed in the last hour, how my bangs have crested upward in the aftermath of a wind tunnel, how my eyeliner has fallen our in the last hour ( and then in the last 20 minutes, the last 5 minutes, the last 30 seconds.)
The breadth of these temporary rivers are something to behold. You can't quite glean your reflection from it, but you can take in their beauty and equanimity. I've become used to finding my kin. Compared to years prior, I think it's more of a minoritarian decision to see yourself as NOT being queer. All my friends experiment, most of them play with formerly taboo relationship conventions, and we create our own representations for ourselves, our own mirrors and reflections.
For whatever reason, it's always cloudy overhead in these futures I'm partaking in. But at least this one - which has just ticked over to 2045 - has a glint of sun slicing through those heaven-sent tufts above us.
In this timeline, I think, diverting my attention away from the sky and to the expanses before me, farming is less congruent with this conception of Australian identity. In the past, we always envisioned ourselves as hard yakka workmen with hay scattered across our eyelids and our land, even if we never so much as set a foot out of the cities. It was just as well, because those people always wanted something concrete. Now, many of these places lay disused. You could really scream as loud as you wanted right here and you'd be hard pressed to get any kind of response.
Just on the outskirts of western sydney, I survey the horizon and note the gums and oaks that dot the side of a forgotten road. There are no animals here, no expectation of life. The silence is often more telling than what I can hear. Maybe in the past my chest would have been broken open by something as ordinary and beautiful as a galah making a temperamental ruckus throughout these plains, but I only ever hear the occasional call. It’s solitary, questioning. Isolation is a language I began learning a long time ago.
This place might as well have become a swamp. But despite the gloominess, I can see beyond it all. I know behind the pines and the half singed leaves off unidentified trees are houses, and within them modern people; I know that in their bones are fortified blueprints and vitamin liquids, that some have fingers made of titanium and some stay as they always have been; but it’s what i don’t see that is always, like I realised before, the most noticeable. I step into the puddle before me, and it catches something. The lights, it’s the lights.
This story was written by Jonno Revanche.