Missives from the Future: 2080 (Jonno Revanche)
It’s the last day. That’s how I’m internalising the info, harbringing the whole damn thing in my mind. Depression is manifest destiny now. It’s difficult to imagine a world beyond it, where peacefulness and slow, methodicality was something to be cherished, not spirited away.
Atop the highest hill, the most severe peak of Tasmania, I stand. The air becomes gradually more inconcievable as you near the top. When I was last here I noticed the frost encompassing the smaller plants, ones that looked like they could have existed quite easily in a video game about extraterrestrial futures, or even something prehistoric. In response you breathe heavily, and become cognisant of the pressure being placed on your lungs. But it’s more of an existential shock. Your body has long learned to adapt quickly, to make those realisations and then act upon them. Mercifully, you have little choice in the decision.
It has been a while since the last time. From my point I can see over the town below me, like a dip in the middle of a larger crater. Waves lap the shore of the place you used to live, and buildings have fallen into disrepair. From above, you might have thought that what was once Tasmania is now a completely different island. But what I’m telling you - after living 5 months in this place - is that we still live, and ask ourselves hard questions. Like, will polar bears survive this shift? Their homeland has been decimated. The frail, incomplete bodies that we saw in shock videos years back have now become something tangible, expected.
It’s getting darker as I write this. It’s difficult to comprehend my place in a time where my familiars and networks have dispersed, where some of them are grandparents, horrified for the future their children are adopting. Some of them live in created cities, newer spaces, some of them haven completely given up the bodies they once accepted as their own, more non-biological than anything else, although getting to that point was so gradual that it doesn’t seem like sci-fi at all. The relationship we have to each other seems all the more fraught. To earth myself a bit, to bring myself back into the present, I scan my surroundings, noticing the complete absence of animal life. It’s just wind sounds here, and the choral hum that throbs in my ear. I’m unsure if it’s something I’m hearing or if it’s a body soundtrack.
This story was written by Jonno Revanche.