To the right was the shopping district, a large plaza full of specialty
stores, all of them filled with bright and shiny merchandise that the masses
loved. Then, they would push farther along, to North Boulevard. It was a main
mall filled with flashy shops and boutiques. The district was filled with
people just like Marianne. There were women dressed in brightly-colored clothes,
their hair styled with bobby pins. Men with buzz cut hair and facial piercings.
And people with skin color that could only be described as “transparent.”
Marianne passed by the shopping district quickly. She wasn’t looking for
anything of particular interest. But her attention was fixed on the buildings
on either side of her as she walked.
That was the first thing she saw as she stepped into the street near the
National Science Institute. At the very front of the sidewalk was a huge
globe of shiny black-and-red letters. It was the name of the street.
It was a large, shiny, black globe with many more letters written in black
and red on it. Each letter was the name of a street running from the north
to the south. At the front of the globe was the word “Harlow.” It was very
large and imposing, and stood about 18 feet high.
“Get your 2082 gear on,” Marianne said as she approached it.
The street was packed with people. There were people of all kinds as far as
Marianne could see, from the gothic-looking women in their black and gray
bodies, to the men that wore tight clothes with long hair. They all wore the
globe with its large letters.
Marianne looked up at the top of the globe to read the words. If she squinted
her eyes, she could read the name of the street. She read, with some
incomprehension, “Harlow.” The lettering was so large, she didn’t even have
to read the rest of the word.
Harlow Street was the first street in the future that Marianne had to visit.
The street was named after one of Marianne’s former classmates.
“Get your 2082 gear on with Quasar Fashion,” Marianne said again.
Marianne walked up to the street’s edge and took a deep breath of the fresh
air. It smelled clean and fresh, it was cool on the top of her head and her
skin felt like it was glowing in the sunlight.
“Let there be lights,” Marianne said as she stepped out of the way of the
constant flow of people to continue past the buildings.
The light was everywhere. There were signs everywhere, all of them flashing
with colorful patterns. And the patterns kept changing. Some of the signs were
blue, some white, but all of them were in colors that were bright and
unfamiliar. One sign held a large green letter with a black background. It was
the name of the street. And the name was in Latin.
‘Harlow’ was Marianne’s destination street. Her next step was to go to the
next street where the name of the street was ‘North.’ Her next step would be
to have to go to the next street where the street name was ‘Beaver.’ Her
next step would be to reach the street where the street name was ‘South.’
Her next step would be to reach the street named after the street’s location
that was named after the street’s location. “So,” she thought. “So, I’ll
have to go to two streets. There’s going to be a lot of walking.”
“Oh, please, just hurry,” Marianne said to herself as she stepped into the
The street was packed with people. The street’s name was written on a large
black sign that hung from wires above the street. The street name was ‘South.’
The sign was in Latin and had a black background with blue letters. The sign
was about 5 feet high.
Next, Marianne walked down the street. She was looking around for the sign
with the street name that belonged to the street on the other side of the
street. There was a large sign that read ‘North.’ She had seen it before,
but she didn’t remember it.
“The street’s name is ‘South.’ No wonder there was a sign,” Marianne said to
herself. “It’s easy to miss.”
Marianne walked past a few stores, then she came to a tall building that had
a sign hanging high in the air. A sign with the words “National Science
Institute” was written in red letters on the sign. The words were also in
Marianne reached up into the air and took the sign. It was heavy and
compact and looked very dry.
“I can’t use this one,” she said to herself. “It’s too heavy to carry with me.
And it’s got too many words.”
But then, as she reached into the air for a light brown sign that said
‘Quasar Fashion,’ she thought of something that would make it lighter for
her. She reached down further and picked up the small sign that said ‘Quasar
Fashion.’ Then, she picked up a small black and red sign with the words “2082
Gear” written in red.
Marianne slipped the two signs down into the small pouch hanging from her
waist. She left the pouch hanging on the sign and placed the ‘2082 Gear’ sign
to the side with it.
She took off her shoes and put them in the pouch. She then reached out to pick
up the small sign ‘Quasar Fashion’ and placed it on her lap. She leaned into
the sign, held the sign onto the pouch with one hand and the sign onto her
waist with the other hand, and lifted both up over her head with her right
hand and held them onto the tip of her left shoulder for balance.
She moved backwards a step, then another and a third, and a fourth, and
started walking again.
Harold and Marianne’s Future Relationship
Marianne began to understand that the street’s name was ‘South.’ She walked
slightly behind the tall building that had the sign hanging high above the