The Study of Georgia and Warren, the People
We landed prior to Georgia and Warren’s emergence.
“Crash landed,” my partner corrected me. [I sometimes forget my partner reviews my monologues instantaneously.]
We climbed from the wreckage and dangled our legs from what we decided was an Early Capitalist “Mega Millions” billboard, with its gargantuan digital clock readout—“10:13 PM”. These clocks were once used to “tell time”.
“Not our ‘Time’,” my partner added. “Early Capitalists’.”
This wasn’t entirely true because they weren’t all Capitalists. Clocks were commonplace and “Time” wasn’t understood to be simultaneous.
Below us were prudently planted bushes littered with bits of plastic.
“Plastic bushes?” my partner asked.
“No,” and I recall pausing to be sure of myself. “From the dumpsters, I imagine.”
There were indeed dumpsters next to these bushes.
“Dumpsters? Eck.” my partner said. If we weren’t cloaked, I’d have given my partner a look of derision.
“I know,” said my partner.
“We’re observing, not judging,” I said.
We zoomed to view the trash bags on the concrete, piled just beside the dumpsters in a sort of queue. We zoomed further to observe the confused bumblebees, still awake, squirming, drunk on high fructose corn syrup oozing from the bags. Either the bags had burst from abuse or the bumblebees had burrowed their way inside. Our eye-lines followed a path of drizzled soda pop (confirming the former) to a pair of double doors with no handles. These doors led to the back of what we confirmed was an Early Capitalist movie theater.
“And then bam!” said my partner. Just as we received confirmation on the building, Georgia and Warren (identified by name tags) emerged from the doors, leaking trash bags in their wake.
“We examined Georgia first,” said my partner.
What was once called “female” and “girl”; “woman”; “She” and “her”. Georgia’s hair was red, a mutation that was just shy of disappearing from the gene pool. Her eyes were green with a dollop of orange or yellow, spiking out from over-dilated pupils. Night blindness.
“Adorable,” said my partner.
“Unfortunate,” was my rebuttal.
When Georgia had stepped into the light of the billboard, we noted the natural freckles sprinkled across her glabella and down the bridge of her nose. She smiled at Warren, and her freckles swam against the current of her eyebrow.
“Warren was black,” said my partner.
An astute observation. What was once called “male” and “boy”; “man”; “he” and “his”. Warren’s hair was the same length as Georgia’s, but with a consistency that reminded my partner of toothpaste.
“Only slightly,” said my partner.
“They are dreadlocks,” I said.
Despite their difference in sex and gender and color, they wore the same red shirt and black slacks and shoes—a peculiar Early Capitalist attempt at equality.
“Not our ‘Equality’,” my partner added.
They proceeded to the dumpsters and the minefield of bumblebee-d trash bags. Warren’s eyes widened as Georgia’s squinted.
“A look of disgust,” my partner added.
Warren knelt in front of the bags, and we zoomed to view something white snaking out of the bags and bees. After some studying, we concluded that they were wet paper towels. And they were everywhere.
“Can’t we just leave it?” Georgia spoke, turning away, her back to the scene.
“Raspy voice,” said my partner. “Delightful.”
“Straining,” I said.
“We’re supposed to pick it all up,” Warren said.
Georgia ran a green-painted fingernail through her bangs. “I don’t think—”
“In the name of God!” Warren shouted, raspier than Georgia’s speaking voice. Georgia whirled around to observe Warren with his hands clenching snakes of paper towels on the ground, trying to pry them from the concrete.
“We could’ve gotten gloves,” Georgia said.
“Ah, it’s awful!” Warren rasped further, dangling the flaccid mess in both hands. He walked to the dumpsters with his back straight and lobbed them into the air like two very sticky basketballs.
“Superb aim,” said my partner.
Warren proceeded to clear the concrete of white sticky snakes, shouting,
“God in heaven!”
“Religion?” said my partner.
When the deed was done, Warren said, “There.”
“Thanks?” said Georgia. “But you didn’t have to. I could’ve—“
“Nope,” said Warren. “I’m a gentlemen, you know.”
Georgia blushed. It was gradual, like a bruise forming. “Thanks,” she said again.
“Time to go,” said Warren.
“So ready,” said Georgia.
“What’re you doing after?” said Warren, rubbing his sticky hands together in a prayer gesture.
“Oh,” said Georgia. “Uh, sleeping?”
“Oh, right,” said Warren. “Early shift.”
“Uh huh. Well let’s clock out,” said Georgia.
Warren added the remaining trash bags to the pile, smothering the bees, but not before noting that, “These bees are green.”
“Agapostemon,” my partner added. They were a special type of bee.
Georgia returned to the theater doors first. Warren sighed, just as raspy as his scream, and then followed. Before the doors had closed, my partner and I finished our study. Our cloaking device conceded a beep as the rendering process concluded.
“Ready?” I asked my partner.
My partner and I materialized. I looked beside me.
“Dreadlocks,” I said.
My partner was now Warren. Which meant that I was Georgia. I held my hand out between us, noting the single green-painted nail she’d used to nervously scratch at her hair. My partner who was now Warren reached over and put his darker hand in mine. I tightened my grip on his hand and, for the first time, felt the sensation called vertigo.
My partner who was now Warren smiled and said, “So this is what it feels like.” I noted that my partner probably wasn’t talking about vertigo.
“I wasn’t,” said my partner.
The recovery team arrived soon after. We cloaked ourselves and went home.