The World in Her Room – from Gen, Chapter 3:
The door slid closed behind me with a whoosh, and my World smeared into focus.
A cockpit of colorful floating images surrounded me, flashing and competing for my attention. I set the juice on the side table and threw myself on the wide, comfortable bed.
It enveloped me with deep softness at first, then plumped firm, the way I liked it. I punched up several pillows for support, and scanned the feed.
To my right, a string of glyphs displayed recent coms. The few new messages were unimportant and could wait. I swept them to the side.
A list of upcoming amusements scrolled in place to my left. There was nothing of interest, so I dismissed it with a flick.
News was the same old boring talktalktalk. Politics on Mars and War on Earth. As usual. D didn’t like me to wave in the news from Earth, but he was powerless to stop me. Besides, it annoyed him, so I just had to.
The weather glyph pulsed red in the most ominous and annoying way. But I made a point of ignoring it. I always saved weather for last.
My calendar was clear for the evening and my biorhythm graphed out physical and intellectual highs. But a glowing amber dot showed I was just one hour past a emotional low.
Could’ve guessed that, I told myself.
My rating hovered at a respectable but stagnant sixty-three, while my horoscope showed Earth trine Jupiter, with Earth ascendant.
Ah! An expansive aspect, I thought. It was the first good news of the evening.
Finally I poked at the weather. It had been a sunny day in Mie Crater, with temps reaching into the minus teens and air pressure at ground level pushing three hundred millibars. Both were dropping now as evening approached. In the Dome, of course, it was a comfortable twenty-two. Always was.
But a dust storm was bubbling up in Hellas Basin in the Southern Hemisphere, and Live Eyes were posted to keep watch, in case it spilled out. The sands, roiling and twisting in place, looked alive, somehow, and I watched the sim a second time, captivated. Raw Mars was once again proving his unpredictability.
“Imp,” I said aloud, “Am I missing anything?”
Her soft voice spoke in my left ear.
No Gen. You have it all.
“Thank you,” I said, and waved the cockpit away.
Now I can take a breath and just calm, I thought.
“Color!” I spoke.
A vibrant spectrum bar spread before me, offering a near-infinite gradation of hues, tints and shades. I felt better instantly. Bright colors always improved my mood.
Colors are medicine, you know, and there’s an art to color healing. My friends told me I was good at it, and one thing was certain this evening: I needed to weave some calm into my life.
An array of my favorite swatches fanned alive as I poked around in the blue range, then floated nearby patiently in neat little stacks. I reached out and touched Ocean Blue. It felt wet on my fingertip as the walls of my room darkened into a deep, velvety blue-green. I slid up the brightness for a high-tone pastel, admired the effect, then lifted my glass and took a sip.
The sweetness of the juice filled my senses. I held the clear glass with the rich orange liquid up to the bright aqua walls, and tilted it slightly, enjoying the contrast.
A thin gray line danced between the colors like a force field, preventing them from touching. It was the fate of all simultaneous opposites.
You grew those carrots, I reminded myself, smiling at last. Harvested and juiced them, too. Then composted the pulp and replanted the seeds.
The thought gave me comfort. I was proud and claimed ownership. I made something! Something of substance. Despite D’s teasing, I felt anything was possible, even here on dusty old, dry old Mars.