Melting Ice Cubes and the Present Future
The water sat on the table, the spilled remnants of a tipped, plastic glass.
Char looked on to the countertop, seeing their reflection in the water.
“The future and past are both present on this bar.”
She picked up her straw and started blowing on the water. It moved ever so slightly towards another small collection of liquid.
“Oh yea? And how is it, exactly, that you can see the future in a puddle?” Leo asked, looking slightly confused.
“Well, all possibilities and permutations of the water exist here. While it sits, it edges closer to other drops on the counter; yet we have no idea when and what the new form will be like.”
“What happens, then, once the water is reformed? How does anyone, who looks at it later on, even know that it was any different than before?”
“That’s just it! No one really will know. And what’s more, we’ll never be able to ‘reverse-engineer’ a puddle.”
They both stare at all the drops along the counter. A cube of ice slowly melting.
“When I was older, in my forties, I went on a trip through Northern Minnesota. The state had been a large catalyst for the environmental reform we’d seen in our not-too-distant future. Communities looked after the wellbeing of each other, including their water.
Their resources were plentiful. Crisp, glacial water after the great refreezing of the polar ice-caps. The global temperature had dropped two degrees by then, do you remember?”
“It took a long time, a few decades for us to moderate all of those big companies unil they stopped producing things on a mass scale.”
“Yes, but eventually we did - and reversed global warming. We were able to start travelling, once the ban was lifted. I started exploring the US on a bicycle.
I rode along the Mississippi all the way up to St. Cloud and I had a moment where I wondered ‘did that puddle on the countertop of Lo’s Dinner make it up this far?”
A pebble at the river’s edge sparkled with the knowledge of the past.
From that present past, the waitress suddenly appeared from behind the bar, dirty rag in hand.
“Sorry it took so long for me to clean this up; it’s been a busy one!”
With a swift gesture of her hand, the waitress moped up the water and melting ice. She placed the plastic cup in the kitchen sink and rang the rag out. She stared absently as the water swirled and collected at the basin, until it dropped down the drain and on ti its other, future forms.
24 September, 2023