Letter from 2035 by Cathie Wright-Lewis

October 17/2015


Partner post: Hard Ball Press

Morning Meeting 2035

Good morning, Karma. It’s 6AM, January 16th 2035,” the daylight alarm sweetly sings. My eyes immediately open to the recording mimicking the memory of my Mom’s voice. “Hm. Happy Birthday Mama.” I see her face in my mind then recite our mantra, “You get what you give.”

Cradled within the floating foam bed, I hesitate rising. “Time to get up Karma!” 5 seconds later Mom’s programmed voice is now raised to a gentle warning in case I’ve fallen back asleep. I place my feet outside of my elevated bed to deactivate the alarm. The bed lowers so I can comfortably step onto the floor then swiftly elevates to the ceiling. “Have a lovely day Karma,” Mom says before it signals off.

“Thank you Mama,” I say with a smile before I reach for my sunglasses and put them on as I walk towards the east window.

My aluminum blinds automatically retract. A rush of sunlight floods my entire house and paints every wall bright white. Flowers open. Green vines slither down the walls adding purple, blue, red and yellow above and below each window east, west, north and south of the circular abode.

Although it is only 6 am, the sun is at what used to be high noon. The digital temperature lights up as I attempt to touch the windows. “Warning! 150 degrees! Do not touch! Do not touch!” I back up and marvel at the Atlantic Ocean, which covers what used to be the Belt Parkway. The water is now street level and most residents 6 blocks before the shore have been evacuated. It seems to be rising and consuming more of the shore everyday. It’s like watching God rearrange the world.

All of our old homes were torn down ten years ago and replaced with 30-story housing developments built upon 5 story towers, so everyone has a view. East Brooklyn now looks like a mass of shiny cylinders covered with solar panels and connected by tubular walkways. Each resident of each building has one entire floor. This way, we can look west when the sun is too strong to gaze upon. On bad days, north and south are emblazed with light until nightfall, which doesn’t come until 9 pm. Even during the winter months. We don’t really have a winter or autumn anymore, to tell the truth. Just Summer and Spring.

Fully powered and programmed, my appliances all begin to work at the sound of my footsteps as I head to the kitchen. The teapot prepares a cup of Chai and the light granola breakfast I’ve chosen from my dispenser begins to toast while the shower water runs at 72 cool degrees. Central air usually remains the same temperature, but on mornings like this, the outdoor heat seems to seep in and 72 can feel like 85.

“Siri, please change the apartment temperature to 65. Thank you, I request aloud.

Changing the temperature to 65, Karma. You’re welcome.”

After my shower, I eat my breakfast and prepare to work from home. It is my turn to host the 7 am holographic conference and since this is New York, I need to give everyone a beautiful view of the city from my Brooklyn apartment. I arrange the viewing screen to face the west window. The sunlight reflects beautifully off of the metallic architecture. Skyscrapers form rainbows and art designs of animals, plants and heroes of the past.

Unfortunately, the old bridges have all been destroyed. They were falling apart anyway. I watch working class residents travel by hovercraft or ferry on the overcrowded East River. If I zoom in, I can show off how the elite are transported by our popular elevators that simultaneously move horizontally and vertically outside of the newest buildings and our tunnel bubbles, which export people from their homes directly to wherever they would like to go via a personal subway.

No one drives anymore. My company was instrumental in sending all of the cars to Cuba since their streets are still safe. In return, we received pure food for families in need. Mama started the Save the World Organization. After she died in the California Tsunami, I came back to New York and took over. The country has become more environmentally conscious and humanitarian since the floods. We are more determined than ever to save the East coast.

I give, so I get. Then I give again. I figure, if I continue to live like this, I can truly make a difference in the world. Now that the last war has ended and the last nuclear

weapon has been dismantled, today’s plan is to organize worldwide assistance funds from 7 philanthropic sources to send displaced children of war and floods to safe homes and healing centers in Hawaii.

Our rescue mission began finding these children all over the world 5 years ago. The polar caps had completely thawed the year before resulting in all of the oceans overflowing. It was frightening at first, but the world is more tropical now. The sun is stronger all over. It’s had a joyous effect on humanity and a miraculously healing effect on the Earth itself. As if God has flushed the toxins out of the soil. Some of it is still healing and the most beautiful, plush plants have begun to grow even in the most desolate war-torn lands. The strong sunrays are blessing cities with rain forest-like greenery and produce. We now trade food with other countries for the best raw organic meats, fish and produce. And everyone gives to those who have nothing.

“Ah. It is 7 am. Time for our meeting, Mama; let’s do it! Siri, please open the hologram line and welcome our guests.

I sit at the head of my long, suspended glass and chrome table. The heads of each guest appear within seconds as Siri welcomes each one.

“Welcome Mother Teresa, Dr. King, Mahatma Gandhi, Malik El Haj Shabazz, Albert Einstein, Maya Angelou and Mama.” Thank you all for attending another Save the World meeting of the minds. Whom shall we save today?”

Everyone recites the opening chant, “You get what you give!”

The End

Cathie Wright-Lewis is an author with Hard Ball Press.


Hard Ball Press dares to Imagine a world where books, movies and television shows tell stories of working class life in an honest and respectful manner; a world where workers are not commodified to the point that they are treated like disposable pieces of a machine, but rather are honored and valued for the work they do and the lives that they lead.

Hard Ball Press mentors working class authors, and publishes and promotes their work as part of the struggle for economic and social justice. We are opposed to the inequalities of wealth, opportunity and privilege that the 1% has maintained for so long, and we support movements that fight to break the power of the billionaire class and restore the power of working people in controlling their government and their destiny.

To help bring in a more just and peaceful world, we help working class writers find their voice in writing workshops we provide at union and social organizations. We then bring their stories into print and promote their work. In doing so we build union and class solidarity, and we build workers’ pride in their work and in their place in society.