February 28th, 2047:
I wake up in a chilly bedroom, made chilly not because the heating in the house is not working but because I always leave the window open, but not on purpose. If the chill in this room were a color is would be “electric blue steel,” and if it were a state of matter it would be plasma. Nothing about the room screams “electric blue steel.” The carpet is beige and the walls are an off-white color, much to the disappointment of my imagination, which tends to prefer cool color schemes and hard angles.
It is Tuesday and the prospect of the morning ahead — statistics class and the psychology of refrigerating foods — dawns on me in the most unseemly shape, not unlike the taillights of a 1991 Mercury Sable, much maligned for its curves akin to a potato. I get out of bed and walk four feet to my sacred area, the five-inch space between the end of my bed and the dresser. The ceiling curves down slightly and the window is to my immediate left and I have to hunch down a bit. On top of my dresser is my ioDizer 800C, an advanced vaporizer of translucent oils that received the highest consumer rating on the Kelley Blue Book for its stealth and LEED-certified biodegradable construction. I pull down my eyelid and stick the ioDizer stem into my eye, pressing the circular bottom on the side of the device. Two hundred and fifty milligrams of pure, vaporized hemp oil streams through my intravenous nervous system.
Within microseconds I am in a state of unadulterated bliss.
After I take a shower I enter back into my cool room, made cooler due to the fact that I am wet. I don’t mind the cool, because I’m about to enter the best 45-minute period of my day. I slip on a pair of “Greco & Haines” boxer briefs reinforced with shea butter and activate the Nestle Bluetooth on my phone, connecting it to my state-ofthe-art Dasani speakers with flavor-blasted bass. I am now plugged into the app “SoundCloud” — a world-class music streaming service that has been compared by renowned music critic Guy Fieri as “the bathroom stall of music streaming services.”
I am now knee-deep in my blissful state of mind. Anxiety throbs through my gut like a pulsating red light at a food court that says, “YUM! GOOD FOR YOU,” the kind that when you look at it you feel like technology has gone a step too far, but everyone else around you seems fine so you figure it’s just your imagination playing games on you. In states such as these, the bathroom graffiti that is every SoundCloud track is no less mystical than the very writings of the Haggadah in Mount Sinai Hospital.
I scroll through my SoundCloud, looking at all the unsung heroes who wrote songs I’m probably never going to hear in my life. One artist I have been following, “asdxcdhsjgdfsdadfygas,” has just released a 32-second song called “George Forman’s entire political campaign, REVEALED.” I decide to click on the song, because I’ve seen this particular artist’s Instagram and I like the way he wears Whole Foods Grocery bags on his feet instead of shoes.
The “George Forman” song plays over my speaker as I pick out my outfit. The song is just the Microsoft text-to-speech voice “Albert” saying the words “Intimate Apparel” 43 times. I get a good laugh out of this as I put on my favorite blue-and-white striped rugby polo shirt that was a collaboration between Supreme and Hewlett Packard. My surroundings start to vibrate and glimmer, as I enter into a warm shell of soft and dank sadness.
Next up is a Nightmare remix of a Britney Spears song from 20 years ago, “Invitation.” The album artwork for this track, which I saw as I was putting on my carbon fiber and linoleum-reinforced athleisure pants, is a picture of a really old president, I think George W. Bush, eating ravioli. I focus on the artwork for a good three minutes, analyzing Bush’s jawline and drawing connections between it and the fonts I’ve observed at the campus dining center. I feel I’m one step closer to achieving something big, but I can’t define what it is.
Sometimes I like to listen to good music, but usually I need something more to get me blasted in the morning. That’s why I love SoundCloud. It has all sorts of songs by ordinary people just like you and me, and most of them are memes. When I listen to meme music I feel as though I am aligned with some sort of greater order to the universe, which was not there before the year 2037 but definitely after that. It’s kind of scary to think that the United States of America has elected “tfw grandma got run over by a reindeer” as president, but I mean, honestly, my life hasn’t changed much. It’s just a little weird seeing the three branches of government get replaced by “Old Navy,” “The GAP,” and “Banana Republic.”
Thinking about it too much gives me a sense of unease, like my cells are vibrating at a frequency that is just a little too high for my liking. But when I log on SoundCloud and press play, the meme music always fixes that. It’s like I can operate at that faster frequency and feel okay. Because honestly, who doesn’t love to hear the McDonald’s national anthem, but every time they say “you” it’s the brown note.