Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Heat Death of New York

The first day, it rained talking frogs.

He was out, walking his ape in Central Park when it happened - the sky grayed over, there was a thunderclap, and the hairs on his arms and his ape stood on ends for a brief moment, and then, frogs fell - in singletons, pairs, sets and then great groups pouring from the sky, each babbling as it fell: mathematical proofs, formal logic, partial differential equations, and as they tumbled and inevitably squelched into the soft loamy earth, medical texts, anatomical charts, sexual innuendoes, and the few fortunate survivors hopping around discussing philosophical issues with particular attention to Latour's Actor-Network-Theory and meditations on death and mortality as their broken backed colleagues lay dying in their thousands.

The second day, as he sipped a cappuccino in a downtown cafe, it was fish-and-chips, falling packets of soggy battered cod and shark and tuna tempura, and heaped handfuls of crinkled cut potatoes and kumara wedges and frittered yams, wrapped in broadsheets, tabloids, periodicals and scandal rags from the last five hundred years, and occasionally the future. Enterprising residents flung out nets, blankets, awnings, dresses, anything they could find to capture this unexpected bounty, since it had been many decades since the anything except jellyfish had been seen in the acidic seas around them.

That evening, as he watched the world markets crashing on the vortexes of time paradox, his ape looked up from cross-stitching and remarked 'It's kinetic pollution. All the solar power we generate gets stored in fly wheels at night, this great band of velocity chasing the sunset, spinning tensors out of control. We should have stayed the course with global warming. The universe has an inordinate fondness for heat death.'

He folded his napkin neatly. 'So it seems. Gelato?'

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