I am sitting on the shuttle bus this morning, stuck in some traffic waiting to get to work. Typically I don't take the bus, but today is one of those heavy warm rainy days... there is no sun, every odor hangs in the air and clings to you, and the clouds and pressure work their way into your brain.
A Chinese woman sits down in the seat next to me and chats a bit with the other Chinese woman sitting behind her, my minds wanders. Her words pour out in a velvety stream through the thick air and I think about how I would like to be lying down some where, smoking a cigarette, and having her recite some ancient Chinese poetry to me. A song starts playing in my head, some woman singing it, somewhere in between a Chinese cocktail lounge and a heroic kung-fu film. But as I sit there the idling of the bus' engine and the compressor for the AC start to resonate together in this low continuos pulsing rhythm. Things start to gray out even more than the sky and I close my eyes.
I don't know if I am in a small gray room, or if it is just some closed and congested subterranean alleyway in some city. The walls are humming with the sound of the city around me and an oriental song is playing off in distance, but loud enough to seep through to me down here in the urban bowels. There are steam pipes hissing somewhere, there are few people, and the world is decaying around me as only the machines live on.
As the bus and the traffic and the rain start coming back into being, I realize that my world will not be like Bladerunner. The Asian economies did not take over the world. When they did collapse they didn't take the rest of us with it, nor lead to the emigration of the genetically clean and disease-free to off-planet colonies. I do not have a greater part of a post-apocalyptic world to myself.
Have I spent much of my life subconsciously planning for a world which has only existed in a melding of science fiction entertainment? The voracious study of Japanese language and eager consumption of things Oriental. The desire to live in urban areas that border on urban blight and fondness for occupying post industrial complexes. The eclectic combinations of learning both modern and primitive technologies. Planning for a world that I hoped for but which I will never see?