Red Shift

High school and drinking. They have climbed on top of one of the big green power nodes that look like seaturtles and they’re watching the stars. They aren’t sure about the turtles — they’ve never seen one, will probably never see one. But they’ve seen pictures, heard them described, built the analogy up in their heads. Close enough.

“What are you doing after graduation?”

Goodman pulls from the bottle, twists her face up at the whisky. “College. Goin’ to St. Paul, y’know? Then… I dunno. Guess I’ll find out.” She doesn’t ask him anything. Goodman’s got faults, but tactlessness isn’t one of them. She passes the bottle back. “I can’t wait… but I can’t really wrap my head around it, either. Yeah? I mean, sometimes I wake up at four and think, christ, none of it happened, I’m still in eighth grade.”

He chokes and splutters on the alcohol. He hates drinking. Coughs. “Yeah.”

For a while they are silent. Not talking, not thinking, not planning; the whisky gets lower in the bottle and the stars turn slowly and inevitably overhead. Even from centuries ago they reach out and brush at their hair with sidereal fingers.