In the latest installment of the Design Life future-fiction series, we find romance in how we load our dishwashers and drying racks, frogs are the new rats, and the New York City subway system is exactly the same as today…
Sound Sculpture Preset: “Synthwave 1974.”
Number of Notes (1–16): “3.”
Note 1: “C4.” Note 2: “G4.” Note 3: “E4.”
Waveform: “Saw Tooth.”
Detune: “7 O’clock.”
Low pass filter: “On.”
Reverb: “Small Hall.”
An InnerHome C-quence22 door chime floated through Aracelle Freer and Karl Mercer’s white-walled, spare three-bedroom townhouse on a far-western block of Jane Street in the Lower High Line district of Manhattan, New York City. At the sound, Aracelle looked up from the kitchen sink, and Karl rose from a couch in the adjacent, sunken open living area.
Eighteen months earlier in 2078, Aracelle and Karl met on a New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority downtown Q Train, hurtling underneath the technopolis of 28 million flapjack-stacked residents. Entering car 3699, second from the front, heading home through a typical Friday evening underground salmon-and-sardine-spawning midnight crush hour, Karl and Aracelle both angled to sit in a rare, just-vacated open seat, and bumped into each other.
Karl relented. “No, you, please. You’ve got your hands full with, what…” he noticed her carrying a covered object, and made out outlines of bars in the cloth. “Is that a cage under that curtain?”
“Nope. Frog,” she said.
“Oh, what a shock,” deadpanned Karl.
“Yeah, yeah. I know. ‘Frogs everywhere.’” Aracelle scare-quote countered, and waved her hand around as the train lurched forward.
Approximately three-dozen frogs hopped lazily around the car floor, their ceaseless croaking and constant movements unheeded by commuters whose gazes remained fixed around 12 inches in front of their right eyes, on infolayers in their corneal overlays, lost in dreams of dinner and solvency.