Matthew Delvin, 53
Los Angeles, California
“It was May, 2069 - five years now, and I remember it like it was yesterday because I woke up feeling absolutely incredible, and by that I mean… euphoric. I opened my eyes and literally felt euphoric, and I can safely say that that’s never happened to me before - ever. I was 48, not in very good shape, and had more than my share of the requisite aches and pains for a guy my age: throbs, creaky joints, warning signs… you know… but that morning, nothing – no pain, no anxiety, no mortal pangs.
So, I was a coffee drinker, you know? My morning routine always consisted of waking up, crawling out of bed, taking a piss, splashing some cold water on my face, then trudging to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee. I’d had this routine for years, but that’s not what I did on that morning. Instead I got out of bed, opened the shades, slid open the glass door, and walked out onto the balcony, and it was… incredible, what I saw. It was early, around seven, and the sky; it was shimmering in all these iridescent colors. At first I thought it was some atmospheric phenomena - ice crystals high in the stratosphere, refracting sunlight, causing all these strange colors. Then I noticed how quiet it was. My balcony overlooks a vista of thousands of houses, a couple of freeways, skyscrapers off in the distance, you know - Los Angeles - I have incredible views, but that view comes with a price, and that’s the constant din of the city below, but I’m used to it. But that morning? No din. Not a sound.
I grabbed my binoculars and looked at a ribbon of freeway and saw that every vehicle was parked. People were standing on the pavement and looking up at the sky. I mean no one was moving; everything had come to a grinding halt! I panned left toward the subdivisions and saw people standing on their driveways, and in their backyards, and everyone was looking up at the sky at all the shimmering colors. Then I looked up and it was like, I couldn’t move! I just stood there… transfixed, and utterly happy, utterly euphoric.
There was a powdery element to these colors, like pollen, and that’s actually the name that stuck for what happened that day: Pollen. Huge clouds of pink that would suddenly turn yellow, then ochre, and every color imaginable - it was crazy! A patchwork of iridescent colors filled the entire sky! Oh, and there was a scent too, like the air had been perfumed with the most intoxicating, most alluring scent imaginable. I lay down on the chaise and breathed in the euphoria, and marveled at all the wild colors in the sky.
I had no idea what was going on, nor did I care. I didn’t do a goddamn thing that whole day. I thought I’d died and gone to heaven.”
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