For all her flustered outward appearance, Jilal was a deep thinker. Single, aged 32, a brunette well-above average in appearance and living in an eco-friendly home halfway between the citizens on ground level and those perched high above, she was having a typical day off.
Mid-morning and her heart was already pounding. Too much to do. She’d be meeting Bobex in an hour to hook up with friends and attend the big game. After that would be a sumptuous meal in some new hot spot within the trendy entertainment district. It was nice to have a break from the work week but the racing only banked around a corner, it didn’t stop.
Yesterday, her control freak of a boss pushed too hard. Jilal could deal with her employer’s tirades under most circumstances, but the recent episode shifted the problem from being at the fringe to taking over centre stage. It would need to be dealt with. The thought of the coming confrontation made her stomach rumble. A hard lump of consternation sat undigested in her gut.
Then there was Bobex. He was a nice guy, but was that enough? He was already the sixth serious relationship in her short life. He was too heavily into sports. Bobex had another problem she wasn’t supposed to know about, gambling. She’d learned of that flaw from a friend of a friend of hers. Jilal wasn’t above tossing the dice herself. She might do better with a lucky seventh.
All of her friends were facing similar dilemmas. No-one seemed to be in a settled relationship. What was the matter with everyone? Jilal thought she knew what the problem was. The speed of everything was over the top. There was no time available to nurture the soul. Nor was it easy to change. There were too many responsibilities and commitments that needed attention.
What required focus right now was her appearance. She turned to the potions, perfumes and unguents that were lined up in her bathroom. For a few blessed moments, she would be able to escape by soaking in bath salts tinged with jasmine, cucumber or sandalwood. Then she’d choose between the aromatic and timeless pleasures of lavender, vanilla and strawberry-based perfumes.
It was all too fast and confusing. Jilal longed for a sabbatical from life. She thought back to her parents. Had they coped any better? Not really. They separated when Jilal was five and then moved on to several new and sputtering match-ups. The latest advances in technology might have made all gratifications instantaneous, but that fell short when it came to elevating the spirit.
How had things managed to spin out of control? She did the math. Every century encapsulated three or four generations. A thousand years ago would be a distance of 30 to 40 generations. That didn’t seem like so much. Were men and women evolving in any special way? It wasn’t obvious.
Humankind was geographically on the move, there was no doubt about that. Her great-great grandparents had participated in a legendary migration to find a better life. Those ancestors deserved credit for their courage and tackle-the-frontier sense of adventure.
What was life like for people long-ago? Everyday activities were surely simpler then than now. There must have been more time for contemplation and soul replenishment. Jilal let her speculations wander. She became more envious as her imagination took over.
Then her mind snapped back to the present. Lodged in the year 3010, Jilal was running late for her luncheon appointment. Living on one of the moons of Saturn, thoughts of long-ago bliss on mother earth were a lapse into luxury she really couldn’t afford.