Washing Dishes Contemplating The Cosmos

In the shadow of what some might call the Second Moon, I find myself lost in the mundanity of my existence, a paradox not lost on me as I toe the line between washing dishes and contemplating the cosmos. They say every era has its hallmark of progress or calamity, but here we are in 2077, straddling both, living under a celestial enigma shrouded in plasma shields that might as well be the curtains of a theater, the final act ever pending.

The morning started as any other—with the buzz of my smart windows gently transitioning from opaque to transparent, simulating a sunrise that felt authentic enough to rouse me without complaint. It’s a curated beginning, I suppose, given that the real sun’s appearance varies with the pollution indices and atmospheric ads. At breakfast, the screens pulsed with experts debating the nature of the Second Moon; a hollow construction or a spaceship, a harbinger of doom or a silent observer. I chewed on my synthetic protein toast, the artificiality of my meal matching that of the discourse.

On my commute to work, the ubiquitous holoboards plastered the skies with the latest conspiracy theories, each more creative and feverishly paranoid than the last. The guy next to me on the magtrain, his eyes glazed from his retinal interface, mutters something about a psyop as we pass another billboard, this one promising a live feed from the Moon’s surface—”Unmitigated Truth. Unparalleled Clarity,” it claims. I can’t help but snort at the irony, the ‘unmitigated truth’ as elusive as the approval from my boss on my latest project.

At the office, disjointed realities coexist; colleagues plug into their virtual presences as easily as they sip coffee, slipping in and out of hyperreal conferences where avatars negotiate deals that affect actual lives. At lunch, I sit apart, in a courtyard that prides itself on its ‘organic’ credentials, though I’ve grown skeptical of anything that claims purity or authenticity. Above, the sky occasionally flickers with the shadow of the Second Moon, like a persistent reminder that there’s still something above us that isn’t human-made—that isn’t a simulation, or is it?

This reflection feels self-indulgent, a luxury of introspection in a world where attention is the prime commodity, yet I’m compelled to dip the quill into the reservoir of my thoughts and question out loud. After all, we’re living through a spectacle in real-time, a slow boil of cosmic intrigue that could culminate in society’s greatest lesson or its ultimate folly. What lies beneath those shields? When will we know? Do they know?

As the afternoon sun wanes, I can’t help but wonder—am I waiting for a revelation, or am I simply addicted to the suspense? The existential ennui seeps into my contemplations like an unwanted guest in an overpriced virtual reality experience, one that promises enlightenment but only delivers more confusion.

The day draws to a close, and like my ancestors, I find solace in gazing upward. But as I peer at the enigmatic orb that has caused so much stir, I am greeted not by answers but by a reflection of our collective perplexity—a society grappling with its desire for unequivocal certainty in a reality that thrives on multiplicities.

So I’ll put the children to bed with tales of what could be up there, just beyond our reach, spinning yarns that mix myths of old with the science fiction of the present. And as I lay down, I tell myself that maybe this is the true human condition—not the striving for cosmic truths, but the yearning to find our place amidst the stars, even if those stars are shielded by uncertainties as intangible as the plasma that cloaks our Second Moon.