It was stuffy inside. I don’t even know why I went. Oh. Jurgen felt inadequate to be a host and begged me to come. He was the only one there that I knew, and now he was off somewhere having too much fun to think about me. I made my escape outside and found a secluded corner on the deck. At least I thought it was secluded until another person looked furtively out, then joined me.

“I see you wanted to escape too,” the young man said as he approached. “Do you mind if I sit here too? Or, how much solitude do you need?”

“More than in there,” I said as I motioned towards the house. “Go ahead, sit.”

“My name is Tayo,” he said and stretched out his hand to me.

“Kylan,” I said in return and shook his hand.

“I can breathe better out here,” Tayo said.

“That is a major benefit to being outside,” I replied. “I can’t breathe smoke for very long before I begin to feel choked up. I’ve forgotten how smokey a place can get.”

“You’ve not been to a lot of parties then?”

“Not in years and years.”

“Why did you come to this one?”

“Jurgen is my friend and he didn’t feel confident hosting his first party.”

“He’s doing fine now.”

“I assumed he was. I decided to come out here for a while before I leave. I don’t want him to think I didn’t have a good time.”

“But, you didn’t.” It was more a statement than a question.

“Until I came out here, no. But Jurgen doesn’t need to know that.”

“You’re too kind.”

“I’ve been told that before, but I haven’t been able to change.”

“You’re too kind to change.”

“I suppose so,” I agreed.

We sat in companionable silence for several minutes.

“What do you do when you’re not avoiding parties?” Tayo asked.

“Me? Oh, I try to write,” I answered.

“Only try?”

“Well, I do write,” I replied. “I try to get the words to say what is obvious to me, but seems confusing to everyone else.”

“And, what’s that?”

“That the world, the whole world, is going through a major transition now. It’s affecting everyone and every aspect of life. And, it’s painful.”

“So, what are we transitioning to and why is it painful?”

“We’re going toward a time of greater equality and greater prosperity than anyone now can imagine.”

“So, what’s the pain?” I could tell he was genuinely confused.

“Because not everyone wants equality and they certainly don’t want everyone to prosper. They have bits of power, and equality is a threat to that power. And, with power comes wealth and, frankly, they don’t want to share. They have gained the wealth through the labor of others and don’t want to share, so they fight change. Imaginary visions of the past have been thrown up to distract the people doing the labor. Those in power say, ‘this is what you’re losing,’ when it never existed in actuality. This is a big spiritual battle going on.”

“There’s a battle going on all right,” Tayo agreed. “But I can’t see any side winning.”

“Oh, equality and justice will ‘win’ as you say. It’s just going to take a little while longer.”

“How much longer do you think?”

“Well, it’s been going on for nearly two hundred years now, so I think maybe a hundred more will be enough.”

“Another century of the chaos we have now?” He was clearly upset.

“Just look at what has changed in the last two hundred years,” I said calmly. “Two hundred years ago, kings and other monarchs not only ruled the Earth, but owned most of it, not the people they ruled over. Women were so thorouighly oppressed that they were owned too, by their fathers or husbands or even brothers if they didn’t have one of the other. And, nearly all people who weren’t white, male Europeans, were subjected to those who were. A major portion of the population in the United States was directly owned as slave labor by whites. None of that was sustainable in the long run.”

“Well, no.” Tayo agreed.

“The human race is all one race,” I added. “The Human Genome Project proved that not so long ago. That we are ALL part of one large family is now a fact proved by data from all over the Earth. As family, we’re responsible for helping each other. And, we are learning that the Earth is the only place we have to live. We can’t continue treating it the way we have been: letting a few get rich while they destroy it for others. There are other ways, and progress is being made to explore them, but there’s no encouragement from those in power or the wealthy. There’s a basic conflict of interest.”

“I can see that.”

“People are learning,” I continued. “But not enough are convinced yet, to make enough difference. It will happen, I’m sure, but how much damage will be done between now and then, I have no idea.”

“Well…”

“Are you staying much longer?” I asked.

“I thought I would,” Tayo answered.

“Good,” I replied. “I need to go.” I stood up and clapped him on the shoulder. “Will you tell Jurgen I needed to leave?”

“Sure.”

“And, don’t worry about the future. It’ll be better than the past, once we all learn those two little details”

“Little details?” Tayo laughed. “I’m glad there’s only two.”

“Me too,” I added. “I don’t think the world can handle three new basic concepts at the same time, and remember,” I paused.

“What?”

“Once upon a time, not so many centuries ago: the world was flat and humans would never fly.”

He was still laughing as I walked to my car.

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