AURA HALO by Ashley Opheim
Nature becomes one with Ashley. She wishes to become a tree. The wildlife has another plan for her. Flowers suit her much better. Here she wants to eat berries in their raw berry form. Right after she eats them she remembers to recycle but forgets to ‘put the bin out’. Recycling bins are beautiful. Green, blue, yellow, recycling bins represent the tree leaves falling to Earth for rebirth. Like those organic materials the plastic, glass, and metal will be made into something new. Ashley wants an app to read the mind of her average reader.
The world has orgasms all the time: they are natural disasters. People try not to arouse the world. So many people crawl on the surface it is rather titillating. Ashley asks her partner to imagine being a raindrop. While she describes how the raindrop nourishes the soil the raindrops keep falling on their faces. They are wet with desire but mostly rain. Kissing this person Ashley wants to be the flame and the water, to start it up and calm it down. Many refer to this as sex.
Classy hotels exist in New York City. Ashley becomes one with New York City’s elite wealthy patrons of themselves. Rich people enjoy donating money to rich people things. It supports the economy or something. Here Ashley transforms into a delightful visitor. The liquid is rarefied and alcoholic. Smells around her remind her she is in a hallowed place: the public bathroom of the rich but not famous. In her room she whirls around. Mike comes by to visit. He wants to take it all in too. Both of them have places to go, maps to Google, alcohol to consume. At least Ashley goes to ‘Death by Audio’. That’s an amazing place. Audio killing people: the best thing to happen to death since ‘death by chocolate’.
Despite the pronunciation it is spelled ‘Houston’ and it is a beautiful thing. Manhattan is full of surprises like people who aren’t under the age of 30 and aren’t millionaires. Normal people live there too. Public bathrooms are an endangered species. All public bathrooms have become squats or have been converted into luxury lofts starting at 400K for studios. Holographic porn is the future of porn. Porn getting too real is worrisome. Amateur holographic porn is the next step. Finally there will be print outs of full models available to anyone. Then of course the sex robots, twenty-somethings to someone forever will be invented. Civilization will be over shortly after that.
Plants need more than water in corporate offices across America. Plants need promotions. With a corner office plants can really expand operations. Somebody needs to take care of them. That’s where Jorge comes in to save the day. Jorge respects Ashley. Ashley watches weird-ass Russian movies better known as Russian movies. There’s a peacock involved. Hopefully NBC doesn’t know of this trademark infringement.
Ryan arrives. She likes Ryan. The next morning she looks through his books. Generally this ritual should be done first. Apparently this Ryan person has good taste in books. His light is red. Yet the red doesn’t stop either one of them. Red means go in certain subcultures. Red is a fun freaky fly color that enjoys a good time or two. Every shade of red means a different thing.
Offensive drunks ride in cabs in New York all the time. Subways won’t take them. Ashley notices them. They bum her out. When turtles let go they see the empty shell of themselves. Good thing teenage mutant ninja turtles never worry about such deep things. Teenage mutant ninja turtles possess turtle power, a rare power that allows them to live outside their shells. Some say it is the radiation, others say the pizza, but either way they are truly turtles on the half-shell. This turtle fixation fades away in exchange for some silly ‘enlightenment/discovering yourself’ mediation stuff. Sure it is great to find enlightenment in the highest realms. Children can find it in mass-produced cartoons. Which group has it easier?
It ends like all good romances do: on acid communicating telepathically. This is the beauty of being young. Ashley reaches the end in a wonderful way, back at home with her surroundings and those she cares about.