The Edge ~ Céline, de cinq à sept

To the edge (di George Christakis) Diary of Céline Jeurève, February 12, 2048

Charles: how I miss him this maverick husband of mine, he who sends me those erotic little messages that never fail to affect me (in a sweet way)! He has to be away when I am getting more and more anxious – is this how I feel? – about our friend Monica. What are her intentions? Indeed what are Charles’ intentions? Am I becoming paranoid? Is this what the absence of the object of desire does to the ageing woman? Smiling to myself writing this “ageing woman”…

Well, maybe thirty years ago, but not now! Ah the marvel of medicine!

Charles’ last message, when was it? This morning at about three my time! Fortunately I muted the pad so I found those soft words of him at breakfast time, a couple hours later. He said Kyoto was cold, and estimated his return this coming weekend. I want him. Badly.

London, where I was yesterday, is drenched, the whole island is sinking, metaphorically for now, into the sea. Despite the gigantic efforts to control the planet temperature, over the last thirty years, this maybe where our science hits a solid wall, and, this time, not of our own making. Human activities we have now got under control, a development of a mere couple of decades, mind you, and that took a few disasters and a lot of tough work (as well as the disappearance, real this time, of a few “dinosaurs” on the right of Gengis Khan)… But planet engineering still escapes us, redirecting sunlight, recovering the deserts, all this is moving forward but at a slow, far too slow, pace. In the meantime we will soon be mining Mars…

I am lecturing at the Sorbonne, dear old lady, this morning. Will continue tonight. Writing is good for the soul.

Message from Charles Jeurève to his wife Céline, February 13, six am, Tokyo time

The conference went extremely well. It looks as if preparatory work for a formal protocol between the Federation and the Pacific Alliance should start soon. The North-American Union will have an observer too. I confirm my return this Saturday, not sure of the time yet, the shuttles are very busy, and I am privileged to be booked on one of the official European Federation special flights. Still working on the Azymuth article. I miss you too, and no, I do not lust after anyone else, silly girl. Consider yourself well, better than well, loved, by me.

Transcript of video call from Monica Ross to Céline Jeurève, February 14, seven am, Johannesburg

– … I’ll be back to Milan tomorrow early evening… 

Okay, staying there or?

– At least for a day, stuff to reconcile with the local office, but when are you free?

– Charles only coming back on Saturday, don’t know when yet…

– Do you mind if I land on you earlier?

– Of course not, I’m still lecturing today but will finish early – call me when you know will you?

– O yes, I am so pleased, kisses…

– Take care Monica, kiss.

Image: Copyright All rights reserved by George Christakis

The Edge ~ a call from Kyoto

Silver dress Message from Charles to Céline Jeurève, dated February 10, 2048, from Kyoto

C: I am glad we could link up this weekend – and sorry again I had to rush out to Japan at such short notice. I did not expect Azymuth to send me here, rather than one their usual custodian hacks for such events. But the Pan-Pacific conference is a moving event, with the recent invitation to the BRICS Federation! I think they want me to do a touch of forecasting on what will come next between them and the Pacific Alliance around key people interviews. The word on the street is that Japan is keen on a “rapprochement”…

Have you heard from Monica? Her last call before I flew out here was a bit desperate, she said to be just fed up with the pressure on her from her present contract with the South-African Fashion Consortium: big money comes with tall expectations she said. Can you give her a call, or a swift mail, and reassure her? Of course she will be welcome week after next if she wants a break and a change from J’burg! She’s still in Milan for a few days.

Kisses & more ;-P

Transcript of video call between Charles and Céline (February 10, 2048, 10pm Tokyo time)

– Charles you’re a charmer… So you went to the Manga museum!…

– Yep a bit of relaxation before the interviews – by the way did you know that the likely commander of the Mars mission is rumoured to be Sandra N’gebî, of the SA Air Force?

– Saw her pic in today’s news, she’s the youngest Air Force general in the federation apparently. Doctorate from Pretoria Technology Institute, studied space navigation in Shanghai and Mumbai, flies her own reconstructed F 15, for fun!

– Have to rush my love – the conference press room is at the Gosho – got my pack yesterday…

– Take care Don Juan, my special – consider yourself well…

– Aw… now… my turn… nice lil’ number you wearing…

– Steady now!

Email from Monica to Céline Jeurève, dated February 10, 2048, from Milan

Taking five secs to write, week was hectic. I love the SA people but they are tough masters, or I should say Mistresses given that both my bosses are female! The SAFC is on the up and up – have great expansion plans through the BRICS and North America. Am missing you and Charles very much, want to have time again with you two. Am off to SA before back in London week later. I hope you loved the pics. I liked the silver dress, thought of you… ❤

PS is Azymuth the same mag that published Charles’ short story last year?

Message from Céline Jeurève to her husband Charles, dated February 10, 2048, marked “late before bed”

Got word from M. Yes she’s keen. Is she keen on “us”, “you”, or “me” – or all at the same time?! She’s lovely. You saw the movie of the catwalk, they went nuts… Reminded me of that moment in Glamorama when Chloe and Victor go on stage… ‘Xcept there is no Victor as far as I can see: do you know?

Btw she remembered your story in Azymuth! When are you back, feel already itchy…? Forensic sucks. Strange how a science can attain its apogee when its use is near rock bottom!

Saw another portrait of Sandra-F15-N to nite on the newsreel. She’s stunning, currently in Moscow. Another video from the Gosho tomorrow? Please… Surprise for you if we do…

Narrator’s historical note

The reference to the Pacific Alliance in Charles’ message is interesting. Following the World Peace Conferences in the early ’30s, after the disastrous decade that preceded, and in response to the formation of the BRICS Federation, the (other) Pacific nations attempted to develop a similar structure, with Japan, the Philippines and the Australia-New Zealand Confederation at its core. The result is still evolving, slowly, due in part to anxiety on the part of the North-American Union.  The invite to Charles to attend the Pan Pacific conference, from the Azymuth magazine (a spin-off from the European Federation’s Press Academy think-tank) may be due to his early articles and short stories on the “origins of the East Asian consensus”.

#AtoZChallenge: April 11, 2013 ~ Japan

Byôdô-in When I was a very young man, a boy still really, I imagined Japan as a beautiful and mysterious – hence unattainable – woman.  For at that age, one looks at countries one has not visited, let alone lived in, as one does those unfathomable creatures of the opposite gender, with a sense of wonder.

Assiduously I frequented the local dojo, which was run by the departmental GPO, in that far away antiquity before those marvellous public organisations were “privatised”, that is plundered, and perfected my throws.

I thought of the 1,800 islands Japan is made of, learnt about the Way of the Warrior –  the Bushido – admired films of kids of my age practising Kendo the way we kicked the ball at my school.  Then I learnt about the long history of a sea-faring and proud people who kept their country closed to the rest of the world for centuries. I learnt about the Tsunamis,  Mount Fuji, the bombs, the geography. I dreamed of Shikoku, the island of the 88 temples, of the mysteries of Kyoto, the imperial city, of the hero-Samurais, Oda Nobunaga, Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Tokugawa Ieyasu, of the art and magic of the swordsmiths.  I even considered buying myself a Katana…

Katana Then I learned about Seppuku, read Mishima.  One of my judo coaches was a Vietnamese expert who had studied at the Kodokan: I resolved to go there, sometime.

Much later I discovered Haruki Murakami who wrote – still writes – like a Westerner with the elegance and poetry of his country.  And I fell in love – metaphorically – with Naoko (Norwegian Wood), Miss Saeki (Kafka on the Shore) and Naomame (1Q84)…

Japan is the third largest world economy by GDP, and the sixth military power by budget.  After Singapore she has the lowest homicide rate in the world.

Next year – 2014, or 1Q84 plus 30 years – Gorgeous and I are going to Japan, and she said she would come with me to the Kodokan, provided I visited the 88 temples of Shikoku with her, which I promised.  We will look for the second moon.