Photograph of a Tangerine

For a moment, the tangerine was a metaphor in his hand, but by the time he began peeling it, the thought had left him voided of any sense of the internal world’s expressive meaning associated with the fruit.

The wrinkles in his forehead had intensified their ridges. Mere seconds had passed. Whatever it was, it had been powerful.

The investigation sat crisply in the foreground, in shallow focus while the slices of tangerine disappeared into the bokeh of his mouth. When he gave up, he had gained nothing but the citric stickiness on his hand and the faint aftertaste of what he’d just consumed on his tastebuds.

The healthy treat seemed to have vanished. An existential waste. He stomped to the kitchen sink to wash his hands, and he vowed never to eat another tangerine until he could remember the metaphor.

50 years later, on his hover-death-bed, he said, “Eureka: I have it!”

But he didn’t really have it. He just wanted to taste one last tangerine. So he did. It was great! But then he died, and his hover-children were like, “Gross. Dead dad.”

The eldest hover-son took a stereoscopic “3D” photo with his EyePhone contact lenses, squinted a retro filter on to it that made his father’s corpse look orange with a reddish haze, and then left-winked it onto Facebook below a frowny face caption. He double-blinked several times within the first minute, refreshing his timeline and relishing the anxiety that came with waiting to see the first red notification symbol, waiting for the second and the third, waiting to see just how many Likes of condolence it would earn.

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