First Day

It had been an unusually peaceful night. Billy Bump had slept like a baby. In fact he could not remember waking up one time from the time that he lay his head on his new Polar Nights Ultimate 20% cooler pillow! Billy was accustomed to waking up every hour on the hours since he had turned 60. He reflected on his youth when he slept the sleep of the dead for as long as 10 to 12 hours and that the night was just a momentary interlude between 2 days. As he arose from his bed he marveled that he had no arthritis pain or discomfort. He noted that the turmeric must be working… Billy knew that he must scurry as he and his best friend, Carl, had a 9:00A:M: meeting at the university and he did not want to be late. Brody stood next to him as he shaved and then suddenly jumped on to his bed…in one graceful leap. Billy wondered if Brody had been dipping into the turmeric?

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Carl was in his usual good spirits. He had prepared his part of the presentation to the new chancellor and was cracking his usual mildly funny jokes. As Carl quipped, ‘how many university administrators does it take to change a lightbulb,’ and Billy asked how many…to which Carl replied, ‘one chancellor or 10 assistant chancellors!’ Billy asked Carl where his glasses were and Carl replied that he had forgotten them but that he was seeing fine. Now Billy had been friends with Carl for over 50 years…since the 1st grade…and Carl had always worn glasses with coke bottle lenses…

Playing on the wall mounted television in the corner of the university conference room was a totally grey haired president Obama. Billy did a double take as he knew that when he went to bed last night Donald Trump was the president of the United States and he had just concluded the Republican National Convention with a 71 minute speech…which was the second longest speech ever given after his acceptance speech four years ago in 2016. Billy asked Carl what was going on. Carl insisted that he did not know what he was talking about as president Obama was in his 3rd term as president after the 22nd amendment had been changed.

Billy wondered if he was dreaming. He knew that he had slept well…but where did he wake up. Carl laughed and remarked that perhaps Billy had consumed more Dirty Martinis than his usual quota of two! Billy reflected on his getting into his Honda earlier that morning and that it was red and his Camry, sitting next to the Honda in this two car garage, was white…just the opposite of what they had been yesterday.

Carl asked Billy if he had seen the fall enrollment figures for SIUC and Billy said that he did not realize that they were already published. Carl responded that they were just over thirty- thousand students on the Carbondale Campus and the chancellor had announced that additional dormitories would have to be built to house the addition of five thousand students enrolling in all disciplines, but especially the premed program. Since the the 2020 pandemic there had been a tidal wave of students enrolling in all forms of science and medicine to enlist, as in the armed services, against the danger of another virus! Billy protested that it was still 2020 and Donald Trump was the president and that we were in the midst of covid-19! ‘Oh no,’ Carl replied…it is 2030 and Donald Trump is living in Russia…under house arrest. The coronavirus had finally taken over 3 million American lives and had changed many elements of society. Face masks are still a requirement when you leave your home as is daily testing for new strains of the illness. President Obama had agreed to come out of his long retirement in 2028 after the second civil war had bought the country to its knees! After 8 years of the Trump presidency and his America first agenda…most of our allies had decide to leave us alone and allow us to fin for ourselves.

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Billy…suddenly woke-up! There was Brody…barely able to stand and looking forlorn. Billy wondered if what he had just experienced had been a dream…or was he dreaming now… Was a Reality Television star really the president of the United States… He looked outside his bedroom window at the large blue orb sitting in the eastern sky…

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