Discover more from Lou Reed's Nephew
E14. The Dream of Lou Reed's Nephew
“We had completely solved the environmental problem."
A few days later, as I undid the frosted plastic doors on my rented cube, I was surprised to turn and see Lou Reed’s Nephew sprawled on the floor of his enclosure. Seeing no blood and detecting a half-stifled snore, I set up my laptop and checked my email before attempting to wake him. He came to readily, a wide smile on his face, confounding expectations as usual.
“Rough night?” I asked.
“Not at all,” he replied. “I had the most amazing dream.”
He rubbed his face roughly with both hands and dragged himself into his chair.
“Tell me about it,” I said, knowing such encouragement came with a certain amount of risk. The workday flew by quickly once Lou Reed’s Nephew got started.
“We had completely solved the environmental problem,” he said, snapping his fingers. “Just like that.”
“It was amazing,” he agreed. “I’m not sure how we did it exactly. You know how irresponsible dreams are. Anti-matter or something. But all the things we release into the environment—or had ever released into the environment, from hydrofluorocarbons to iPhone batteries—could suddenly be zapped away. Poof! Our problems were solved.”
“No, not even war.” Lou Reed’s Nephew said, impatiently. “Our souls remained completely intact. This is science, not witchcraft.”
“I thought it was a dream.”
He pinned me with a look before continuing.
“In any case, we no longer had to worry about over-consumption or pollution. Everything—from cars to garbage disposals—were equipped with little anti-matter dynamos that gobbled up our waste as quickly as we created it.”
“That’s quite a beautiful dream,” I said. “And the economic benefits I can imagine ...”
“Oh, it was disastrous for the economy,” Lou Reed’s Nephew said.
“I don’t understand,” I said, although I was starting to.
“Electric cars,” he began. “Recycling, upcycling, locavorism, artisanal everything, benefit concerts, Earth Day, Al Gore. All on the skids.”
“Craft fairs. Those teenagers with clipboards who attack you on the street.”
“Imagine never attending another flea market or seeing another piece of jewelry made of typewriter keys.”
“Imagine all the people, living for today?” I suggested.
“Exactly,” Lou Reed’s Nephew said, spinning himself in his chair. “You might be an artist after all. Or at least a poet.”