No, seriously.  We live in the goddamn future.  I was driving down I-4 on Saturday: I saw a Cube (you guys know what a Cube is, right?) that had a vanity plate, saying “YAOI QBE.” I am not making this up.

What I did, in fact, make up, was a happy little story to myself about who was in that car, and why, and what they do both for a living and for fun.  I imagined a passle (yes, a passel, and I’m going to spell it two different ways because I like both of them and I’m channeling my inner Ben Franklin today) of giggling twenty-somethings in their treasured YAOI QBE, headed for the coast to spend a couple of days with their perfectly painted toenails wiggling in the sand, occasionally taking a dip in hurricane-season waves and yelling to pretty boys (always technically legal, of course) about just how pretty they were, and how much more fun life could be if they’d just be a little… adventurous.  Girls old enough to feel a little jaded and a little worldly, feeling much older than they really are, like sirens of vice and licentiousness, luring young men into a world of activities only brushing elbows with the acceptable norms of our society.

Why, you ask, would I write this whole little melodrama in my head about their intrigues with and against each other, their frames of reference, their sameness and alienness? Because YAOI QBE is more a future car even than my much-treasured, much-abused Jetsonmobile (a lowly little Honda Insight) – it carries people who, in the past, would have no knowledge of such casual parlance without having been to Japan, and certainly, if they did know its meaning, would not have advertised it so publicly, for fear of the repercussions and social censure that might bring.  They could not have driven a zippy, efficient little car down the highway at zippy, efficient little speeds – travelling tens or hundreds (or, conceivably, thousands) of miles to achieve their destination, using paper or plastic to exchange the dream of money for the goods they need on the way.  Now they have access to untold terabytes of information, from anywhere in the world (and places millions of miles beyond it, thanks to satellite data made publicly available), as they sit comfortably in their future car, zipping down the road towards some unknown place.  They can learn languages, adopt accents, internalize the local habits of peoples previously unknown to them – without ever having set foot in a place before.

And before you completely discount my moment of wonder, boggle with me: you knew what YAOI QBE meant when you read it, very probably.  And even if you didn’t, you had, somewhere in your mind, the absolute certainty that a few seconds’ search would tell you.  Boggle with me at that, and live with me in wonder at the future for just a moment.  It’s a good feeling, wonderment.  It gives you a moment to feel light and amazed and amused and… surprisingly free.

I am going to boggle, today.  That’s my plan.  I have spent too much time focused on the tedium of making things work, or mourning things and people and ideals that I knew better than to believe in in the first place.  It is time for a little wonderment, because we live in the future, and it’s not such a bad place to be.