I see him sprawled out on my couch drinking a small cup of tea. I watch him take a sip of the hot liquid. He stares at the hologram projected over the coffee table without really seeing it. He sighs and taps the cup with his finger, tea turns to hot toddy. He drains the cup. Before he decides what to do with the empty vessel a netjeri arrives to take it from him.
He gets up and paces around the projection. “These cracks, I can’t fix them,” he says.
“I know,” I reply. “We talked about this.”
“This area here,” he points, “is now repellant to that one. Like a magnet that has switched sides. I don’t know how they even got along in the first place.”
“I don’t think they ever did. Outside pressures held them together. Remove that pressure and the crack appears.”
He swore. “It used to work,” he says meekly while biting his index finger.
“You need to let it go. You’re trying to fix a has-been. Let Wesir have it. It’s his now.”
He nods, but he still doesn’t look happy.
“You don’t need it. We talked about this. It was part of you for a long time, but it doesn’t define you now. Wesir explained all this. It’s not for you to cling to the past.”
The projection changes, from a broken concrete slab to a network of stars. “This is what we have now,” he says. “It seems so delicate, so small.”
“Seeds always start out small.”
“What if it doesn’t-”
“Plant a new one.”
He sighs again.
“I can work with this,” he says finally.
“You better, because we just tried selling the idea to Ra earlier today, and it’s hard to sell any plan that doesn’t place him firmly at the top.”
“No one is at the top.”
“Like one of your mother’s nets, each node holds its place. It is strong, and it will catch a lot of fish, enough to feed you all.”
“We can do this.” The projection changes again to an empty tai chi studio, and then to a desk littered with dusty craft supplies. “Enough about me, what about you?”
I sigh loudly, and a cup of Irish hot cocoa appears in my hand.
Note: Our conversations tend to consist of images and feelings with a few words thrown in to clarify ideas. For the sake of writing it down, I did a lot of translating.