In the summer of 2057 a nineteen-year-old Joaquin Magdellin had chased a whim and a peroxide blonde down a stretch of WestAsian coastline. After five days without a word his over-anxious parents contacted the police. For weeks their plight headlined internet dailies and six AsiaNational television channels. But if Joaquin had been remiss in advising his family of his plans, he had not forgotten to tell Harry, phoning her collect from a cut-rate backpacker hostel in Bombay.
‘Missing your legs, baby,’ he’d slurred into the vidphone, sunburnt and cheerful. ‘These Indians are a fucken riot. Want me to bring you back a cheap carpet?’
He called her again in 2060 before embarking on a four month lone odyssey through barely-charted bushlands--a journey to find himself, he explained. Self-awareness, SouthAsian style. He sent her a series of postcards via vidphone, posing barechested and openhearted against backdrops of ghost-tree gullies and featureless plains of red sand; she watched him clamber up razor-back ridges and down dunes from the comfort of her living room.