The wedding had been wonderful. Things have quieted down now, but Graham's brother is still in the country, so the brothers are out strolling. Graham is 40 and Prateesh is 38, but it feels like it used to. Life, thus far, has been hard, but sublime moments like these wrap from edge to edge, and make meaning of it all.
After four years of plagues of autonomous cabs clogging the city's arteries, city hall had introduced unoccupied vehicle congestion charges, and they had worked. It was a fresh sight, to see an empty road and a lone parked cab, and something about this sight jogged Graham's memories.
Graham asks his younger brother, “Do you remember the... tunnel, that we found?”
“There was an archeological dig, near the farm, do you remember that?”
“Ohh, the dig. I may remember that.”
“We were so curious about it that we were mad. So one evening once most of the diggers had retired, the sun was setting, I snuck in. I was walking through a sort of ditch, I came across a big black sphere, taller than me, still mostly burried. It looked a bit like a giant upturned black pot, but it was a little too shiny, and I looked closer, and in the twilight I could see that it was glass, I could see through it, and in the interior there was nothing, it was dark in tere so I couldn't see the back, but for all I knew it just stretched on into the earth and there could have been anything in there. I ran home.”
“Right. I remember that. Then we went again. But it was dark, so we couldn't see inside it.”
“And the next day it had been removed from the dig site.”
“I wonder what that thing was.”
“Unidentified Buried Object. UBO.”
Graham elaborated: “That was glass, really, really old glass, but it was tough, like glass from a car window. People couldn't make glass like that in ancient Odisha. So what was that?”
The younger brother looked furtively towards the parked cab. The elder brother turned to look as well. The cab crouched as innocently as it could as its black glass dome gleamed in the setting sun. A tension settled upon the two.
They didn't speak of it again, before the younger brother returned to Kolkata, and Graham returned to Long Beach, but the cabs were ubiquitous, he could not ecape the thought of this "UBO", and a recognition took hold of him. When a child sees something, they assume that it is normal, that it is part of their world. Only in retrospect do they start to realize that some of the things they remember were not supposed to have happened.