Sci-fi meets absurdism meets philosophy.
|She was a thing of beauty. Also, quite the freak.
Although we were well-intentioned, often recycling-our-little-hearts-out to control our love of plastics, Tippy happened.
Nature always found a way. And nature found Tippy. Or made Tippy. Evolved with her, I suppose.
It was a swarm of white-smocked doctors and scientists who nicknamed her, short for Tipping Point. She was evolution in motion. She was the exact moment when our love for those dreamily helpful plastic bags, those ever-quenching water bottles, our love for all things plastic, finally fused with nature to become a new thing.
This half plastic, half plasma, eery looking thing was born of normal human parents. Tippy was two, and the scientific community was just announcing her existence to the world. Her local doctor discovered something was wrong right away. He was struck at once with her haunted-looking appearance. Her eyes were big, but with a shiny, slightly vacant look. She was stiffer than other babies and had a vaguely waxy-like appearance. Her blood tests were completely abnormal, but no one could pinpoint exactly why. Word spread through the scientific community about this unusual child. After a multitude of tests the answer became clear. A genetic mutation occurred, and this child’s cells were moleculerly modified to accept and thrive with microscopic plastics.
But how had this happened? Yes, our landfills were now mountains of plastic. Our lakes, rivers and oceans were bathed in plastics. The whole of Earth was a swarm of people and plastic. But how did it get into the structure of this child’s DNA?
The answer was clear. Microscopic amounts of plastic seeped out of those bags, bottles, even out of our laundry washes, filled with spandex, microfiber, polyester (all essentially plastics) and into the water and wildlife and even the dirt that made up the Earth. This happened enough that eventually a genetic "defect" occured. That tiny defect created a cascading effect that allowed microscopic plastics to bind with her cells. Somehow, this became a new life, and this new life grew and became Tippy. Her name was Andrea, but Tippy somehow stuck.
Tippy begged the questions, big and small. There were the simple questions of how to help Tippy grow up safe and healthy. Some of these answers were gained from observing simple plastic dolls. Don’t allow siblings to pull her around, as her arm could pop out of its socket.. Keep scissors out of reach, her nylon-like hair caused an almost itchy-like urge to chop off all her hair. Keep her in a well-lit or completely dark environments, as she was beautiful, but so waxy and vacant looking in dim light that it could give other children nightmares. And the heeby jeebies, even to adults.
But there were the bigger questions. Since there was no stopping the avalanche of plastics, what should we do? Should we learn to adapt, taking our cue from Tippy? Or keep trying, probably in vain, to stop our love affair with plastics?
As the scientists argued back and forth, Tippy grew, thrived even. Nature rolled on. It was probably nature’s question to answer anyway.