As Time Goes By
By Jeff Baker
“C’mere, soldier boy,” the man in the blue t-shirt said pulling him closer on the bench.
“Been waiting for this all day,” said the man in the fatigues.
They kissed and kissed again. There was a roar of applause from the crowd.
“It looks like a near-unanimous decision,” said the man on the side of the stage. “The two of you are this year’s winners and, may I say, very convincing.” The crowd applauded again as the two men stood up and bowed.
“This turned out better than the first time I entered,” the man in the blue t-shirt said as they collected their prize.
“When was that?” asked the man in the fatigues.
“About three-thousand years ago,” said the man in the blue t-shirt. “Amazing to think that millennia ago people like this,” he glanced down at himself, “they really felt affection for one another.”
“And reproduced,” the man in the fatigues said. “Don’t forget reproduction.”
“Yes, after kissing, one of us would become pregnant,” the man in the blue t-shirt said.
“It all sounds so awkward,” the man in the fatigues said. The other nodded.
The two of them collected their prize and began to walk towards their respective homes.
“I’ll call you,” the man in fatigues said.
“Yes. I’ll call you,” the man in the blue t-shirt replied.
It had been over a hundred thousand years since anyone on Earth remembered what those archaic phrases, now said reflexively, had meant.