Rita Walker (Blog Sixteen): By Dan Watt and Taylor Norris
Both nature and technology follow the circle of life. A river that flows is alive and healthy but block off the flow and it stagnates. Forget to fill a car up with gas or keep up the oil and other liquids and the gears rust and it eventually refuses to work anymore. Everything is breaking down and building up constantly. What happens to our bodily fluids is no different.
She stares up at the classroom. Her heart pounding as she sees Marlo calmly staring back at her. Later she’ll need to talk to him about visiting Kanetic Reusable Batteries with his help. To Rita’s surprise a girl much shorter than Marlo with long brunette hair and wearing glasses with a metal frame is sitting beside him. The girl’s innocent face is confusing considering her aura is metallic grey. “Hi,” she says to the new girl. “Welcome to the class and could you tell everyone your name?”
“Kanayago,” the girl replies with a sweet voice.
Rita is dumbfounded. “Do you know the meaning behind that name?”
“Yes. My parents told me they found me in a crib at the doorstep when they first moved to Canada from the Chūgoku Mountains in Japan.”
“They named you Kanayago?”
“No. The name was written in Hiragana syllabary on a gold anklet they found around my left ankle. Since I do not look Japanese my parents told me they were confused at first but accepted that it was the mythical Kirin that delivered me to their doorstep.”
Rita shakes her head. Her bias suggested the child of Kaneki would be obtuse and the least likely to join her class.
“Today’s lecture,” she begins with a shaky voice, “is about biosolids. It’s important in this class to remember we want to know where a product starts and where it finishes. So we’re going to talk about how poop and urine is turned into biosolids. We eat and drink, go to the bathroom and our waste–and let’s put waste between quotation marks–goes to sewage plants. Then what?” Rita stops talking and gazes across the room at all the students. They all look confused, even Marlo.
“The excrement and urine or waste goes through many processes to change it into biosolids. The biosolids are used on farms to help grow food.” She sees that all the students have disgusted looks on their faces. “Everything needs to be reused or recyclable with as little greenhouse gas emission as possible. The biosolids are anaerobically or aerobically digested before they are used for growing food. Think of a leaf. It grows on the tree in the spring; helps gather sunlight and rainwater in summer, and falls off in the autumn. Over the winter the fallen leaves give protection to plant beds and insects. In the spring when thaw arrives the leaves break down and become soil.”
Marlo’s hand shoots up.
“Yes,” Rita asks trying not to stare intensely at him.
“Like cleaning out a gutter. If the leaves remain from autumn to spring you’ll be cleaning out dirt instead of leaves.”
“Correct. Thank you Marlo.” She knows her eyes say I’ll meet you later but she hopes he’s the only one who notices. “I want you to study up on biosolids and how each and everyone one of us can make this an easier process.”
Later in the day Rita goes to Moonshadows Metaphysical Shop near Mt Hope Cemetery to pick up a Haida made whale talisman. But she knows the owner and opens the door to the house instead of the shop. Rita halts in the front of the hall. Inside sitting half way up on a carpeted stairway is the girl Kanayago where she’s reading a book. Rita immediately notices the metal framed glasses and the silver ankh charm that sits against her chest held their by a silver necklace. Kanayago seems absorbed in the book about nanotechnology.
Remembering this is a child of Kaneki and that she must tread carefully with this one Rita diligently steps back outside and gently closes the front door.