She woke up. Her eyes met her sheets, pulled over her head to block the digitals. Her sheets were digitized, of course, as well. But their pattern was mellower. No Doz and SleepWell tablets were major sponsors of the linen manufacturers, and ENLarge was also there, not to mention Lubrific, and Tide and Tied-Up and Downy--but all these logos were in small-font-low-wattage form, not like the verts on her ceiling. A decade ago, when verts had picked up all her utility costs, she'd been pleased. But that was back in her first dark apartment (remember dark?), and now only the richest private citizens could afford to have a semi-blackout during the night. Forget days--they'd become a non-negotiable since verts took control of congress this last election. She supposed the constant barrage was okay, that she could turn the switch off somewhere inside of her--though she didn't know where--because supposing otherwise was to invite insanity. She wasn't about to do that, not quite yet.
She was an artist, and her name was Tree. It was a blue collar name her parents had chosen for its evocation of status... last century it would have been Diamond or Tiffany or Krystal, but now it was the organic stuff that cost. Her little brother had been Algae, but he'd changed it to Chip when he'd gone to college-- the blooms all but perished from the oceans, he'd felt the name depressing and backward-looking as well as indicative of the poverty they'd grown up in: a single car, a single home, a shared computer. It was downright amazing that they'd made it out of their slumurban compound and back into the city at all.