Lila Seinfeld had relied on her electric boat’s autopilot to find the correct location. She had done this before several times that it was committed to memory: latitude 40.963 and longitude -72.185. Lila sat in the captain’s chair of the rented fishing rig which she had reserved a week before at the Hartford Harbor Marina. Hartford, Connecticut was one of the most active sea ports with a large bay and deep water, not to mention that several rail lines intersected at Hartford.
But today, Lila was going way out to sea to lay a wreathe over where her grandfather’s estate and gravesite were, buried 63 feet below the surface of the water. She first came to this spot ten years ago on a scuba trip to examine the former beachfront house on a street once called Further Lane in a town once called East Hampton. Her grandfather, Jerry Seinfeld, had unexpectedly died before Greenland melted and so never knew what was to be.
When the ice started to melt in 2038, it took only seven years for the whole process to run its course. Of course, no one knew that it was going to be only seven years of rising oceans and lost land, and so panic set in, people moving to high places, mountain cities sprouting over night. The Catskills of New York, the Rockies of Colorado, the Sierra Nevadas of California, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, not to mention any high ground inland. But things have settled down. No more ice was melting and hadn’t since 2045.
It was now 2091 and the planet was settling into a new golden age. People were adjusting to the new environment, both physical and economic, and this was due to several factors, including the widespread use of hydrogen energy, an unlimited energy source, the stability of the earth’s weather, the sinking of most of the Middle East under water, all of which seemed to feed into a sense of peace. The big ice melt also had a tendency to bring the world’s myriad cultures together to try to save the planet. The first century of the new millennium was a tough century, starting off real bad and getting worse for a good sixty years. But now just nine years shy of 2100, the planet was at peace.
Except Lila Seinfeld was not happy. Congress had finally passed legislation that federalized all property under water that was formerly above water. So title to her grandfather’s East Hampton estate was now clearly not in Lila Seinfeld’s name. This included any personal property that might be under water, though this matter was moot since underwater looters had already cleaned out all the formerly great estates and towns and cities. But it did spawn a whole new industry of underwater salvage, and her father, Jerry Seinfeld’s son, had the foresight to not only invest in the salvage business but also to utilize his salvage investments to rescue most of everything in East Hampton. Except for one thing. His father’s grave.
Jerry Seinfeld was very specific about where he was to be buried, and though he had spent most of his time in Maine, considered now in the later part of this first century to be one of the most beautiful regions in the world, Jerry wanted to be buried on his estate in East Hampton. He died at the age of 74 in 2028 from a brain aneurism that developed as he hiked up Mount Katahdin in Maine. He made it all the way to the summit and then dropped dead. It was seen as a sign, confirming to many that Maine was a spiritual place. His body though was whisked away and buried according to Jewish law as fast possible, with a small ceremony in East Hampton. That was 63 years ago, way before Lila was born.
But Lila had inherited much of the Seinfeld fortune through her father, and she felt a debt of gratitude and wonder at the source of it all. Lila had watched all the ’short movies’ her grandfather made, the old television series, and she had often wondered how someone could become so wealthy based on what she considered minor entertainments. But Lila was not about to question the source of her good fortune. Her grandfather was careful to invest, as well as her father, and so the fortune grew and grew, permitting Lila to own real estate in Hartford, one of the most expensive cities in the world, as well as Maine and a Montana ranch that was at a 4,000 foot elevation. Indeed, most real estate was still advertised by elevation, due to the formerly rising sea levels.
The GPS device in the boat’s autopilot started to buzz and the electric engine shut down. Lila had arrived at the spot directly above her grandfather’s grave. Her father had not salvaged the coffin because he thought it violated Jewish law. Lila did not know one way or another, but she knew that she was doing the right thing now. She picked up the sealed metal box which contained dried red roses and dropped it into the water. It sunk immediately.
“Thank you,” said Lila to herself.
Lila Seinfeld then turned the boat’s autopilot off, cranked up the electric engines and headed back to Hartford. It was a beautiful sunny day, and the water was glistening with blue sparkles.