I hear the jingle of Luna’s dog tags banging together and the scratching of her nails on the wooden floor as she runs through my small studio apartment and pushes open the door to my room with her nose. I pull down the covers and roll over just in time to see her jump on the foot of my bed. Dropping the paper down on my pillow, she licks my face asking me to wake up and then lies down right next to me waiting for her morning belly rub.
“Who’s a good girl,” I whisper in my Luna-specific voice as I scratch her fluffy stomach until she starts to kick.
Immediately looking towards the paper on the other side, I open today’s edition of The New York Times: December 5th, 2025. Like everyone else in New York City, I always start my morning reading the paper, since it is the easiest and cheapest way to get the news from home. Scanning today’s headlines, I quickly get lost in the front page piece “NYC Announces Opening of New Public Cyber Center in Times Square.” I know that building a new center has been debated for a while, but I’m surprised to see it moving along so quickly. NYC has not put in a new Cyber Center for the past 10 years, so everyone is under the impression that the ten centers currently in Manhattan are all anyone wants. After all, why would we need to be able to access the internet anywhere else?
It isn’t until my sixth alarm of the morning goes off from the digital clock on the wall that I realize how long I have been stalling; it is already 8:25. I quickly flip the paper over to the last page to check today’s weather report and mentally put together an outfit that would help me fight off NYC’s winter tundra.
“I can’t be late today,” I say to Luna as I jump out of bed.
Running out the door, I yell for my neighbor to hold the elevator and hop into the crowded car. I pull out my headphones and plug them into my portable Cyber Drive. I just bought the newest model, the Cyber Drive Z5, and I am so excited to show it off. All I have to do is connect it to one of the terminals at the Cyber Center and I can download music or videos to use anywhere. When I want new content, I just have to go back to the Cyber Center and switch out what I have for something new.
As soon as I step out of the elevator I hear my cell phone ring and scramble to find it in my purse. I barely ever call anyone besides on my landline at home or my phone at work, so I am never able to find it. The technology has barely been updated since the first portable flip phone came out in 1996 and I still constantly forget how to work it.
“Got it!” I yell to a sea of strangers in the lobby of my building as if any of them are listening.
“Hi, is this Becky?” asks a woman’s voice that I do not recognize.
“Yes, this is her. May I ask who’s calling?” I respond.
I see my doorman waving at me aggressively out of the corner of my eye and turn around to see him pointing at the “No Electronics” sign hung above his desk. I apologize and quickly move outside, I always get mad when people break that rule.
“This is Chelsea calling from the main office of the Cyber Center in Chelsea,” the mystery woman on the phone says. “I found your Cyber Card stuck in one of the Cyber Terminals and figured you may have left it here by mistake last night.”
“Oh my god, thank you!” I say. “I had no idea I left it there, you just saved me a freak out later. Would I be able to swing by and pick it up now on my way to work?”
“Yes, of course!” She replies. “My office is on the top floor of the center, feel free to stop by whenever you can, I’m sure you need it to get Cyber access today.”
Follow me to the Cyber Center! Click here.