Robin de Voh
writer, developer, nerd

Nanoprep 2018 Day 4: Everything is Great!

By Robin de Voh on 2018-10-04

"Oh, hi! Everything is fine. Life's pretty good, actually. I got my second promotion this year, now I'm Senior Middle Vice President of Directorial Assistance. This year has been great. Just the best.

I moved into my new apartment, which is 5% bigger than the last one. Provided by the state, of course, as all homes are nowadays. Man, I'm glad the old days of having to battle for wages to afford a decent house are over. Now, you just receive an appropriate house for the level of work you're doing and that's it! No surprises, no hassle and definitely no worries. It's seriously perfect.

Health insurance -- hell, all kinds of insurance -- are arranged through the state for your benefit! You don't arrange anything, but you get all the benefits anyway. Sure, we pay a lot in taxes -- 70% over all income -- but whatever's left is truly yours to do with as you please. Well, most of it. There's a small fee that we pay for... Actually, never mind. It's not a big deal, because it's really fair!

Even relationships are state-arranged if needed. In my case, it was, but the girl I met was the most agreeable person I had ever gone on a date with. We hadn't known each other, but after a few emails and a drink, we signed the contracts and we've been very happy ever since. That was 5 years ago and we've got a kid on the way. A boy, would you believe it? I'm so happy about that.

Well, maybe I would have preferred a girl. I'm pretty sure I would have, actually. I don't know why, it's an emotional thing I guess, but I've also considered that I would have preferred not to know the gender just yet. But it's state-mandated to find out, so they can start her life trajectory in advance. We wouldn't want her to come into this world unprepared -- no career path chosen before she starts school, no pre-emptive surgeries or medications so she's born without complications. Wouldn't want that!

But it does make me wonder what it was like in the old days, when often enough people just didn't know. When the government didn't interfere in... No, not interfere, that's too negative! When the government didn't help out before birth. Did people just guess? See how things panned out over time and then decide? What if the wrong choices were made and they didn't prepare well enough?

What a way to live... So unprepared. But I have to admit there's an amount of wonder in it that I find myself jealous about. I haven't been surprised in a long time. Actually, I'd say surprise is a bit of a bad word around here nowadays.

I hear stories about other countries, where they still do it the old way. Where random chance and opportunity are still a thing. Here, everything's arranged in advance. We know exactly what'll happen at any given point.

It takes a lot of worry away, a lot of responsibility you don't have to, well, be responsible for.

The chance to mess up your life is limited so much that most people just succeed. Promotions here and there, bigger apartments, new and exciting relationships. Of course, over the 5 years me and my wife have been together, we've had to check in to the relationship office every 6 months to relay the current status, any issues we're having and whatnot, but that's a small price to pay for happiness, right?

Hm. Happiness. Am I happy? I haven't really given that a lot of thought recently. I... I don't know. I know what I'm doing is worthwhile. I know my family's about to grow, but was it my choice? We had been together for 4 years, and that's the end of the childless window."

BEEP

"I hadn't thought about it that way. My relationship, my job, my house. It's all just dropped on me and I accept it without even considering what it is I want from life. I never wanted to work in an office, I wanted to be a... I... I don't remember, but it wasn't this!"

BEEP BEEP

"Oh, wait, it's time to take my medication. A few years ago, a nuclear bomb hit the center of the country, and ever since it's been necessary to take the medication, to stay healthy and prevent illness and eventual death. The state provides it for a fair price -- the fee I mentioned before, after taxes -- and I've seen what happens to people when they don't take it. They go insane and then they disappear. The news on the street is that the government takes them away to stop them from spreading the illness any further. I'll be right back, my meds are in the other room. We'll talk about the things I want to change about my life after I get back, okay?"

...

"I'm back. Taking my medication really brought me back to how great everything is! I can't wait to have my son, I've always wanted a boy! And my job? It truly fulfils me in every way possible. No, yeah, I know, it's great! This is the best country on Earth, and I wouldn't change a thing!"