Just a little short story that I wrote for school.
Ways to End The Never-Ending
By Liam McCarthy
They scream out your name. ''ROB! ROB! ROB!'', they cry. The whole neighbourhood crowds around your doorstep, waiting to deliver the news to you. Your beloved Jolene has passed away. You beg and plead for answers, to no avail. What you don't know doesn't hurt you. But you're her husband. You deserve an answer, for it will bring closure to your life. Your wish is granted. You've lived in Downtown Montreal your whole life, and your stomping grounds simply wanted to protect you. 12 hours ago, you were dreaming of the euphoria that would come to light once you and your precious Jolene lay your heads by the ocean, celebrating a delightful 100 years together (or something like that). Now all that's on your mind is the blood pouring out of Jolene's chest, as the gunman stands tall in an alleyway, only 5 blocks away from your house. You begin to uncontrollably vomit screams of guilt, desperation, and devastation. You sob until your inner river runs dry. But you really don't. You don't cry at all. You're not even sad. There is no gunman, and even if there was, you'd do nothing but let your pearly whites shine.
I still remember the evening of July 30th, 2030. I was a young adult, but don't ask me how old. Age is irrelevant to most of us these days. The ad read: ''THE KEY TO A PERFECT LIFE IS IN YOUR HANDS''. Philosophical bullshit never interested me, but this had gone viral, and the power of conformity made us all weak. Two weeks and a mere $1000 later, and I was not one of Plato's classmates, but a lab rat. The final moments of my normal life consisted of a blue chair, a sharp poke in the arm, and an ''everything is going to be just fine. Let me know when you start to feel funny'', which later became a mere rite of passage for the rest of the world. Jolene was the next one to go. We had planned it together. We weren't the first because we had lots of money or anything of that nature. If the doctors wanted the privileged to get first dibs, they'd scout people at The Bohemian Grove. Jolene and I were simply brave. We were in this together. The chips were in our brains, and we were going to embark on a journey that one might refer to as ''the rest of our lives''. The journey would end the second we'd let it, for the chips in our brains would prevent us from getting sick, aging, or dying until we'd decide we'd had enough of life. This would likely never occur, for the chips in our brains prevent any emotions from entering our lives, except for happiness. All of our decisions were guaranteed to be wise, thanks to the superintelligence that came with our chips. Or so we thought...
The first few months were nothing less than pure bliss. People would walk up and down the streets, disgruntled and melancholy. We would continue smiling to each other, loving every minute of our lives, and not worry about anyone's problems. It didn't take any getting used to, because we would never feel confused. When you are programmed to learn absolutely anything and feel absolutely nothing that may cause harm, everything is understandable, and there is nothing we cannot accept. Time wore on, and not a single cold was caught, nor a single tear shed by either of us. 5 years after we went under the knife, the whole world was in our shoes. I guess I'm not the only one who felt weakened by the power of conformity. Anyhow, life was very simple for the next eighty-some years. When you don't age, you don't count the days. Holidays and birthdays pass right by you when you don't have a calender, but this doesn't faze a soul, because we're all happy as clams. I became a much better chef over the years, thanks to the artificial intelligence programmed in my brain. When you're constantly happy, you don't think about how everyone has the exact same capabilities, and that anyone can do the things you do. If they're not doing it, it's simply because they don't feel the need to. Decades pass, and not much changes. We're just as happy as ever, living wonderful lives. We walk up and down the streets, smiling at complete strangers, and helping anyone in need. All four seasons are equally exciting for us Canadians. When it is -40 degrees, we skate and do not get frostbitten. When it is +40, we swim and do not feel what we used to call ''the scorching heat''. We're not afraid to hug and kiss one another. Germs cannot be spread. I do not know if infidelity is common. No one talks about it, because it is a non-issue, either way. Infections cannot be contracted, and one's partner will stay happy no matter the situation. None of us get sick, nor hurt. Our successors will never know what it feels like to stub your toe, break your ankle, or the mixed emotions that you feel when your creepy but sweet grandmother pinches you on the cheek out of kindness, but the irritating side of it pisses you off. We remain happy when our pets die. We no longer worry about environmental issues, because our superintelligence has been protecting the environment for decades. Damage done by our predecessors cannot be rectified, but we have not added a single grain of salt to the wounds. Competition is non-existent, for jealousy cannot be felt. Using our superintelligence, we have made sure to create enough jobs for the entire world population. When the risk of overpopulation hits us, people willingly let themselves age, simply by telling their brains to do so. It is not a morose event. I would explain why, but I believe it is becoming a tad redundant. Absolutely nothing to complain about, right? Yeah, that's what I thought.
7 days ago, I was awoken at 7:22 AM by the ringing of my cell phone that I have held onto and fixed a million times since my operation. After answering the phone, my superintelligence informs me that it is the doctor who put the chip in my brain many moons ago on the line. He called to tell me that he had a major opportunity for me. His team had come up with a way to remove the chips from our brains, and since I was the guinea pig of the experiment, I would be the first to have this operational procedure done.
After hours spent in the hospital, I am back home now. I feel like I am on another planet, trying to figure out what day, month, and year it is. I suppose everyone with the chips in their brains can figure it all out, but simply choose not to, because it is meaningless information to them. It becomes a necessity, however, when you no longer have the option of being immortal. All I know is that I am still in my early 20s. Biological brains can only do so much. I am currently trying to figure out why my superintelligence decided to go forward with the operation. Will everyone do the same? These are questions I cannot answer anymore. A few minutes ago, thoughts of 9/11, the death of my father, and starving children came to mind. This made me wonder why I would choose to accept the doctor's offer. Then it dawned on me. No one experiences happiness anymore. We take so much for granted because we are never faced with alternatives. Life can only be appreciated when contrasts are seen and felt. I could figure out just about everything when I had the chip in my brain, but that meant absolutely nothing to me. Snapping my fingers made me feel just as happy. So was I really happy at all? Looking at pictures of my children, grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren made me overjoyed this morning. It is the first time in years that I truly felt this way, and I would not change a thing. Jolene will be the next person to get the call from the doctor. No matter what I recommend to her will not change a thing. This story will be left on the coffee table. Jolene will make her own decision. There is no gunman. Jolene is not dead. She is walking around with all the other chip-brains. Jolene is still alive. Most of my loved ones are still alive. I am the only one living.