That Was Now, This Is Then

Everyone was taking it, the brain enhancing pill. Everyone except my family. My mother said it is against the will of G-d, and that therefore we shouldn’t do it. They- the authorities told her that after it hits the markets, she would be what was considered in her childhood to be retarded. My father still holds firm, they who take the pill will all go to Hell he says.


            Just think clean thoughts, Just think clean thoughts. A week ago they put us in the cage. Not a circus cage, a craftsman house with a garden. But outside the seeming meadow was a holograph and the delicious food was pushed through a slot. The TV ran reruns we had never seen before and there was no school. It was everyone’s paradise.

            My family had started out sitting mutely on the silk couch, bibles in hand as they wished for the return of yesterday. After a while, they just watched the reruns, well aware that they were giving up. I just paced. At school I had been a A-student, at 140 I was considered to be very bright. I had enjoyed it but in this cage, I had nothing.

            We had a bit of letter paper to write to relatives who didn’t care so I just made sudoku boxes over and over. On one of these empty days, They walk in, already garbed in anti-bacterial robes. Already paranoid after a month of smarts- eh? They gently take my hand and lead me out of the house and through the blue cloud door in the meadow.

            Once we get out, They remove their hoods, we walk through a sterile mint mist and they begin to talk. “You could be great you know…”, they lead me towards a colorless table. I stiffen “We aren’t going to do anything, don’t worry darling.” Says the man as if he were speaking to small puppy. A girl that looks my age sits across from me, huge surgically enhanced eyes fit into her slim waist. They ask me to look in her eyes and see what I could be.

            I squint at the table, gently they raise my head to make me stare through her tantalizing eyes. Through a memory mist I fade to seeing her- no, not her, her view. She is staring at me- quite stupid compared to her. I want to remain a like a Neanderthal, never evolving like G-d meant humanity to be. I she her sights, smell the faint sweat running down “my” forehead. Then I pull back from what I could be.

            They hand me a glass of clear liquid and a small green pill, I take it and fall back. “The operashun dint hurt.” Charlie Gordon had said. It didn’t it was like falling through a breeze. My brain fizzled and spit up ideas, my childhood, my parents with their faith, life as I knew was over and that day, the young Amelia died inside.


            Out in the real world, I lodged alone, no one had to work anymore, this was a utopia where people would be happy in their smarts, superstition was banished and new theories took its place. People moved to Mars and I sat still in my apartment, living new life like never before. In this world with the cotton candy sky, people created their own dreams becoming secluded with their humanoid robots and new stories. Like them, I sat in my apartment, building…. something.

            I got a dog to join me in my solace, I didn’t need to exercise anymore, but even though it was humanoid (the insult of the day) I found it necessary to go through the motions. My dog and me traveled across the colored yet dull grey world that had no diversity. He would sniff in his animal way and I would smile widely. We walked everywhere together. He was my robot, and I his only love.


            We had never been to the zoo so that day we decided to go. NEW EXHIBIT was proclaimed loudly on the front sign and people were crowding to see something they had seen their whole lives. My family was in their house, unaware that they were to become exotic animals, bred and sought after by zookeepers around the world and small children looking for something to draw on their safari pictures. In the house, I saw the place where I had once sat, a new me sat in its place and it acted just like me. I walked up to the glass and pressed my face against it like the un-pilled 5-yearolds. The old me walked out of that house and pressed her hands against the glass, afraid to become the creature her parents were becoming. She, the younger me, walked through the glass like a ghost and touched my eyes, holding the lids up and pointing around me. Then she walked back in and sat in the new replacement “me”.

            I looked around at the flamboyant fashion and the young not awkward lovers. This was a different planet, much different from the one young Amelia grew up on. We walked back and passed the people walking out of the pill stop, prepping to be smarter than us all. We walked on, past sherbet shops and crepe places. Not so much shops as they are dream places. We walk along the empty traffic bridge and a man jumps. The people around only sigh. He was a great one, they say, but he was got so filled with the pills that he saw the beginning and end of the world. All I see is a man who jumped to get out of his misery.


            In my apartment me and my dog sit down to just like everyone around us, block out the world. I let my mind daze, my dogs breath filling the window with breath as white as mist. Like her, the other me. She sits in my head haunting my thoughts. What if I hadn’t taken the pill, what would have happened then? The brain races to the answer, I would be in the zoo, a road-side attraction for passing tourists who wish to see something, something else.

They like many others are trying to make sense of their new elevated existence. They bit into the sweet apple. The mealy center is what now occupies their taste buds. They who took on the challenge to be the super-man. We have paid the price.

            Many sit and wonder now, about the things they can’t control, unhappy, yet wanting more smarts. Now that I have reached this “dream” I have seen that every person is different, yet in the end, we are all the same.

            I guess I will be walking this world until the end of my two hundred years. I have decided to stay here, even as everyone leaves for the new planets, light-speeding away from here. Away from themselves, who they used to be, and who I used to be.

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