Bad dreams. It all started with bad dreams. Drowsy and tired, I told the house to delay the wakeup procedure three times, the maximum I hardcoded in earlier. When the windows finally turned transparent and blasted me with the cold light of the morning I had to hurry to make it to The Hive on time. So I forgot to take my pills.
The feeling of being lovesick struck me three hours later, when the effect of the medication finally wore off, and a random train of associations led my thoughts to Mark’s name. And so, instead of working I moped over the inherent bleakness of my existence and the hopelessness of being in love with a straight man. And it was a terrible, gut wrenching sensation.
Love. How, exactly, did people survive falling in love before the invention of Adfectine?
And to add insult to injury, after fifteen minutes the mood sensors locked me out of my Top Secret clearance workstation and notified my supervisor. This was going to be one of those Mondays.
My work phone, a large, ugly, dumb brick with an archaic, touchscreen-based interface started chiming insistently, displaying the face of Jenna, my supervisor. Bringing private phones into the Hive was of course strictly forbidden, as was bringing any other private possessions. For security reasons, I was wearing federally provided and funded dumb clothing. And the idiot phone on my desk kept ringing, staring at me accusatorily. I placed it next to my ear and listened meekly to an angry tirade, interjecting weakly from time to time to show appropriate contrition.
Ending the conversation was not an option, since Jenna had a higher administrative rank and had initiated the call, so I had to listen to her ramble on about my duties to the great proud American nation and all the innocent civilians, whose lives depended on me being clear headed enough to notice a gem of information in a sea of garbage. This was of course a load of bullshit. The only problem Jenna had with me was that she had to give me a day off, since operational security procedures and safety interlocks on terminals prevented people with significant emotional disorders from working on classified material. And being in love was definitively a significant emotional disorder.
When she finally told me I had a day off and had to come in during the weekend I was enormously relieved. I have already used up all my sick leave for the year, so I had to stock up on pills, stay longer on Saturday and come to work on Sunday, unless I wanted my performance review to suffer, yet at least I had today to wallow in emotions. For a few hours, anyway.
“Oh, and John, you really shouldn’t ride in your condition, you’re liable to kill yourself.”
She just had to stick in a needle at the end, of course. She was right, but I didn’t care. I wasn’t going on the public transit, not today.