Dreamland. That’s what they call our state now. It’s a fitting name.
I’m dictating this from my Dreamland cocoon. It’s a plastic shell, my home, and I never have to leave it. I’m not sure why I’d even want to. Everything I need or desire is here, or it comes to me here. I just have to say the words, and my electronic servant finds it, activates it, brings it, provides it, or has it procured and brought to me. What more could I wish for?
The pills are especially nice. They don’t cost a thing and I don’t even have to ask for them. The state assures me a steady supply. They are the foundation of Dreamland, the Dreamland pills. I never have to feel sadness, or loss, or pain, or hunger, or really anything at all. Just utter contentment. Bliss. Satisfaction. The wonders of chemistry, brought to me each day on a little silver platter. They just appear through the access hatch on the door to my cocoon. Not a doggy door. A Dreamland door.
All of us are on the pills. It’s really quite lovely, and keeps conflict at bay. The Dreamland pills assure that there are no aggressive feelings, no anger, no jealousy. All those things that made life before Dreamland so messy and contentious. We can all just enjoy our lives now and not have to worry about a thing, thanks to our daily pills.
Well, I should clarify one thing. Some people are required to serve the needs of the rest of us. Not everything can be robotized, not yet, nor perhaps should it be. It’s good that some people do the work the rest of us are absolved from. It keeps alive a work ethic, and we all know that’s a good thing. So there are those who are needed to make some things, clean up other things, make sure life in Dreamland is accommodated and tranquil for the rest of us, even deliver our pills and other necessities of life. The state has a name for them: Trabs. I’m not sure of its origin, and it’s not my concern, but after thinking about it, and if I had to guess, I’d say it comes from the Spanish word trabajadores: Workers.
The 10 percent of the population who are trabs get to support the 90 percent of us who aren’t. And thank goodness for the trabs. Life without them would not be nearly as comfortable as it is. They’re fortunate as well, the trabs are, since they’re allowed to exist and to perform a valuable service. The state gives them pills, too. Not the same as the pills I and others in the privileged class get, but pills that soften their temperament, inspire them to work harder, avoid the kinds of problems that would likely lead to – for lack of a kinder word – their termination. With those pills, the trabs are a happy people, performing their duties resolutely, without the distractions that can only lead them into trouble.
As you might imagine, entertainment is a big part of our existence in Dreamland. Life would become tedious and boring without it – such dreadful possibilities – so the state sees to it that an endless stream of entertainment is piped continuously into our cocoons. Much of it is happy and uplifting. Some just plain silly. We do get to see how the state looks after us. And, as a kind of punctuation and reminder of our privileged existence, there is the occasional termination of a trab to see. When those segments appear, all the trabs are required to watch them, without fail.
I’m a little embarrassed to tell you, but there are even erotic channels, which we’re told are heavily watched. While procreation is carefully tended – sperm and eggs being collected from those deemed most suitable to improve and extend the gene pool and then combined in strictly controlled circumstances – masturbation is allowed and even encouraged. It helps calm the passions without the messiness of permitting actual relationships or other pairings. Those are allowed only to the trabs, and then only to those who have earned the privilege. They are such amusing beings, the trabs are, and their matings and other goings-on are mainstays of the various erotic channels.
Entertainment, eating, drinking, sleeping, and of course dreaming such lovely dreams that the pills induce all fill the day. There is seldom time for anything else. In case you were wondering – you were, weren’t you? — the cocoons do have toilets, but it’s often too much of a strain, not to mention a drain on one’s time, to make use of them, so diapers are provided to us. It’s a marvelous convenience to be able to relieve oneself into a diaper, and all it takes is a request to our electronic servant to summon a trab to come clean us up and change our diaper. At such times we can ask the trab who was assigned for other kinds of amusement, if you catch my drift, and if it’s been an exceptionally slow day, one might, in fact, be so inclined.
It’s impossible to imagine life as it was before Dreamland. How hard and unforgiving it must have been. I shudder at the very thought. I feel very fortunate to have been born into Dreamland. I’ve never known anything else, really. Nor do I want to. History has reached its conclusion, and I’m pleased to say I am part of it. It’s no longer just a dream. The dream has become reality. Whatever that is.
Well, my trab has arrived, so I shall go. Happy dreams to you. And to me.
Author’s Note: This story came to me in a dream. I’m not making that up. It did. No pills involved.