The Marriage Council

“I now call to session this meeting of the Me-cosystem. The agenda today is simple — we are picking a wife.”

“Finally,” said Mother, rolling her eyes. “It’s about time you settled down with a nice woman!”

Father leaned back in his chair and groaned. “Do I have to be here for this?”

“Of course!” shouted Sister, “This is the most important decision of his life. We all have to cast our votes.”

“Alright, alright,” I say, trying to restore order, “this should be pretty easy. We’ve got it down to three candidates, let’s take a look and just make our choice.”

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Dreams of Joy

“What am I missing,” the young boy wondered to himself.

He was ten, lying awake in his bed, staring at the ceiling in the dim grey light. The soft sheets held him in a pocket of comforting warmth. His room was spacious and filled with toys. An intricate train set sprawled across the floor, built by his father just for him. His favorite part was a red dining car, which he took from the set and placed on his bedside table each night before going to sleep. It was heavy plastic and a battery-powered light on the inside illuminated silhouettes of diners and waiters. On its side, the words Dreams of Joy were written in flowing script.

The boy looked away from it again and back to the blank ceiling. The feeling of emptiness returned. The world seemed like such a confusing mess that he could barely wrap his head around it. What was he meant to do? How was he expected to be happy?

That was what everyone talked about — being happy. They told him the things he would need to do to be happy. He did his best to listen and do as they said. Some of them were even fun! But every night, as he lay in bed, he would still feel like this. As the distractions of the day melted away, and he was left alone with himself, he couldn’t escape the feeling that something was missing. He feared that if his life ended here, something would have gone undone.

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