When I was a kid, my parents moved our entire family into Corning Up-World Estates. It was a Utopian community. Ernest Corning was the visionary behind the hullabaloo. Corning believed it was possible to create a society where people liked each other and treated one another nicely at all times.

The thing is, as a kid, I knew this was impossible. People have a nice side and a mean side. We’re coins. There’s no one-sided coin. But my parents said that was hogwash, which helped me realize that grown-ups created the idea of utopia because they were tired of not getting what they wanted, and this was one more way of trying to get what they wanted.

We had to attend classes on perpetual agree-ability, how to always see the bright side, and why the group is more important than the individual. A few months into our stay, my mother developed constant migraines, all my dad’s hair fell out, my sister got asthma, and I got Rachtner’s Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

When I was caught not-smiling while sleeping, I was immediately brought to Ernest Corning’s office.

Mr. Corning said, “What seems to be the problem little boy?”

I said, “Since you asked, I don’t think that you can’t maintain conceptual perfection. The best utopia is where you see that everyone is tired and not thinking well, and on a good day you can’t help but forgive them.”

My family was booted out that night. My dad, mom, and sister were fuming at me as we drove around looking for a hotel.

We found a Howard Johnson’s. As the hotel night clerk checked us in, I backed into a lamp, which fell and shattered. My dad said, “Haven’t you ruined things enough?” The night clerk smiled and said, “Not a problem. Life’s one broken thing after another.”

2 Responses to “Dystopia”

  1. K.D. says:

    Thanks for the reminder to exhale and enjoy reality, broken moments and all.

  2. They're all broken. Otherwise how would it be a kaleidoscope?

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