Author: David C. Nutt

“Any chance I can talk you out of it?”
“Nope.” Dan glanced at a small three by five card he was holding in his palm. Michael raised an eyebrow and pointed to the card with a quizzical look on his face. Dan smiled. “It’s just a motivational phrase I wrote down. “ Dan slid the card across the table.
“Not my feelings.” Michael frowned. “Then who’s feelings are they, Dan?”
“Not sure exactly. I’d tell you they are the nanites’ feelings but that wouldn’t be accurate.”
“You know that makes you sound crazy.”
“I’m aware of that Mike, but as you can see by my med file, I’m as sane as you. So why after only three months of mourning the death of a woman I have spent more than seventy-seven years with, I feel perfectly fine. Not even a little sad or depressed. Just fine.”
“You’ve probably just dealt with it better than you thought you would.”
“I did consider that. In fact, before I knew it, I was beyond considering it and shifted into ‘count your blessings’ mode. You know, like some damn government nanite commercial…I’m one hundred and eight with my own body reconditioned and maintained so I have the look and health of a twenty-two-year-old. I’d like to point out that at age twenty-two in 1984, I was forty pounds overweight and even before I put on the weight, I never had the gymnast’s body I do now.”
“Nanites. What a blessing.”
“Now you sound like the commercial. It’s all too pat. When I think about it there is no pain or struggle in my life anymore. Damn nanites won’t let it happen.”
“Now you’re sounding paranoid.”
“Really Mike? You’ve known me all this time and have I ever sounded paranoid?” Dan looked at his card again and put it back in his pocket. “What got me on this track was when I was in midst of counting my blessings, I tried to remember the actual pain I had when my Dad died way back in the eighties. I couldn’t. Even now I’m trying my hardest to get angry and I just can’t.”
“Sounds like its nothing more than emotional maturity.”
“If I did the work to get there, it would be. Instead, the damn nanites just flood me with sunshine juice or whatever chemical they decide to use to ‘correct my imbalance’ and I’m better.”
“Is that so bad?”
“Where does it stop? If I get a bad feeling about the news, or I just don’t like what the government wants me to like? No. I don’t know who is programming the nanites to do what. So, out with them all so I can live my own life.” Dan stood up and slid the waiver across the desk. Michael looked at his friend and wanted to respect his wishes but a tiny little feeling in the back of his mind made him feel otherwise. Instead, he wrote “denied” and slid the form back to Dan.
Dan smiled sadly and shook his head. “I expected this to happen. You can’t help it either. Still, I can’t make heads or tells of why I feel good right now.” Dan laughed like he just remembered a private joke and walked away.
Michael frowned. He was concerned for his friend and thought he was quite sane, rational even. Maybe, he should allow the nanite removal procedure to happen. But then the fresh flood of endorphins coursed through his brain and distracted him just enough not to give it a second thought.