Author: Philip G Hostetler

She was my dream girl before I laid myself to rest in the Dreamcell. Alright, that’s a little dramatic, I didn’t “lay myself to rest” as in six feet under. No, think of it like life insurance for your loved ones that pays out immediately. All you have to do is, and I quote, “Lay down, plug in and power up!”

Oh, the girl, yeah she was my dream girl before I signed on the dotted line to dream for the rest of my life. I know I’m dreaming now, it’s a perpetual lucid dream, life is blue grass and green skies and she’s always, always by my side.

My children, from waking life, get electricity, HVAC and plumbing because I’m the battery. And you know what the Arbiters say, “A family is not a family without a battery- today!”

Ugh. Whatever. Just watch out for the terror of the unconscious and horror of the unknown. Those weren’t in the user manual before I was plugged in. A crash course on basic psychology would’ve been helpful. Thanks doc.

But the dream girl never leaves my side, I never suffer alone. I guess that’s what we really need in the end.

I try not to think about my waking family, mostly because I feel like I’m better off without them. I’m just, guilty. It’s a hellscape out there. If the distillers malfunction, you’ll miss your daily 8oz ration of water. If, or rather, when the crop drones encounter rogue meteor storms, prepare to fast for a week. Work is menial at best, the social part of society excommunicated itself at the order of necessity.

And here I am blissfully entwined in understanding and mutual adoration with my dream girl. I only wish I knew who she was. She has the face of a thousand stunning expressions. The touch of family, friends and lovers.

My family are the strangers now, and I am better for it, damn me. Damn me and my dream girl, our perfect union fuels the dying gasps of a failed civilization.

It’s OK, she forgives me.