Author: Soramimi Hanarejima

After breakfast, I put on my smartglasses and launch Unfray. Even though lunch with her is still hours away, I need to get ready, need to gird my psyche. When the app opens, I’m met with an announcement that it’s going the subscription service route. Like so many of its ilk. While this isn’t too surprising, the news is still disappointing. Even more so when I see the price. It’s expensive, too expensive for me to keep using Unfray as a means of preemptively mitigating my frustration with her increasingly spiky demeanor, and I immediately know this means I’ll have ghost her. Because there’s no way I’m going to tell her that I can’t stand to be around her without Unfray. She’d no doubt interpret that as meaning she isn’t worth $129.99 a month. But the only way I can be an Unfray “member” is by giving up my monthly deep tissue massage, which is a self-care necessity these days.

In fact, there’s nothing I could reasonably forfeit in order to continue using Unfray for the sake of being friends—more like frenemies, what with her constantly cantankerous criticism of my life choices never not jangling me. Given my financially constrained circumstances, she’d be out-prioritized in any comparison. Rent, groceries, utilities, therapy, books, etc. all handily best her. Except maybe my 3 monthly trips to the movie theater—those eagerly anticipated evenings of escapism—but cutting them out of my life wouldn’t save nearly enough money to cover the Unfray subscription.

Sure, I could use some pay-to-own composure app, but those only suppress impatience—a short-term solution that can make situations worse if they aren’t dealt with properly. Unfray’s patented brain-stimulation algorithms actually increase the capacity to be patient, building tolerance for annoyances by eliciting a tuned combo of empathy and big-picture thinking. That makes it the only truly viable option for situations like mine, and well aware of that, Unfray’s parent company is charging what the market will bear—a price which I can’t.

So I’ll have to avoid her, unless I get a raise or she becomes less abrasive—both of which are unlikely to happen in the near future. But for now, with all of Unfray’s features still available to me, I can make it cheerily through lunch.