The changes were subtle at first.
Old buildings were torn down, replaced with tall, metallic, sterile skyscrapers. We argued these were treasured monuments. Beautiful pieces of architecture that represent the vibrant history of our city and the creativity of its citizens. But they were dangerous. Too difficult to clean and they could crumble at any moment. They must be removed. We accepted.
Schedules became regulated. Buses and trains ran on time, all the time. There was no waiting. If you were late, even by a moment, you found a ride or walked.
Then public transportation became mandatory. You no longer found a ride. We argued for our right to own a car. But it was not our right. It was a privilege. Cars were expensive and polluted the environment. And most of all, cars were dangerous. Cars killed people. We didn’t need cars. We accepted.
Next were the curfews. Stay in your homes between midnight and four. Between eleven and five. Between ten and six. No one can be on the streets after dark or before dawn. We argued this violated our rights as free citizens. We would lose our time for entertainment and social interaction. But we could do these things during the day, during approved times. Night was dangerous. The dark was dangerous. Evil roamed in the dark and we would be safe in our homes. We accepted.
It continued this way for years. Can you remember? When did the changes begin? How long has it really been? Do you know? How long have we been like this? Drones, slaves, duplicates of one another, trapped in this daily, ritualistic life.
We live our lives in fear of the countless dangers that surround us. We forget and paranoia sets in. What if someone gets hurt? What if someone dies? What if I die? Fear of darkness, disease, death. We all needed control to prevent disaster.
But we don’t have to be afraid. Danger will always exist around us, but we cannot control everything. Instead, we should enjoy the world. We should embrace our humanity and our mortality. Every day is precious. The fear destroys our lives.
I am free from the fear. I don’t know how it happened or when it took hold. But I see the world now. I see that we could be beautiful, joyful, and full of life. And I will make others see the world the way I do.
The changes will be subtle at first. But change will come. I am the first, and others will follow.
I don’t know why I am writing this. Perhaps as an account of this change. Perhaps as a message of hope to anyone who finds it. Or perhaps it is simply a confirmation to myself that I am not crazy.
My name is Anna Wolf and I am not crazy. I am free. Find me and I will take away your fear. I will set you free.