This place is the “Land of Visible Pain”. You were told that when you were a kid, weren’t you? That you should be considerate of other people’s pain? The reason we hurt others is because we don’t understand their pain. If we all understood each other’s feelings, there would be no more conflicts.
That’s what we thought. Who’s “we”? All the people in this country. We’ve had advanced machine technology for a long time now and machines have done most of the work around here. The scientists used that technology to make an epochal invention. One that stimulated a part of the brain that wasn’t being used, to transmit our thoughts directly to one another.
Transmit thoughts directly? So it’s like topology, right? Telepathy? Yeah, that!
When communicating our thoughts, words are imperfect. It’s full of holes everywhere. Just like with the word “beautiful”, you cannot communicate exactly how beautiful you feel something is. But a group of our country’s best scientists made that possible. If you drank the liquid machine that they developed, you would be able to understand the thoughts of others without words.
We thought that was a wonderful thing and people all across the country drank it. All across the country… Meaning everyone?
Think about it. If everyone else is communicating their thoughts to one another,but you alone are left out of the loop, you’d feel pretty uneasy, wouldn’t you? You could feel secure as long as we were all connected to each other. That’s what everyone thought.
What happened after that? I’ll tell you about what happened to me. At that time, I was in love with a certain woman, but I couldn’t tell her how I felt. The moment I drank the liquid machines, her feelings came pouring into me. We shared a mutual love for one another. I thought we were the happiest people in the world. But our life together soon fell apart. She was very much into raising flowers, but I didn’t really have any interest in that. I was very much into music, but she was similarly disinterested. Tense situations followed one after another. We would deliberately think of unrelated things to keep the other from reading our thoughts, but even the very fact that we were doing so would be communicated.
Even the smallest things you didn’t like about someone came across and it only succeeded in amplifying hatred on both sides. And this hatred pierced us like thorns. Soon, we realized what a horror it was to be able to read other people’s thoughts and be read yourself. Even when you weren’t in pain yourself, you could still feel the pain of others, and there was nothing positive about that.
There was only one thing to do, and that was for us to distance ourselves from each other. Just as you can’t hear each other’s voices once you’re a few dozen meters apart, so we couldn’t read each other’s minds.
To this day, I’m scared of meeting anybody. That’s probably how the others here feel too. Thanks to the machines, we can still lead our lives without any trouble. Being confined to your own space, you find ways to entertain yourself…
Because in the end, if you understood the pain of others, you just couldn’t live a normal life. Since then, many years have passed with no children born in this country. I imagine this country will eventually die out. After that, those machines will probably continue going on by themselves forever.
♫ playing ♫
That was a lovely song. It’s a song she and I used to listen to often when we first met. She told me she liked it too, but… I wonder what the truth was? Because after we both drank the liquid machines, we never played this song again.