The Museum of Forgotten Emotions
“Five hundred years ago, for the first time since his birth as a species, mankind ceased all conflict that ailed a war-wrought world. Every nation was united in signing a manifesto that declared the annihilation of Pain from the human experience. This historic document ‘The Treaty of Hedonism’ is now preserved in The Museum of Forgotten Emotions,” our fieldtrip guide spoke through the telepathic microphone as we neared our destination, pleasurable.
Only a few of us really listened to the guide’s spiel. Many disabled their wireless hearing interface. Some were watching movies in their contact lenses, some were crunching saffron-flavored air chips, and most were having sex with horny holograms, an activity defined as “hxg8ng” by 0xf.rd D!c+ionary.
I peered through the foggy bus window and looked outside to the sight of cities underneath us. There seemed to be no air traffic today, pleasurable, like everything else.
There were floating stalls that sold cold refreshments like liquid diamond. I was parched and bought a cup of it via a purchase portal app. The drink materialized in my hand and I quenched my thirst, pleasurable.
The guide continued to speak, unbothered by an array of disinterests from his audience, “This manifesto, kids, is the most important artifact of human history. It is proof of our unity as one species; a testament of our power over God and nature; a catalyst that redirected our technological advancement away from manufacturing weapons of mass destruction and into instruments of mass preservation.
This treaty basically saved us from what was supposed to be our extinction in a hundred years. It made our and our ancestors’ lives collectively and individually better. Fun fact: it erased suicide rates to a nil, making it officially inexistent! How cool is that?” His voice was monotonous, that is, pleasurable.
Ah, suicide, we learned about that in history class. It was described as the final complication of the ancient disorder Pain where the patient succumbs to the chemical imbalances in his brai — — my seat jolted from a kick from behind. Klovikumis9 Cz was wildly humping his hologram. I told him to keep it down. He nodded and continued his intercourse with his glitching girl.
Anyway, the patient initiates self-destruction. The process could span ten minutes to twenty years. Professor Z Æ O-15 discussed this subject better than this tour guide, no wonder no one’s paying attention.
I remember acing my test on this topic. The treaty was signed by virtually everyone on the planet — parents signed for children under 18, that was in the modified True or False section of the test — and it took a billion pages to compile the signatures of humanity. Afterward, governments spent the next twenty years providing free surgery to alter everyone’s Parietal lobe, dispensing medication that frayed the nociceptors, and inoculating everyone with a drug that permanently alters the human genome to conceive offspring immune to Pain. Civilization achieved its ten thousand-year dream of a peaceful utopia. Chaos and disorder were dispelled as humans thrived in a state of continuous pleasure. Today we look at the past and see Pain as curable and eradicable as flu was.
After two more minutes of the guide’s regurgitation of what was easily accessible through a split-second search and self-instillation of data on the internet, we arrived at the museum. I feel pleasure. We queued in line and waited for the staff to permit teleportation inside.
The interior looked like all museums, pleasurable. The curators said Pain, an emotion that can never be felt again because of our biology, has been preserved through sensory stimulants for the modern man to know what it is like. There were pictures, fragrances, sounds, food, and textures that historians and noiceptivologists claimed induced Pain on the ancient man.
We proceeded to the galleries.
The first exhibit aimed to stimulate Pain through Sight. There were paintings of mismatching colors, photographs of humans being mutilated (like chickens, chickens are tasty), portraits of corpses, and geometric figures that turned and twisted. Everything looked normal to me, pleasurable.
The second exhibit was Smell. The walls were plastered with perfumed posters where we dabbed our fingers and sniffed it. I inhaled what was captioned as “similar to the smell of ammonia.” It smelled pleasurable.
The third exhibit was Sound. It was just a room with speakers that played the screech of metal on glass. The curators spent twenty minutes citing studies and showing videos from five hundred years back where humans reacted to the sound. The humans in the video squinted their eyes and scrunched their noses. I found the sound actually pleasurable, like everything else.
The fourth exhibit was Taste. There were vials of liquid lusters. They all tasted the same: bitterspicy, like liquid diamond, pleasurable.
The last exhibit was Texture. There were pillows covered in nails. The curators said the texture of Pain may be summarized as “rough and sharp”. The nails prickled my platinum fingers, it was pleasurable.
Our tour ended there but not for me. The curators said there was a sixth exhibit but an accident occurred with the curators of it.
As everyone was queueing in line to teleport back to the bus, I dragged behind for discovery. A mechanical janitor entered the sixth gallery room and I sneaked behind it to enter.
The sixth room was empty except for a table in the middle. It was covered with white silk. I took the cover off. There laid a strip of musty paper. Written in it is a question in black. I have never read an arrangement of words such as this. I searched the internet for answers but found none. I kept searching and searching, sifting through trillions of articles.
I sprinted out and asked one of the curators for the answer. She ran off and evacuated everyone else.
There is a virus coursing inside me, I can feel it. I am self-destructing. My last moments of consciousness asks the Painful question:
“Why do you exist?”