Perfect Isle can’t sustain all the life on the planet. The leadership, called the Mantrites, did not believe in culling the population. Therefore, the current state of the world requires each person’s life to be very regimented and scheduled. Their entire waking moments are planned out for them in order to master the balance of the planet. If I miss my alarm and get groceries at 3:00 pm instead of 10:00 am, then too many people will be in the grocery store at one time. The balance will be thrown off and catastrophe will ensue.
Today was another branding ceremony. I’m so tired of these. Every time we fail, we have to go to The Branding. In Perfect Isle everyone has a Counter. It’s the number of times you have failed since birth. Society uses it to rank people. To decide who is worthy of certain things like marriage, job promotions, an upgraded house, divorce or the ultimate dismissal – being shipped to Oopsland.
When The Branding tradition started, it was to keep the balance in Perfect Isle. It exists on such a precipice of control that someone who cannot keep the rules, or someone who wants to try new things, is a very big risk. Failing means you could do something that would offset the control system. Therefore, the biggest risks are shipped to Oopsland to get them out of Perfect Isle.
I have to get out. Panic. Disorientation. So overwhelmed, frustrated, cast-down. Absolute hopelessness.
Coded symbols. What do they mean? Will they lead me to Oopsland? I keep seeing these symbols in various areas around the city. On the corner of the building as I rode the train. On the sidewalk in the park. Another on the menu at a restaurant. The coded symbols were only things other people whispered about. I had never seen them before. Now I am seeing them almost daily. I have asked some trusted people what they mean, could it be Oopsland? I’m very careful and I always whisper because getting caught talking about Oopsland would mean severe punishment.
I have finally been told how to indicate your desire to immigrate to Oopsland. It took a lot of effort to get this information. I had to really want it. But finally someone trusted me enough. Trusted that I wasn’t secretly a Watcher. Finally, I learned that there is an orange bench, in a park on the west side of the city. The bench has a bird painted on the back. Go to the bench 4 days in a row and sit for exactly 3 minutes. On the 5th day there will be a person who sits down beside me and comments on the “blue bird”. I am to reply, “I prefer red birds”. Then this person will be my guide to get to Oopsland. The process is slow. There is a lot to learn. Only the strong actually make it.
All I know for sure is I have to get to Oopsland. There has to be a way out of Perfect Isle. I can’t live like this anymore. Day after day, after day. To the casual observer I go to great effort to appear normal. I fit in. I follow the processes of Perfect Isle “perfectly”. But inside I am dying. Each day is another cry for freedom. Another day where I think “there has to be a different way”.
Dare I hope there could be life outside of Perfect Isle? A place where people are allowed to learn, to fail, to create?
Normally I would stress over something as “important” as my first blog post. Then 6 months from now it still wouldn’t be done.
I am here to declare my desire to immigrate to Oopsland.
We have fled to Oopsland to seek refuge from Perfect Isle. Therefore, my very first blog post doesn’t have to be perfect.
Done is better than perfect.
Welcome to Oopsland.