• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 10

Ode to Utopia

It stood as a monument to the past, and a warning of how close we came to the end.

The five desolate cars, piled atop a high wooden post, served as a reminder of how life used to be. Once, the gas-guzzling polluters were owned by near everybody – some people even owned more than one, if you can believe it.

What a relief that society listened to the experts, and governments did everything they could to change the course of humanity.

Now, of course, cars are no more; for those who can’t walk or cycle, the electric public transportation available in every town and city is clean, reliable and, most importantly, free. Trains, buses, and trams make travelling for work or leisure a cinch.

Solar panels sit on every rooftop, the hills are awash with wind farms, and no longer do we have to be careful of traffic every time we cross a road.

The totem pole of cars, the statue of days gone by, stands in the middle of the busiest shopping street in my city, where those very same cars probably drove once, back when the road still existed. Now, it’s all paved and levelled, solely for pedestrians. Cafe and pub tables spill out into the street, and everywhere is the sound of people enjoying their days, the sounds and smells of rush hour nothing but a distant memory.

Above it all, of course, the monument sits, and the driverless cars watch the world in which they are obsolete.

It’s beautiful.

But then I wake up, and the dream is forced to end.