Evenwichtige oplossingen


Wat vooraf ging 

Met mijn voet op de trapper sta ik aarzelend voor de deur. Wat als ik eenmaal binnen ben mijn evenwicht niet kan bewaren? Shit. Ik heb er helemaal niet goed over nagedacht. Vlug stap ik weer van de fiets. Er moet toch een uitweg zijn? Denk, Dana, denk!

De standaard van de fiets zal vast niet sterk genoeg zijn om mijn gewicht ook te kunnen dragen, wanneer ik niet rij. Een snelcursusje afvallen volgen? Dat zal me zeker een maand aan de waslijn hangen kosten. Inwendig grinnik ik om het idee. Het zal wel een verrassing zijn voor mijn man, ik ben nu al zo slank als een lantaarnpaal. Maar een maand is veel te lang, het ontbreekt me nu al aan tijd. Dat vervelende verkeersbord ook. Negeren dan maar? Nee, ik weet dat dat eveneens geen optie is.

Even zoeken op internet naar een alternatieve oplossing. Ik start de pc. Pincode ingeven. O nee, dat is waar ook, die heb ik gewist uit mijn geheugen. Had ik de code nu maar opgeschreven en als een normaal mens weggegooid, dan kon ik hem nu nog opvissen uit de afvalemmer.  Wat hadden de buren ook al weer beweerd? Tijd voor een opname... maar de camera van dochterlief is ook al naar de gallemiezen.

Ik voel me zo belabberd dat ik het liefst onder de dekens zou kruipen, net doen alsof de hele boze buitenwereld mij niets kon schelen. Rusten, slapen en dromen over een steekwoordloos bestaan.

Steekwoord! Dat ik daar niet aan gedacht heb? Het nog niet gebruikte steekwoord kan uitkomst bieden. Op slag vergeet ik mijn sombere bui. Fluitend pak ik een rolletje plakband en bevestig daarmee twee zijwieltjes aan de fiets. Zo, het evenwichtsprobleem is ook weer van de aardbodem verdwenen.


Lees hoe het verder gaat:

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Short story - The Parenthood Application
NOTE: This story is originally written in Dutch, my mother tongue. I prefer writing in my own language as it is easier for me to create the meaning I intend this text to have. This post is automatically translated by Yoors. Although I’m convinced machine translators are not (yet) fully capable of successfully translating a piece of fiction like human translators would do, I simply do not have the time to translate the text myself or the money to hire a translator. However, I have revised the text and made sure the post is more or less understandable for readers who prefer the English translation. If you notice any mistakes, inconsistencies or unclarities, feel free to tell me and I am happy to change them. It's time for a new short story! As I would like to experiment with different genres and styles, I chose science fiction this time. It's not a story about extraterrestrials or high-tech spaceships, but about a couple in a future society that wants to fulfill their want to have children with the help of new technologies and ideas. This short story is part of a bigger concept in my head, but it is also a separate part. Enjoy! Andrew put his head on his shoulder and stretched. He let out a soft unintelligible moan and a number of bones creaked audibly. The wooden chair on which he had been sitting for about half an hour was killing his back. He sighed and let his head fall back. It was an uncomfortable position, but it was better than any he had tried in the past few minutes. Looking up, he noticed an oblong blue banner attached to the wall. In yellow letters, it read "Fight extremism with neutrality"; the famous quote of Captain Burke. Andrew had always found it strange that this banner was shamelessly displayed in the National Institute of Family Affairs New Atlantis. During history lessons, children learned that after the Great Flood, Captain Burke wanted to create a world where extreme actions and words, as he called it, would not have the chance to incite people. Everyone was to live as neutrally and moderately as possible. According to Burke, history taught him that politics, activism, religion and also drugs and alcohol only led to the extreme and that this caused misfortune. He believed that people could leave this extremism behind by understanding themselves. Therefore, he and a group of scientists developed a series of objective personality tests determining a person's path at each major stage of life. Through these tests, children learned which school and education suited them best, adults understood which career path they could pursue, and potential parents knew whether they were suited to raise children. For the latter reason, Andrew sat on a rickety little chair in the Institute. Captain Burke might have developed a very ingenious system - which Andrew is quite sceptical about - he should have invested in decent furniture. Next to him, Rosalie wobbled nervously on an equally shabby chair. He had been friends with her since they were children and she was the woman with whom we had filed for parenthood. That day, the Institute would determine whether they were approved for the next stage. But the officials - almost lifeless robots who spent the entire day entering data into their computers - kept them waiting a long time. Andrew couldn't handle the tension any longer and stood up. He turned around and looked through the glass wall that he had previously sat with his back to. The wall offered a view of the Atlantic Ocean. Although most people would get dizzy at the sight of the endless water, Andrew felt calm. In the distance, he saw a shoal of ornate wrasse. They were one of the few species of fish that dared to come so close to the Dome. Andrew followed the movement of the shoal as they swam towards the beams of light shining from the surface of the water onto the Dome. This made Andrew wonder what it was like on the surface. Hundreds of years ago, also under the supervision of Captain Burke, the Dome New Atlantis was built. The first underwater city provided shelter for refugees after the Great Flood made the earth unlivable. According to legend, no one has set foot on the surface ever since. Andrew continued to dream about life above water until he was startled by a mechanical sounding voice. "Mr. Andrew Martin and Miss Rosalie Celeste? You may come with me." An official had come to stand in front of their chairs and looked ahead emotionlessly. Her upper body looked human. She had salmon-pink skin, brown hair tied back in a tight bun and rectangular glasses that she probably wore for appearance’s sake. She wore a dull mouse-grey blazer over a white blouse. Her hips, or whatever they were, were made of a wide horizontal metal cylinder. It served as a machine to operate a pair of long flesh-like rods, each attached to two large wheels. "Follow me," she exclaimed dryly, leading the pair to a room further down the corridor. On the door hung a placard: Office 217 Marjorie Hopkins Family Advisor The atmosphere in Hopkins' office was clinical. The desk, the chairs, the filing cabinets were immaculately clean and all made of metal. There wasn’t any kind of decoration or sign of humanity. Andrew and Rosalie sat down uncomfortably on the chairs in front of the desk Hopkins had assigned them. She rolled to the other side and bent her legs at a ninety-degree angle as if sitting on an invisible chair. For humans, this looked pretty painful. Hopkins tapped her fingers on the surface of the desk. It lit up and revealed a sheet of folder icons. She swiped right a few times and tapped a folder somewhere in the middle of the screen. The folder enlarged and a text field with 'password' appeared. Hopkins bent down and scanned the screen with her eyes. A series of black circles appeared in the text field. The folder flipped open on its own and white sheets spread across the screen. "Case P-123-10-07, Andrew Martin and Rosalie Celeste," Hopkins read monotonously, "let's get down to business immediately." The couple nodded nervously, but said nothing. "I have the results of your Capability Test that we took based on your application. You scored eighty-one percent. That is six percent above the margin. Based on this, we are giving the recommendation 'just suitable'." Rosalie and Andrew sighed with relief. They smiled at each other. "Do you have any questions about that?" Rosalie looked at her partner inquiringly and asked, "How  do you determine that score?" "Several factors come into play: your social role, your social and genetic family history, mental well-being and the compatibility between both of you. The fact that Mr. Martin is a Mariner has a positive effect on the score." Mariners were highly esteemed by the inhabitants of New Atlantis. These men and women maintained order in the Dome and checked if everyone lived according to their assigned roles. People saw them as responsible and good citizens, but they also feared them. If anyone was caught breaking the law, the Mariners shot them in a probe into the open ocean. "Why did we score 'just suitable' and not 'very suitable' or 'extremely suitable’?" Andrew asked.  Hopkins nodded and tapped on a sheet. "That's because you are registered under a semi-reciprocal bound partnership. You commit to a relationship purely for the purpose of raising potential offspring together with emotional but no affectionate responsibility to each other. You are also entitled to a maximum of two registered plus spouses. That makes the situation a little more complex for the offspring. I see that Mr. Martin has a registered plus spouse?" "That's right," Rosalie replied, "my brother Lyonard. He also supports our application." "That's why we gave a positive recommendation. You do realise that a plus spouse is also responsible for the upbringing, but has no right of decision over the offspring?" The couple nodded. "What are the next steps in the application?" asked Andrew. "You are nearing the end of the application process. All that remains is a appointment with a geneticologist. Then conception will follow and you can collect the offspring nine months later." Rosalie cried of happiness. She swayed her arms around Andrew's neck. "We're going to be parents!" he cried. He grabbed her shoulders and almost shook her. His eyes twinkled. "I'm so glad I can do this with you," Rosalie said as she wriggled out of Andrew's grip. "I can't imagine a better friend." #kortverhaal    #sciencefiction  #ouderschap    #shortstory   #parenthood    Header photo by Tara Winstead of Pexels Photo in text by Amarin Kuenzli of Pexels
Difficult kids?
#Howtodealwith The Covid 19 pandemic brought together a series of problems that go beyond the invisible enemy. We are victims of a confinement that has brought up feelings and emotions that got a valve to release the pressure on the streets, it was an escape to our underlying reality. One of these” problems “was sharing with the children because they are” difficult “. This condition is characterized by having restless, rebellious and defiant attitudes and, usually, we assume that it is the product of malcriadity, keep in mind that a child who runs, screams, experiences, is a happy child, a healthy child. And we grew up and now we see things from our heights as parents. We are on a level where society imposes rules on us and responsibilities are overwhelming us and not being able to fulfill them can lead to frustrations and/or depressions. But, we have wondered what it means to be a child in a world where parents or adults around them are always tired, overwhelmed, in a hurry or without time. I assume the answer is no. Well, it shouldn't be easy, so when you're going to deal with your child falls from your adult heights, put yourself to his height as a child, look him in the eye and ask him first what he wants to tell you, how was his day, give him a hug and tell him that you love him, understand that setting limits and correcting is not screaming, beating, angry and less disrespect, let's go with calm we can't repeat patterns. I assure you that the need to get your attention through things that can blow you up will change because now you made it part of your world and it will feel like it ceased to be a “problem”, to become your child again. Try it, then tell me how it went.