My name is Michael Ellis. You may not have heard of me, but I was cryogenically frozen in the year 1971. I worked for CryoCorp back then, and I volunteered to be a participant in their cryogenic test program. I was thrilled at the idea of helping advance a technology that could preserve human life. I entered the cryogenic chamber for the 50 year pilot program, excited to see what the year 2021 would hold, and all I can say is: WHAT THE FUCK?!
Getting revived went exactly as planned, it felt like waking up on any other day. The first thing they did when they took me out of my deep freeze and got me dressed was give me a medical mask. I assumed the mask was because I could be carrying a disease that had been eradicated. Turns out, it was the other way around. In the future, everyone needs to wear a mask all the time because of a new virus that was either manmade or came from bats. Some people still don’t wear masks, though, so the virus won’t go away? It was hard to follow all of the details, the person explaining the situation to me kept sighing, and getting angry and asking me who I voted for 50 years ago. The whole thing seemed kind of wild and a little scary. This definitely was not the utopia I had envisioned when they put me on ice, but whatever. I was still optimistic at this point; of course there would still be viruses in the future.
After they masked me up, they asked me what I wanted to do first, so I asked to read the news to see the current state of the world. The cryo technician asked me if I wanted the real news or the fake news, and then laughed. I was confused and alarmed. Is this what future is like? I remember reading 1984 when it came out and figured that it was a little far fetched, but man, maybe it wasn’t.
Anyway, I picked the real news and they brought up a newspaper on their tablet thingy (which was the first thing that looked like it was futuristic, by the way). I started reading it and there was an article that talked about political tensions with Russia. RUSSIA?! This was going on when they froze me 50 years ago. You couldn’t figure that shit out in 50 years? I figured by now we’d either have nuked each other or gotten over it, but damn.
The oddest thing in the whole article was that it talked about a president Joe Biden. I thought, hmmmm, that’s funny, I went to high school with a Joe Biden, but that was back in the late 50s, there’s no way that it can be the same guy, he must be dead or in a nursing home by now. It turns out, it’s the same guy! Good old Joe. With the Women’s Lib movement taking off when they froze me, I never thought a handsy guy like him could make it in politics, but I guess I was wrong.
So far, the year 2021 seemed a lot like the year 1971, except like a scary dystopian sci-fi version with little computer screens everywhere. Kind of like a bad episode of the Twilight Zone with a shitty writer. I mean, real estate mogul turned reality TV star turned president turned insurrection dog whistler? Giant murder hornets? Global temperatures rising? The government confirms UFOs? It all seemed like it was out of the National Enquirer, which I was surprised to find out still exists!
All this sitting around the cryo lab reading about the crazy state of affairs was really killing my optimism about the future. 50 years ago I was so excited about the future, but after waking up and reading about it, I was terrified. Maybe it was just doomsaying, though, or news sensationalism. Although I was apprehensive, I had to go outside and see it for myself. I asked the technician if I could go for a walk, and they said sure.
I opened up the doors to the CryoCorp facility and stepped out onto the streets of my hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska, and realized that nothing had actually changed. Everything looked exactly what it was like 50 years ago! The cars, the buildings, the people and their clothes, it was like they were frozen in time. While it wasn’t the exciting future I was looking for, after reading about the world had apparently become, it was nice to be back home in the 50s.