Paused my run to enjoy a sunset-001
Steve always started Monday mornings by reviewing his automatic payments. One in particular continued to bug him month after month, year after year, century after century. His first marriage had ended on Earth in the state of California in the early years of the twenty-first century. He had been married for 22 years, had 3 children, and his wife had chosen not to work during the marriage. Although he had encouraged her to work, when she refused he chose to support her rather than rocking the boat for most of their marriage. Because the average global life expectancy at the time of their divorce was under 70 years, the 22 year marriage was considered to be long term and the state of California law required the courts to retain jurisdiction for long term marriages. So Steve had an automatic payment to his ex-wife twice a month to pay her the required support.

As Steve did his daily ritual in front of the sink he was thinking about it again. This morning while checking his monthly bills he noticed that his bank was kind enough to provide a total paid for this automatic payment, $3,024,000 over 7560 payments! Although it have been 365 years since Steve divorced his first wife, he had only been with this bank for the last 315 years. The $400 dollars every two weeks did not have much of an effect anymore… if the United States had not changed to the Kilowatt Standard to value its currency in 2070, setting the dollar to the cost of 2 kilowatts of electricity, inflation would have completely devalued the payment by now. Although the payment was only the cost of about 8 fast food meals, it still aggravated him to see it go out every two weeks. As Steve looked in the mirror he realized he was going to need his ears worked on again soon, it had been about 60 years since his last reduction. You would think that if they could find a cure for aging they could stop the cartilage in your nose and ears from growing too! If he just had the last 10 years of alimony payments back in his account he’d have enough money to cover a good earlobe reduction surgery.

As he and his wife walked together toward the transportation hub near their condo sipping their Monster Triple Caffeine Lattes he could not shake the thought of this annoying payment. He hadn’t seen his ex-wife for over 320 years and hadn’t even lived on the same planet as her for 250 years. He did get a message every time she changed banks so he would know were to send the money! How could anyone think he still “owed her” anything. What did she owe him? He had taken care of her throughout their marriage. So when they got divorced, he got to continue providing her support… what a deal. As he kissed his wife goodbye he noticed how cute the small downturn on the end of her beautiful nose was. Way nicer than her siblings noses… genetics were weird things, and of course the doctors had managed to keep the same shape as he remember through all 8 nose reduction surgeries.

Once in the underground Steve reached the same conclusion he always did when thoughts of the alimony came to mind. First, his ex-wife would never agree to modify the original agreement to eliminate the payment. He had tried that before leaving Earth. He had been required to leave Earth as part of the contract required to receive the age elimination treatments. Although he had been paying her longer than they had been married at the time, she had ranted and raved about how much more alimony her friends got and how he owed her more than he was paying – she deserved this money! Secondly, it would cost more than 5 years worth of alimony payments to try to modify the payments in court. Besides the current judges didn’t like to be bothered by ancient law cases. No one had been married on Earth in well over three hundred years. The decline in marriages that had started in the early 2000’s had exploded at the of the discovery of the cure for aging.  Marriage had completely stopped shortly after that. With no one getting married the states stopped modifying the marriage laws. So as always, Steve concluded that it was time to think of anything except his “Permanent Spousal Support”. As he walked up from the underground transportation he couldn’t help admiring the terrific  sunrise over the Armstrong Sea.

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