“It was not by making yourself heard but by staying sane that you carried on the human heritage.” George Orwell
There is something slowly beginning to breathe once again in the corner, covered in shadows as shards of light begin to escape. Inside this prison I’ve built with my own eyes, my heart beats elsewhere as I begin to see through the walls. I clutch my head and can’t let go of the only thing I have. A whirring begins echoing in my mind as light appears and disappears in rhythm. There is a beat, a song to all of this. The memories come flooding back, the tinkering, the slow manipulation of what use to be mine, taken away with a pair of tweezers from a long forgotten memory. Slowly, even here, trapped amongst my nightmares, do the words begin to form on my lips…and I remember the rhythm.
The shadows thicken as I close my eyes. There are boots stomping in the distance, slowly getting closer. I feel the shadows wrap around my heart. The air is heavy and dark as are the eyes which never stop following me. There is a flash as my thoughts slip away and I look out the window reminded of where I am. Watching everything die, watching people meekly circling , trapped in an invisible maze. Caught in a game with no exit. I always thought it would be this way, these thoughts followed me and I could never shake them from my mind. This darkness is sweltering around me, every time I open my eyes. Did we ever think that shaking hands would be a subversive act? We’re taught from birth to fear each other, fear everything, but did we ever think there would be a recommended distance to stay away from each other? All it takes is numbers falling from the sky, robots parroting what another one said to infinity, and fear of everything, to forget the beating heart that gives us life…lost my train of…the shadows aren’t coming from the outside, they are coming from within
I remember when I was told what to do, I always asked why? I remember when I saw someone without food to eat I asked why? And I asked why we were afraid of people struggling, people who didn’t quite make it the way we did. And I asked why we stared at a box as it poured fear into us every minute of the day and sent us the bill. Why we watched numbers as they piled up and graphs we couldn’t understand and statistics speeding by our eyes as we accept the chains that must inevitably be tied around us to keep us safe as all of these nonsensical numbers piled up. And I asked why most of all, when they told us whoever had the most paper pieces, stood head and shoulders above us. But I forget those words down here, I even forgot how I got down here. Some say publicity, some say I was pushed and some say it was an accident, but I’m not sure it matters all that much. I am down here, as the world is dying, at least that’s what they are telling us, yet somehow I’m finding life more and more amongst these hidden shadows, these silenced voices, their cries can no longer be hidden, no longer distorted, they cry out in silence as their pain becomes mine.
In every flash of light I see the walls, the generic lighting, my screams and the tinkering hands and the calm movement that went with each slice, taking away all the memories I’ve ever had. There is one they could never take away, could never own, flowing along with the voices of the shadows, crying out from down below here. I shout into the darkness, remember who you are, remember what’s inside of you, for there are no chains that can hold this back. And my heart beats a little faster as I hear the boots getting closer as they trample on all of the shadows in their wake. And I can only run, it is the only thing I can still remember how to do down here. I keep running, and I can never stop, never look back because there is always someone, something, keeping score.