When he was a boy
When he was a boy he had a fever. The good kind of fever, however. The kind of fever where everything sparkled with colors, and where ever he looked he saw nothing but excitement and happiness. His childhood was not that different from the next child's, but something changed him. He couldn't quite put his finger on it, but he slowly came to realise that something was off. What it was he could not say, but it was constantly there, eating away at him and gnawing at the back of his head.
As he treaded slowly through the lifeless, gray wilderness of the so called civilized society, he paused for a moment, staring with dull eyes at his surroundings. Dusk had began to fall, but it did not matter. The sky had already been dark for as long as he could remember, for so long that it had seemed like a lifetime. The sound of silence was all around him, drawing nearer every second, smothering him. Tall, gray buildings clawed at the sky viciously. Hundreds of people walking past eachother, like threatening shadows looming through the dark, without uttering so much as a single word. Meanwhile, headlights after headlights flashed through the melancholic gloom, the noise of innumerable cars filling the world.
The rain seemed to never stop falling. It was as if the sky itself was protesting against the very same things that he himself often contemplated about. The astute selfishness of man, always striving towards growth and ingenuity, constantly forgetting what actually matters and never pausing to ponder over possible consequences of the continued exploitation of our precious world. He could not say that he was any better, however. A contributing piece of the puzzle. Always doing what he was told, always overconsuming, the blood was on his hands as well. All in all, he was just another brick in the wall.
He made his way toward the subway, Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" ringing in his earphones. He did not know who he wished was there, but he did wish that someone was there – anyone. The loneliness was slowly eating away at him as he made his way down the stairs. A homeless man sat in the corner, clinging to a dirty old coffee cup. Alone in a world full of people. The subway station was a horrid place, a sort of sterile environment but filled with filth and trash. Right beside the no smoking sign stood a ragged old woman, sucking for all she was worth on a stick of pure cancer. He was disgusted. Disgusted by the world. Disgusted by mankind. He had to push his way through the thick crowd to catch his train. More meaningless stress, he thought as he sat down on a torn old seat.
As he sat there, showered in the trains inhumanly bright lights, he stared hopelessly at the people around him, just sitting there, either nose-deep in their phones or staring emptily into nothingness. Glassy-eyed automatons going about their daily lives, never stopping to look around and think. He realised ofcourse that he was no different, just another sheep amongst sheep, so he joined the group and began to frolic in the joys of social media.
He was given a life, but no one had ever shown him how to live. He did not know what to do, how to love or what to appreciate. He was never satisfied, always wanting to be somewhere else, someone else, in some other time, or simply not being at all. Contemplating the melancholy of his own existence, he walked on through the storm. Pondering the sadness of the beautifully receding world around him, he disappeared into the night.
The child was grown, the dream had gone. We have become comfortably numb.
Copyright © Albin Persson 2014
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