In This Hole
I live in a parallel universe of my own devising. I live most of my days in a dank cell, in the bowels of a vast complex of cells. I am allowed to write for fifteen minutes every afternoon, on the refuse recycled from the lands beyond the barrens. The pipes on the ceiling drip at all hours of the day and the walls are covered in sweat.
On occasion I hear others moaning from distant cells, but never from the cells immediately adjacent to mine. I’ve never seen any of other inmates here, only the gloved hands and truncheons of my captors. They allow me out for a day once a month. On these occassions I visit my childhood home, which is now a pile of dusty detritus and gnarled rebar. I also visit the site of my former school, which is now a massive dung heap. Really, a dung heap. A heap of dung one hundred feet long and thirty feet high now. Cattle wander about freely here since they were infected with the plague, and deemed holy beings. The inhabitants of this neighborhood have been tasked with building the dung heap into a 100 x 100 foot totem to our shantytown. The last refuge before one enters the barrens.
When I tire I sleep on a patch of rock where our library once stood. Early the next day I walk back to the complex and my cell. I love my little hole.
In this parallel world which I inhabit only the objects that become the subject of my consciousness truly exist, everything else is a ghostly simulacrum that plays on unseen film screens in theaters I don’t attend. And that I wouldn’t attend had I the capacity. And I am a capacious man, even in these lean times.
Especially in my little hole.
“So it is better to speak
we were never meant to survive.”
— Audre Lorde / “A Litany for Survival”