April | 2014 | In This Future Or The Next

Month – April 2014

Black Side Down, Shiny Side Up

Black side down, shiny side up.

A joke instruction on my new driverless vehicle. It’s meant to be a reference to the car’s simplicity. Just set it on the street and you’re good to go. I didn’t find it much different than all the others, but it made me chuckle. That’s definitely a plus.

I looked at it park outside my house by itself as I stood outside watching it with pride. I bet if that douche-bag Billy drove by my house right that instant he would have turned green with envy. He’d have wanted my car, the car with the joke on the instruction manual. Ha.

It did its job well. It took me from one point to another, it listened to my requests for music and it gave me good suggestions on videos to watch and places to eat, but I was not content. It seems I never am. It wasn’t any different than the others, it wasn’t any different than the one I had before. The novelty grew old fast and the root of my problems came screaming back from the depths of my soul.

You’re worthless, you’re boring, even in your new speed-mobile.

Through the windows, across the asphalt and the currents of wind generated by the speed of my car and the others around it, I can see the people in their own little homes, their portable rooms. Most lost in the myriad different screens and gadgets around them, others working, a rare few kissing with their partners,  and the rest, like me, wearing a frown on their face. Funny how they only look that way when they don’t see me looking at them. Every time another man or woman catches me gazing in their direction they look back and smile… and wave… and pretend.

I do it too. I hide the emptiness inside me, the void in my eyes, the apathy in me. For the sake of appearances, you know?

Black side down, shiny side up. Ha.

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The Last Hot Shower

It finally ran out, and I don’t know what to do.

I’m stranded on this forsaken planet waiting for someone to look for me, waiting for someone to notice that I’m gone.

I left my world in search for water. I wanted to bring back hope for my people, but who am I kidding, they never were mine. I had no family, not many friends and no pets to take care of, so I volunteered. I wanted to do the “right” thing. I was following the map to the water asteroids when a small rock pierced my ship and now I’m here, staring at the endless yellow desert. It seems so like home, I keep expecting to see small plants growing by a rock, a lizard running away in search of little bugs, a spiderweb on the doorway above, but there is no life. No life except for mine.

I have been living off of the cargo I was taking home and the food that I brought. Eating once a day, drinking a glass of water once every eight hours, hoping that every day is the last, hoping that each morning I’ll be woken up by the worried faces of a rescue team. No such luck.

We humans think too much of ourselves. Yeah we can go into the sky and cross the blue boundary into the black space that engulfs us, we can talk to each other without being in the same place, we have the knowledge of the world in our minds, we only need be connected. So what happens when we’re not?

This happens, we see ourselves for what we really are. Animals. I see now that the many accomplishments of humanity are not mine, I only live in them. Last night the batteries on my ship ran out, and I took my last hot shower, my last remnant of civilization, and I’m left to ponder… what are my accomplishments? Why should I be allowed to live another day?

Who knows…

I don’t.

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The World Under the Drain

I was eight when it happened. It had been a rough day at school, tons of homework, tons of house chores, you know, that type of day. I had been waiting for the night to take me away into the land of dreams and it came as it always did, but it didn’t take me where I wanted to go.

I was taking a bath enjoying the stream of hot water as it cruised on my skin and away into the drain when I heard a knock on my door.

“Dean, I need to use the bathroom. Are you gonna be long?” my sister’s high pitched voice echoed around me.

“No, I’ll be right out.”

I turned the water off and grabbed my towel before I left the tub. I was in a hurry, drying myself as fast as I could, ignoring the vortex that was steadily growing at my feet. I had never thought much of it, I don’t think anyone does. The swirling soapy water goes into the small hole at the bottom. Where does it go?

(more…)

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The Monster In The Ship

I’ve been sitting at this dark window for hours, staring out into the black voids of the universe; I’ve been watching the stars twinkle from beyond our reach. It’s not that I find them particularly interesting, they aren’t, at least not from this distance; It’s that I dread the idea of going to my room in the upper deck of this solitary spaceship.

I’m alone. I know I have to keep watch, I know it’s my job; But after a thousand days suspended in the dark things begin to seem different. The lights speak to me in morse code. The symbols on the doors change and morph into messages from another place and the walls whisper at me when I’m not looking.

“How much longer are you gonna be here?” they ask.

“Why don’t you open the airlock and die?”

Laughter echoes through the hallways during the nights, or it could be the dripping of the coffee I set up. I’m not sure anymore, but the idea of me being alone seems less likely every day I spend in this silent outpost. This is why I spend my time staring at the stars outside, I don’t want to look behind me; I don’t want to find the monster that lurks around the corner, just out of sight.

I can sense it when I eat my lunch, crawling underneath my table. I can hear its footsteps outside my room when I’m taking a shower, and I know that one day it’s going to stab me in the back as I climb the stairwell towards my bed. One of these days it’s going to lose its coyness and it’s going to leap out from my shadow and end me… and I don’t want to end. I want to live, I want to go back home and see my wife, my children.

I’m not sure I can evade it. Last night I saw its face… it was me.


Recorded by Levenstein

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