Outside?

I love to live alone in my secret place beneath the city. In my private meditation rooms I am surrounded by nothing but rust and concrete, so my dreams and visions remain pure, untainted by the antics of other humans. My other rooms, kept alight by spluttering, blood red neon lights, are swamped with caged insects and their agitated, glorious whisperings. Sometimes, when I become satisfied with the visions I have seen alone, I bring my prized creatures into a meditation room and listen to what they have to say. There, we travel into dreams together and share distorted recollections of the world above.
I love to be wrapped in this darkness and smothered in this fragrant stench of sewage; here, I am free from the polluted skies, the smog-ridden alleyways, the trivial conversations and the toxic characters that lurk around every corner. But…I can still sometimes hear the industrial whines of the world above. They pierce through the quiet drips in my meditation rooms, and they trickle through these damp walls when the insects stop their singing. I can feel the monotonous, grey drone of the city calling me to surface, and my visions remind me that there will be a new shipment of creatures arriving soon. I have constant dreams of grass and of a blue sky, and the insects can sense my restlessness. I must not let them see weakness. It seems that they are becoming impatient themselves, and they are still hungry for fresh meat. A cockroach shared these words to a mantis in a dream only two days ago:

“Your head swivels towards their peaks;
Your vision travels along the blades
that pierce into heaven.

Your eyes capture the passing clouds
They split the sun into ugly fragments
And the sky slithers along their surface.

When will you escape
the rust that entangles you?
When will you wipe clean
the blood that strangles you?
How will you escape
The ground that’s always smothered you?”

Tomorrow, then. Tomorrow, I will step inside the elevator and travel upwards. I hope it still works. If new blood does not join the ranks, I fear there will be an uprising. Who will I meet in the world above?

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