24 August 2012
You are a citizen many years in the future when the population of the world has gotten so great, that mankind has dug out the center of the earth for its people to live in. But you are dissatisfied with life, with your job, and with existance in general. You hear muted whispers of the Surface, a place where the ceiling is miles above your head, where an incandescent bulb warms and soothes you during the day, where a great white sphere illuminates your path during the night. A place where enormous trees shade and comfort you. A place where the everpresent authorities cannot watch you.
It is where you must go. Nothing will stop you, not if you can help it.
I had a dream to this exact extent last night. I was with a disheveled young man who looked like nothing as much as Jesse Pinkman from Breaking Bad, and we both agreed that it was time to get out of there. We knew our way around, and knew that getting somewhat close to the surface wouldn't be difficult as long as we had a lie ready and didn't act suspicious. After all, if you act like you belong there, most people won't say a thing to you. And so it worked like that- we took elevators up a couple of levels, took the stairs for a couple more, looked around at places that, frankly, neither of us had ever been before. We saw a line of people who were checking out weapons, or returning them. We saw a line of people who were discharging their souls into some sort of apparatus, or on the same level to retreive what they had left here. We saw enormous television screens- an entire sector dedicated to watching entertainment. And then, somehow, we made it to the top ten levels of floors.
There was a rickety type sort of train, where people were screaming and hollering. They'd been chosen in some sort of raffle to get to the second level, and they were very excited. It wasn't hard to understand why- even here, on the 10th or so level, the pressure was significantly less. You could feel breezes from the air conditioning pumping fresh air from the surface itself. It had a strange smell. It was exciting and tempting at the same time. It was the forbidden garden of Eden to our antlike lives.
We didn't get much further than that, unfortunately- my idiot cat jumped on my pillow on the way from the window sill, and then he started knocking things over in the next room over.
But it left me profoundly touched. How bizarre it must be to have never taken in the simple pleasures of sunlight, a warm breeze, and a cloudy night that every single person alive today takes for granted.