Rat Race

It is the skip in one beat which makes the subsequent couple feel stronger, harder, faster; like my heart is trying to compensate for the blood which it failed to export. That thud-smash, that whoosh-crash, that bang-bong, which comes after the ping- which never saw its pong. It is the expanding of the chest. This is not pride. In situations like this, my body needs more space for breathing because who knows, whoever can tell, the amount of energy the next phase of my life would require.

I don’t know how I got into this situation. Yesternight, I went out drinking with a couple friends. The week has come to an end. What better way to celebrate the end of a work week than with some drinks with friends. Excitement was in the air; the excitement which soon introduces freedom. Social drinking turned into binging. It was fun; then some more. We played pranks on Dara’el because he always falls face flat after his first sip. Dara’el has no tolerance for the spirits at all. Soon after Dara’el fell, a drinking game began. “Get the next round ready” was the last thing I heard. This is all I can remember about last night.
Now, I am here, in-between the devil and the deep blue sea. Behind me, a mob rallies with knives, nooses, and machetes. I am being chased. My crime? I cannot fathom. May be the color of my skin. May be the perfume I wear. May be the fact that the most learned of their kin call me cute and this puts some fear in the mundane mob. Whatever the case, I am being chased by and angry mob to which I cannot explain my self. Before me, is… well… the deep blue sea; or should I say “the dreaded black sea” as the case may be. A huge expanse of the legendary black ice which has refused to melt under this midday sun. It remains defiant despite the heat, despite the many black cherubs which roll atop this black ice. I have always wondered: if the color of these cherubs rolling on the ice were not black, if they were a but beige, creamy, or white like the boundaries which markup the ice, if they were white like real ice… will this black ice crack? But this is not the time to wonder beyond belief; this is not the time to change the status-quo. The mob behind me gets more violent as it approaches. It would be easy to accept their verdict if I knew my crime. There is a peace and a pride which comes when you know you are the one behind the usurping and antagonizing. You know this… the gentle-smug, the humble-brag. But here, now, was none of that.
I started across the sea. A feat not meant for the weak. I felt thunder within the waters, like news had reached Hades that fresh meat just left His shore, ventured on His waters, with a plan to cross. This thunder grows up to my feet, it tickles with the tickle of fear. As I try to run away from it towards the shore across, a whale-beast rolls right in front of me freezing my steps where I stood. Before I could realize where my brain ran off to, another whale-beast rolls in front of me again unfreezing my footsteps. I run back to the shore; towards the mob. I cannot think straight anymore. How is one to justify the choice of his demise? It is not done; it is unheard of. Even if one can improvise a scheme so clever it sees death revolutionized, coming to terms with it must be a feat larger than the mind can carry. I do not want to die here. Not this way. Not any of these ways.
Maybe I can allow myself die in the hands of the mob. There is something called crowd mentality. Maybe I could yield myself to death and make this crowd mentality see reason in my plight. All my life, I have worked to see give my family a good life. I have never trampled on another. I have never taken what does not belong to me—save those kept in no-man’s-land because that belongs to everybody. I am righteous to all deities I serve. I do not wish evil on anyone. There are many things I can discuss with crowd mentality which could save me from death; at least reverse me into life even after death. There are many things about me and crowd mentality which are similar. We are both seen as the rejects even amongst our clan. The people we fight for think we are low lives. They make us do the dirty work while they claim to be elites and remain on their high horses. They soothe our grievances with pompous promises—and we fall every time. I could do this: speak to this mob. Their crowd mentality would see reason. The whale-beats on the black ice are mindless.
“Hey”, I call out enthusiastically with my arms open wide in humble surrender, “my name is…”.
A rock bigger than my head altogether was flying towards my face at a high rate of speed. I narrowly escaped shifting to the right. This rock landed on the black ice and immediately exploded into a million dust bits. Another quick sweep, miss~ crash! scatter…. The mob behind me is teeming with unrighteous anger.
It is the skip in one beat which makes the subsequent couple feel stronger, harder, faster; like my heart is trying to compensate for the blood which it failed to export. That thud-smash, that whoosh-crash, that bang-bong, which comes after the ping- which never saw its pong that made me launch once again onto the black ice. Dodging these whaled-beasts, hop-skipping Hades’s thunder, feigning to the left, feigning to the right. Accelerate a bit, pause a bit. Like the heart beat of a man in love who contemplates the next stage in this relationship; with the words on his tongue but does not understand how his love would receive the words.
I saw the end now. Calm washed over my spirit with the precision of Morning Fresh on an overnight stain. The peace that overcame my soul was like the silence ping used to wait for his pong; calm, forever.
I snapped out of this trance with a spring in my step. I started out and I…
Subject 289 has been eliminated.
Shut down.
Sweep the area.
We start again tomorrow.

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