- when someone's heart breaks, so does a piece of our world. this creates fissures, valleys and even cracks in the pavement, tell the story of the grand canyon -
everything was so expensive those days... and everyone was so nice. but fake nice, the kind of nice that spirales into self reassurement and a long line of lies. convenience and timing combined with fear, self loath and anxiety, over which poured that fucking rain. a mild inconvenience, an overwhelming whiff of petrichor, dim light, no vitamin d, and cracking joints.
and everything was so expensive...
those in a position of authority did everything they could. offered vacations in that remote Nhingfre place everyone dreamed about, the only place truly alive with sunshine. that was for those who worked and paved. not even earthquakes did so much damage.
on Nhingfre 2 were those who managed the mental state of the world. tireless work, but remarkably, quite in vain. love born out of fear is still a lie, and it still damages, eternally reshaping the earth. so ian thought to himself... if even our most sophisticated servers cannot pair up someone to perfection, why bother. again with the fear? they were palpably fewer. a billion and a half less, but still able to produce catastrophies. strict control was instilled. robotic behaviour to overpower authentic sensitivity was taught from a young age. instead of toys, charts with emotions to interpret. instead of normal toddler physical activities, like running or hoop jumping, classes of body language. and instead of nursery rhymes, cooking and calisthenics classes. aesthetics was just that important. uniformed, robotic and predictable. it sorta worked. but god forbid you stepped out of line... twice.
those on a third strike god knows where were sent. somehow it was all kept under fragile control.
they meet, they court themselves and they stay. it's the norm. few rebelled. out of conformity or fear, self delusion or the very best of the education system.
few had kids though. they were the ones that usually disappeared. the others just perpetuated the myth. that perfect, fake, polished turd.
ian never adhered to that. he was fortunate enough to be sexually uninterested in anyone, and that simplified things by about 75%. he was also blessed with the idiot syndrome, so he genuinely believed in love and all that jazz. safe to say, he was a sure bet not to fuck things up and crack the pavement, and the green armband with the little triangle attested that.
as a strong guy, he was really enjoying working on reinforcing the building structures and the occasional bridge foot. he never cared for pouring cement on the street, as he hated to see the little green dandelions being scalded in hot black tar. green, as his armband... weith little triangles for leaves. green as well.
twice a year he was sent to Nhingfre to work on his tan, mood and developing intimacy with those around. it was much easier outside the gloomy grey cities around the globe.
today, he was reading on a bench about the fourth revolutionary wave, that radical period in which they managed to somehow bypass the common sense and humanity and instill the feared '3 strike rule'. he loved the charts about how the quality of the air subsequently emproved, how the little Nhingans managed to grow purple feathers again for the first time in over a century. he licked his lips with delight dotting over the graph depicting an enormous decline in overall healthcare costs, but feared the graph right below, depicting the costs with mental health, the other branch of the system, was somehow biased. an increase of cost that small was either fake, or horrifyingly true.
he stroke the green graph about pollen quality -naturally, only going up-, and looked around. he suddenly felt the urge to squeeze something in his arms, to call it his, and to whisper to it all about the millions perhaps of tiny, green dandelions he protected throughout his life. he thought about his pet shinka, Ned. insufficient affection entangled him. he felt less love than usual towards him.
he gazed with increasing dissatisfaction at the circular camp where he heard laughter, and moaned disgruntled. he imagined sex, all of a sudden, but the warmth of his groin was covered by the increasing sadness that no one, not ever, expressed interest in him. he imagined holding hands with the blonde girl who painted over buildings, kissing the tall guy from payroll, and thrusting himself into his boss.
not one of the three ever seemed to notice him, really notice him. it was always hello and goodbye and a smile, but no genuine interaction. fear.
he felt angry and powerless. but he looked at his green band shining in the sun, and remembered he was good and kind. he could not and should not feel anger.
and in that moment, he slipped. all those years of exercise, of emotionless existence couldn t help him. the biggest sigh escaped his lungs, the ultimate abandonment sign, of hopelessness and unfulfilling.
.... and it cracked. it was so big, the sound traveled for miles and miles. a loud boom filled the air. the dust rose and somehow overpowered the clouds. the sun managed to spread its warmth all around, not just on those tiny islands.
thousands of people died of course. from that sigh.
which, incidentally, was the one sigh that actually put an end to it all.
it had been lifted.