(Please note: This Post was originally a Page, for WordPress reasons, so if it seems familiar that is because it has been published verbatim previously. This switch is part of my Housekeeping chores for my blog. Thanks.)
There is a deep and thick underbelly of the city. I usually begin slightly inside the perimeter, heading inside. I don’t know who I am. Sometimes walking in and out of buildings, slum buildings, searching for someone, in condemned apartment buildings, or in courtyards with no walls, ruination and destruction everywhere. I give up the goal, and look around for a street sign, having no idea of location. There is no sign…no street…only ill-defined filth-strewn paths winding off in different directions. No way to get from here to there. A corner where there is no street, more littered paths sinking away. Paths where an ill-blown wind has cleared pass-ways, to a vague intersection…I run to the edge, and peer frantically into the right, then the left, back to the beginning. It becomes clear that there is no right or wrong way, only a thicket of debris that is indescribable…just there.
Finally, after wandering endlessly, seeing no one, hearing nothing except the silent rustle of the papers and leaves…finally I am aware of a presence, someone there where only nothing had stood before. A woman, tall, gaunt, eyes like cold, deep, obsidian… the wind, whispering “There’s no way out.”
“There has to be a way…these city blocks have to end eventually.”
“They do, but there is no easy way, no fast way. No public transportation, no passable roads. Only terrible crushing destruction and devastation, and the remains of what was once….but is no longer. Look up…there is no sky, no ceiling, no clouds…only clear and uncluttered UP. If you can get to the station there is hope.”
“There us a way, for those who dare to take it. It begins here…”
The misty woman inclined her head toward the center, where I now could see what I can only describe as two secured ropes, or strings, such as in an entry to an exhibit or a demonstration. It reminded me of a rope bridge over a gorge, such as one sees in the great colored photos of explorers to the jungle lands. Only this track, if it can be called that, forming the walkway, consisting of two one-inch in diameter ropes placed side by side about six inches apart. The track ropes were not fixed, but seemed to be more or less secure, and above them about waist-high were two more ropes, these thinner and more flexible than the bottom of the track.
People approached the suspension bridge, as it might be called, and stepped onto the bottom track, one foot on each of the parallel ropes. The hand railings were of a thinner rope, more accurately a stout string or twine, which were not taut as one would expect them to be, but more flexible and allowed for a gentle wave-like motion. The bottom track ropes, and the higher track strings, were secured at wide intervals of perhaps eight feet. I stepped onto the apparatus, and the misty woman entered behind me, and she and the man in front of me showed me how to set my feet securely, and to hold onto the string loosely, wrapping strings around my hands in a gathering motion in order to maintain a satisfactory tension.
The track rose steadily from the beginning point, until it was many feet above the ground level, perhaps thirty, then fifty feet high. As long as the rhythmic tension of the string-ropes was steady, there was a secure feeling of comfort and security. Below was a montage of landscape and color, streets packed and lined with all fruits and vegetables, lush collections of the bounty of Earth. There were no people on the streets below.
If only this bounty could be used to feed the world population!
“But this is not possible,” said the woman.. ” Only the deserving can partake of this grand bounty, and they are few and far between.” We passed along, sometimes in an orderly queue, other times the string ropes would stretch or a long gap between the “riders of the ropes” would cause the path to sway and weave about unsteadily.
“Here is everyone’s favorite part…” said the woman facetiously, as we passed over a great canyon of bones and skulls, the remains of dead people and animals. The dead were brought in from everywhere, stored in this terrible receptacle below our secure bridge. Falling off, slipping from our path, was fatal. Fresh bodies lay among the parched bones. The landscape began to assume the character of tunnels, subways or underground passages, concrete walls beginning to take the place of the buildings below. Burned out buildings passed below, rubble, destruction, and death of many kinds.
Eventually the chasm brightened, and great staircases of concrete and stone began to materialize below. Tunnels branched off in all directions.
“This is where we can leave,” the woman said. “Now is the opportunity to jump off of the rope/bridge and escape.”
Unfortunately the alarm interrupted the dream…