Across me is a father and his daughter. They’re in a table for 2, and they’re both leaning forward with their elbows on the table looking like lovers before they realize there are a million sacrifices that come with staring into each others eyes. He, the father, is wearing his daughter’s backpack – her small purple backpack.
“This is my favorite color,” she says as she points to a pink balloon she just colored.
“I know.” He says, “I know.”
They say that underneath us is a civilization not like ours, but also very similar. Little cities in the dark with little people living in them populate the underground. I’ve never seen them myself, and I can’t name anyone who has. But they’re there, even if it’s just our minds that say so.
I was standing all alone when an old man called, “Young man stop standing. You’re too young to rise!” So I crouched on the dirt and kept my head low.
Then a lady approached me and told me she loved me. I loved her too. She said she wanted us, so she dug us a home and in we went. It didn’t take long ’til she no longer knew, and she wanted out of the pit. I offered my back to her to step on, which she promptly used.
Alone in my hole, some drunkards came and said to me, “You’re home’s not so great but we can fix it!” And they pushed me in deeper and pissed in my pit.
I was happy to see a young priest, young enough to still want to prove himself. But he called me unclean and ordered my hole covered.
Now my hole was dark.
As the plates slid, I felt myself sinking. Deeper and deeper. Lower and lower. Completely buried, surrounded by the skeletons of others forsaken.
And just when I had resigned, I felt the wind. I looked around me and saw color. I was out and I was free. They had dug me so deep I came out on top – of the other side.