We live in cages.
Each of us, suspended over what is sure to be a bottomless pit, over darkness, over oblivion—in cages, alone.
But please, don’t feel sorry for us.
We make them, after all.
I live in a society where we build ourselves cages. We don’t do it because we have to—only because it’s something that we’ve always done. You become an adult and you move into a cage. For me, it was at age twelve. A friend just got her cage, and she’s fourteen. Some don’t get their cages until they’re almost twenty.
We all get them, though.
Sitting here, against the adobe coating the inside of the metal contraption, I have to think about this. Looking around me, I can watch as others come to age. We build them and we weep. A life of captivity. A nightmare. We don’t want to live in these cages. We don’t deserve to. Life in a cage… what are we? Are we animals to be contained?
We are people. We are human beings. We should be out, and free, and alive. Wonderfully uncaged.
I wept myself, while I pounded the iron and spread the adobe. I wept for who I was becoming, and who I had to be, and who I was. I wept because I had to enter the cage.
My pillar of ice was frozen. I crouched on it, and wailed aloud, mourning it all. Others, from their cages, cried with me. We were the most pitiful of people.
I linked my cage to the iron chain, hanging there for that purpose, ascending into the blackness above, where no one know what lurked. I climbed into my cage, utterly devastated, and sat down on the packed dirt to wait for the ice pillar under the cage to melt.
In a cage that I created.
All of us build our cages and confine ourselves.
There isn’t a reason why. We choose to. We choose to be isolated, with the only other people so far away we can’t reach them or feel their warmth. I can’t even see the faces of some.
And then we die, and sometimes, we feel like no one mourns. Our bones lie inside cages, and no one notices. After all, everyone is so far away.
We do notice, though. We catch our friends die, and we cry for them—for them, and because we cannot get out of these cages to help. We’re too stuck ourselves.
We’re stuck because we did it to ourselves.
We are a sad people, but we inflict the sorrow upon ourselves.
If we weren’t sad, who would we be?
Eventually, our cries change. Some of us realize. It’s our own fault. We could be free. And then our cries change: we wish that we could have gone back to that day, when we crawled into our newly-dried cages, and locked the doors, and set the keys down on the ice pillars, to fall with our only escape.
There is no escape, now.
We weep, now, for we realize our mistake.
Don’t feel bad for us, though. After all, your people does the same thing.
We thought that we had it all figured out
but we don’t know the half of it
and Somebody will come and save us all
and Somebody will come and let us out
let us out of our cages