Ants. I’m one of them now. We line up one in front of the other. A type of funeral procession for the human spirit. Shuffling onto the bus, we know not why we put ourselves through such torment. We are but skeletons of a body. Nothing left inside. Wired by the machine which now drives all things. We are told if we don’t obey, the machine will throw us to the wayside, only to be swept into the gutter with the rest of the world’s trash. A seat at the back distances me from the everyday crowd. I look out the window. A final goodbye to all I know and love. I tell myself I’m excited. I have to be if this is going to be the daily routine for most my life. However I know the true answer.
Next to me a man taps on a computer. He blacks the screen out with a shield so as to protect sensitive information from alien eyes. I try to peak but the defense is too strong. What could be so important? And who at this hour in the day really cares enough to look? I know I did, but who else? A wedding ring tells me the man has another life waiting for him. But how long has he acted like this? Has he already forgotten about them?
Four seats up from me someone is reading the obituaries. The perfect reading for this trip. Maybe they are looking for themselves in there? Others skim through a variety of books and other literature. I believe they are trying to keep themselves sane by projecting their minds elsewhere. They fail to admit to themselves that this is the end. School has taught us this is the product of all our hard work and money. Really? These are the finer things we get to enjoy in life? Dry books, secret assignments, and looking for our picture in the obituaries?
The ones we have left behind feel what we are doing is honorable. They look up to us as we board for our departures. They wave to us and wish us their best. Painting a picture much like the black and white ones from WWII, illustrating loved ones saying goodbye. Maybe this is what makes us show up everyday. A nostalgic feeling that we are fighting for the ones we love. We fight everyday for perpetual glory and hope to be commended for our success. Returning home battered and bruised, we wear the truths of war. We are welcomed back in the same fashion as we left. In that instance the whole thing seems to make sense. We capture that image and feeling in our minds, so that when the alarm rings the next day our eyes involuntarily open. We glance down in hopes we did not wake those who were lying next to us. As we get ready, the pleasantries of life start to fade. They have too. Any signs of weakness could mean death in the real word. So we arm ourselves with blank stares, books, and computers. Again back into the field, wondering the same thing we did before. Why?
Ants. Single file we march like ants trying to reach a lollipop which has been lying on the ground for days. We scurry over and around each other, already tasting the sweetness without even knowing if it is sweet. Funneling in and out of tunnels through small openings, jumping to grab a glance of it. Over miles we march to bring what we can grab back…still no lollipop.