A man walks up the down elevator.
|(Word Count: 786)|
He consciously made the decision to move upward. Knowing that the path would not be easy and that the challenges faced would be daunting, he persevered. The throngs of people would not stop him. The bumps and bruises, the insults and stares, the shoves and kicks would not prevent him from reaching the elevated state.
At the base of the moving stairs, he focused his attention to the sky. The crowd coming down was massive and his zenith was not visible or obvious. But it didn’t matter he knew what the top meant. The adrenaline was building. The first step kept taunting him, slowly moving down until it disappeared under the floor.
Before deciding to go up this down escalator, he tried other options. First he chose to close his eyes. Turn off the TV so no news entered his mind. Stay in the house so the results of this downward motion were not obvious. But he couldn’t be so isolated; he had to be involved, to be relevant. Second, he considered stopping it. There must be a way, possibly a letter writing campaign or a protest. But atlas, the machinery is too strong and the inertia insurmountable. He must look at himself, realize that he is the place to start, that only he himself can truly affect himself, and that is the only effect that really matters.
That first step was difficult. He had desire and hope, but it wasn’t enough to keep him from falling off. It took some time, but he realized the key was a movement; it was a trajectory that wouldn’t be stopped. He started up the stairs and wouldn’t stop.
The obstacles came upon him quickly, some imperceptible until he directly looked at them, others approaching with a vengeance. Consider that beautiful blonde mortgage broker smiling at him. He could hear her offering that lovely McMansion he knew was out of his reach. He could see her enticing her neighbors with low interest mortgage rates and the dream to live wealthy even if it is just an allusion.
What about that teenager dressed in a hoodie, $200 dollar sneakers and ear buds hanging from his head? The boy looked mesmerized by the small video screen in his hands. “No child left behind” was all he could think of. Just pass the test, it doesn’t matter that you think for yourself. Just watch “The Jersey Shore” and learn from the real reality.
The climb was getting more difficult. He was struggling to stay upright. The crowds coming down were denser and moving quicker. He stumbled. He stumbled again. But hope brought him upright and intellect kept him moving.
Directly in front of him, was a large man in a cowboy hat. Obese, loud and gluttonous he had no regard for anyone in his path, yet the crowd seemed to love him. Suddenly, the cowboy was looking right at him. He had a desire for candy, for sugar, for immediate gastric gratification. He had to fill his stomach and became frantic. He looked closer at the cowboy and noticed his pockets were filled. What was that? Pink slime, a photo of a destitute farmer and is that a brick of salt? He must not succumb; he had to keep moving.
He looked up and thought he saw light, thought he saw the top. He moved swiftly and firmly confident that there was no member of this crowd that could push him down the down escalator. Determination and righteousness were his handrails.
Then like a curtain of blackness, he saw it. No other way to describe the view than pure evil. The blackness came down with a force. The attorney who looked back up and the doctor who contemplated a turnaround, both tumbled further down the escalator. Guns, knives, bombs and even fists surrounding the curtain like a fence, adding force. Death and destruction were imminent. There was nowhere to go to avoid it.
He felt overwhelmed. How could he have thought the down escalator would allow his upward path? Why did he take this task on in the first place? He could not remember his motivation and he felt all scraps of hope draining from his body. He let go and fell to the bottom. The quest was over and he was in the midst of the crowd, rushing toward the next down escalator. He rose and dusted himself off. This way is easier. There was not need to think, no need to struggle. Yet, he did not feel good. There was a nagging sensation that he could not ignore.
“Enough for today” he thought. Tomorrow will come. The down escalator will still be there carrying more crowds to the very bottom.