Sealed away among the unknown, among the many, safe from them and myself.
|I want to meet people again. I want to stay up all night talking to a friend on a warm summer night. I want to fall in love and feel the butterflies lift me to new heights. I just want to awkwardly nod at one person in passing, and feel the uncertainty after. But I am the only person here.
They don’t mistreat me. I have the best amenities in a sealed room. I can go anywhere I please in a sealed suit. I can’t blame them. I carry otherworldly bacteria otherworldly pathogens. I still remember the day I crashed on this planet.
I didn’t see anyone, but a device that looked like a speaker, but out of it came no sound—did they use sound to communicate at all—maybe it was a microphone instead. I was led by bright signs to my sealed room.
“You’re in prison now,” I said to myself. I talked a lot the first few days. And many days later, they came into the room. In suits like me, the visor dark—was anything in the suits at all. They were designed to make me more comfortable, but like the uncanny valley there likeness to humans was off-putting.
“Welcome to our world traveler,” they said in a stilted echoing voice. They continued, “you must stay in this room or wear a suit outside for now. You put us all in danger of unknown disease. Please be patient while we determine if it is safe.”
And they left. I haven’t seen anyone else. I walk around outside—was this place built for me. It looks like human shops, and human houses in a human city. But like an old video game the streets are empty. It seems abandoned except for the signs, “You can’t come in here,” on every door. Is it an illusion. I think of large piles of dirt like giant termite mounds and the things that would live in them staring from behind illusionary windows down on my. I shiver in this city of none, or thousands, or millions, or billions, but I am alone.
And I walk back towards the sealed room in my sealed suit completely safe from pathogens, or spreading them.