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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2236070-The-View-From-my-Cube
Rated: E · Short Story · Cultural · #2236070
Being in quarantine makes one see the life they're living a little differently.
I live in a small room coated in an all sensory experience of dread and laziness. The tiny cube lends itself better to being a vice for any amount of progress or joy that I might find outside of it. Leaving my cube only means eventually I'll have to come back to it, be enveloped by it's crushing maw of soul hallowing emptiness. People say I'm dramatic, that the cube surely isn't as bad as I've made it out to be, surely a cube the size of the one I'm describing couldn't be so vicious purely by nature?

They're not wrong. No one would be wrong to say that by nature, a simple room isn't nearly so destructive to the average human. I've spent years crafting it just so. Collecting things I loved in that moment like a small magpie drawn to shiny objects, only to drown myself in the metallic sheen of rust that was once gold. Never once removing the tiny pellets and baubles that I haven't looked to since they were purchased. The room swallows me whole on entry because I've filled it to bursting with things I no longer care for and now only serve as reminders of my own impulsive and careless shortcomings.

The centerpiece of it all shares the same issues, though I allow it to for reasons not quite known. The desk is littered in old trinkets and memories from the day I bought it now. Scissors I swear I use often enough to keep them there, notebooks I haven't opened in months, heaven knows what lies on the bottom compartment of it's built in shelving unit.

From here though I man an ever expanding portal of possibilities. At the double click of a button I can be anywhere I like to be. The immaculate machinery in charge of these portals is my pride and joy, the one thing that brings pride in the cube I let consume me. Never once has the portal let me down, and I treat it as my god in reciprocation.

With one double click in the right place I become a ghost hunter, one of four running into a house with no idea what may come or who may die when we get inside. The rules are pre written and if we play our cards right all could play out without a hitch, though near without fail someone slips up. The dreadful apparition of unknown origin lets three people remain, sometimes even less before we all pack up and head on our way to the next ghost hunt. Is it as glorious a life as some of the others I could choose? Certainly not, but the thrill of risking ones life to a supernatural entity alongside three strangers cannot be denied.

Maybe I should have chosen that destination a little more carefully? Another double click flings me out into space, a crewmate on a ship headed who knows where and starting god knows when. Or sometimes, that portal makes me an imposter among the rest of them. These are the fun times when the hunted becomes the hunter, though rarely do I have the brain to outsmart proper humans. Thankfully, I have infinite portals to infinite worlds to use when the frustration among the stars begins to mount.

The big red button with an innocuous white triangle sends me off to a hub where I could watch anyone do near anything. This is where all my friends live, and every moment I've ever loved is on demand to relive again and again. While the possibilities here are near as expansive as the cosmos themselves I always find myself in the same few places with the same close friends. They don't so much as know my name but they still likely know me better than anyone outside the cube.

What's next? Another ever expanding world inside my ever expanding world? Perhaps... one made of blocks? One made of words? One made of magic and intent on gathering up summoners? Who knows. What I do today is up to me, and when I can do anything why would I choose to use these portal opener to go down to the road, to the college I was meant to visit this semester. When an infinite universe of new friends, new enemies, new adventures, new heartbreaks and new deaths is centimeters away from the paper due tomorrow why would I ever choose the latter? The cube certainly doesn't seem to want me to.

The answer there is simple. Write the paper due tomorrow or the cube goes away, the portal maker goes away, the friends go away it all goes away and I have to live outside the flashing lights and fantastic worlds away. I have to take a break from being happy, so I can be happy tomorrow. The world outside the cube is restricted by space, and time, and a million other things. The world inside is only restricted by time, and it's running out faster than an hourglass could even imagine.
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