Down Here

May 31, 2008
By Romana Pilepich, Bethel, CT

Drip. Drip. Drip. The monotonous droning of polluted water pinging against cold metal pipes could drive you crazy; down here. You have to dodge puddles which can swallow you whole if you aren’t careful. Sometimes you end up shimmying across rounded wall at dizzying heights.
It’s lonely; down here. The spark of hope or friendship sputters out once ignited, having no fuel to keep going. There isn’t anyone around, but the trash which clogs the pipes. Echoes can’t live here. But the stink can. Day in and day out the smell of rotting food, soggy paper, and just other people’s junk, tickles the noses of whoever has noses, and invites them to scream in frustration. But you don’t; down here.
You just stay quiet and mind your own business. Act invisible, creep around in the shadows, fear the light. Don’t speak out. No one knows what is lurking behind that can. No one knows what is out there wanting to eat you for lunch. There is the constant need to find food to survive. You get tired of living off other people’s stuff. But you do anyway. Anything will do if you are hungry enough. The problem is that you are always hungry enough; down here.
You have to navigate through endless mazes of pipes. All seeming the same – all filled with hopeless despair. But you keep going. If your mind is sharp enough you will get home… eventually. If it isn’t - there’s no knowing what can happen; down here.
It’s deathly still. Always silent. Always dark. It feels like a bomb of pent up emotions is ready to explode somewhere in the darkness where no light can penetrate. You feel as though you don’t deserve to live, but you do. It’s a life full or ifs: if you find the next meal; if you make it home; if you aren’t annihilated.
It’s impossible to imagine how anyone or anything survives; down here. It’s a true no man’s land if anything is. But they do. The rats ... they just do. Ever enduring the steady drip, drip, drip of filthy water striking cold metal pipes; down here.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.

Swoon Reads

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!