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People are shackled to the ground
Always wanting to fly away.
We are told that deep down we make the choice.
We are encouraged to break free and fly.
Either that, or on the ground we stay.
But once we’re free from the confines,
Where, exactly, do we fly from there?
We are given countless directions
By those who encouraged us to fly,
And they simply point everywhere.
We humans wake up on a large plain -
A large and empty plain in our minds.
We think of ideas, constantly.
These ideas being building blocks
That come in many different kinds.
But “many” doesn’t mean infinite.
“Many” doesn’t even mean many.
Though unshackled, we are still bound.
Restricted by certain rules in place.
So let’s break one of those rules.
With one of those stupid rules broken,
We are now granted a larger variety
Of shapes, of blocks we can use.
Of ideas we can come up with.
But it still feels like something’s missing.
Sure we are able to use more types
Without interfering with the grand design.
But the blocks are all kinda the same shape.
It would be nice if they were longer or shorter.
So let’s make the grand design look nicer by breaking another one of those rules.
We broke that rule, so there is nothing stopping us from making our ideas larger.
Depending on what we need.
So now the possibilities are practically limitless.
Now we can use our ideas to really build something.
It’s been a while.
A small town has been built.
Houses, streets, and even a school.
But the town seems small, so let’s expand.
And so we expand the town.
The town covers about as much ground as the Vatican.
We would think we would want to build a really big house.
A really big house just for us.
But we’ve hit another limit.
We can only build so high into the sky.
So let’s break that rule too.
Not even the sky is the limit.
So we finish building our really big house.
But why stop there?
We can build shopping centers.
And we can still expand. So our town can exceed the size of Rhode Island.
The size of New Jersey.
The size of Virginia.
The surface of the Moon.
In no time we’ve conquered the entire world.
The world is nothing like how it was before us.
Every inch of the land is colonized.
And at the center of the surface of the world
Was a colossal building, a clock tower, that we would call home.
We could see out the top window
And look at all the monoliths below
That we constructed with the brain in our heads.
Miles and miles into the sky we stand.
If this were the real world we would need an astronaut suit
Just to get to the top floor.
But on the top floor of the clock tower in our minds
We smile, thinking this will all last a lifetime.
Our Expanse is observed by the Expanses of other people.
We present them with the highlights of our mental world.
Some don’t mind.
Others don’t care.
But some envy our brilliance.
They rain down onto the Expanse we made.
They rain down with volatile and furious anger
On the empire we forged.
Some will cheer us on.
Some will support us, and help us get past this darkness.
But in the end, it won’t be enough.
It will never be enough.
Like a dark beast intruding from another world
They antagonize us.
They threaten us.
We hear a voice coming from the darkness.
“The world is better off without you.
But instead of politely destroying yourself,
You ruin the universe that wrongs you by staying!
You don’t deserve this beautiful world you made!
You don’t deserve any of it!”
A violent wind topples every house.
A mighty earthquake buckles every skyscraper.
Everything we ever made has been destroyed.
But the clock tower remained.
The enormous clock tower remained
as a cruel reminder of how vain it seemed
For us to stay, and not go.
The Expanse has become a graveyard
For the monolithic ideas we dreamed.