I had spent most of my life inside a box, not quite fully formed; little pieces of skin and bone, nails and hair, held together in a web of partially fashioned membrane. My space was dark and warm, mostly unknown, but comfortable and inviting- there was little room to move, but space enough to exist. I did much of what I wanted most days, glorious variables of nothing. I existed merely to exist, in the most comfortable way possible. Did I have a mind, I might have known that I was entirely happy, essentially limitless, essentially.
One day however my box was knocked, and what might have been my stomach informed me that my gravity was changing direction at an accelerated speed. The roof of my box became a wall and fell outwards into the dim, unfamiliar outside. There I lay still for many hours before eventually my indistinct sense of curiosity led me to emerge onto the street, the damp asphalt glimmering slightly as the rain continued to tumble from the sky.
I crawled with inquisitiveness from my box into the world beyond, and was greeted immediately by the vivid colours of the streetlights, their rainbow facades seemingly melting in the onslaught of rain. Growing sodden and cold, I dragged my body towards the building with the most allure, the brightest lights. Grandiose arches of artificial trees greeted my timorous frame as I pulled myself towards the doorway, and upon passing the threshold a great sweetness arrested me and caused me to stop still, for just a few minutes. A few pious minutes. The hallway into which I had entered brimmed with richness and promise. Even the very floors themselves were dazzlingly bright, and the people who stalked their polished tiles would stop at every window and gaze upon posters of unfathomable beauty and unobtainable happiness. Then they would slowly draw their eyes upon the next window, more extravagant than the last, and know in their hearts that their grey lives paled in comparison. They might go home and notice that bumblebees had attended to their tiny pink flowers, or they would go home and wait for the morning sun to crack open their skin and spill the blood concealed beneath.
I allowed myself to rest in a dusty corner on the middle floor, a space apparently forgotten in the daily bleaching of the whole edifice, and found some comfort amongst the dead skin cells and discarded food packets. From my quiet place I could see quite plainly the people who made their way through the great hall, as they did every day, the absurdities of life having left their marks across their faces. I could see little difference between them, though their clothes would represent to each other the markings of a separate existence. I saw them all at various stages of their demise, their calloused minds unfound without the deepest regrets. But it was these melancholic notions which provided the most vibrancy and sincerest compunction, the most fascinating and shared aspects which linked them all secretly, in their solitary dances across the shimmering floor tiles.
The corpulent would fret over their weight and consider the benefits of a gym subscription, as the emaciated found their lives to be just as empty as their bellies. All would return to their homes, rented and beige, or owned and languishing in debt. Mothers found solace in the success of their children, and ruin in the ultimate oncoming of death; the great leveller had much to answer for. Lovers would sit in the arms of those they had once been in love with, but now merely felt the prerequisite to love. Routine would regurgitate unspoken feelings and chicken dinners, eaten under a grey sky, holding the hands of a corpse. Each person would work until their frail bodies could no longer function, forever dreaming of something more. The frustration at the unobtainable over the years would slowly decay the mind, a preferable alternative to the basic ineptitude of living with sanity.
I had seen the standardisation of humanity, the irony of constitutional freedom. Unable to comprehend the legitimacy of such a world, or the complacency of those who inhabited it, I steadily made my way back into my box, and into the warm darkness that lay within. I could not quite get used to the suffocation outside.