war games

We are now living in post-apocalyptic cities where nothing grows and all industrial progress has ceased. The sun never shines here, it is always dark. There are no animals left, we have eaten them all — there are only trees, decrepit buildings, and us. Without animals we no longer have a reference that we can point to and claim the vague animator we call “instinct” exists; nor do we have operational machines to tear into the land. Without these we no longer feel dominion over anything; and even the most Earth loving among us are weak and angry.

The boys are marching off to war. There is a black clothed team and a white clothed team. I’m with the black. This war is a senseless game, neither side has a goal; but people will die, many people will die. While marching into the silent and empty forest I desert my company and build a raft out of old animal bones and twigs. I float down a tame stream and arrive at a place where I am stuck inside a photographic book that is similar to a high school year book. There is always one photo that is animated and talking. The type of dialogue taking place is like that of an evening news show conducting an interview. I am asked what I think the biggest problem we now face is. The page turns and my photograph is animated — in it I am a teenager, I have long hair and I’m wearing a red KGB shirt with a hammer & sickle decal on it. I proclaim proudly (in the way only a teenager can) that it is because we have abandoned ourselves, and that I have never abandoned anything. But my adult self who is wittnessing my talking teenage photograph knows this is not true — I have just abandoned my army.

Beethoven’s 5th symphony begins blasting into the world. I can hear it perfectly, it is precise. The book closes and the trees uproot. The world is receiving its final apocalyptic blows. I am not worried, instead I am marveled by how my dreaming mind is capable of reproducing this complicated music — and I wake up with it still ringing in my ears. ♨

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