Breathe. Stay. Repeat.
I see you. I see how you stare at me in awe. You all have the same porcelain face, plastered onto your heads, as your mouth is left to hang open like you are all trout, swimming in an ocean of air. Why do you look at me like this? There is an obvious difference in our physical composition, but from what I’ve seen, you all have far more problems out there, than I do in here. I live for survival, and reproduction. Those things are still provided for me here. You bring me everything I could ever imagine. Yet still, you all just sit here gazing into the abyss that is my confinement. If I could leave this place, to come out there and shoo you all away, I would. Go home. Go solve your problems. Your world is exploding.
It is obvious that we do not belong to the same species, yet I have food when many of you do not. I have shelter when many of you do not. It is obvious that you have compassion, otherwise I would be the thing being fed to your hungry masses.
So again I ask you, why look to me? Do you believe I have some beauty not found otherwise in your world? Do I make you feel content? I derive my contentment from survival. Is survival too little for you? Maybe it’s the same pulse that forces you to provide for me before your own kind. I believe that you feel there is something beyond reality. You are bored with what is real, and so you have created rules.
I was not always in this cage you know? I once was free to claim the night sky as my own. I grasped much more than you could ever imagine. I saw your colossal towers that rise up throughout the stratosphere, the bustling tires that caress the roads, the dazzling lights on each and every corner. It truly is impressive how much land you have claimed, and the innovation you have displayed. There were beings before you, and there will be beings after you, but your race will not go unnoticed. You have changed the path of this planet.
Most of your kind search for an answer. Well truthfully, you search for many answers. You ask “Are we good or evil?”. Let me answer your question with a different question; what temperature is ‘warm’? This may be hard for you to believe, but all of life is one big grey area. There is no answer to a question such as that. Why is it acceptable for my kind to spend our entire lives killing anything we can get our talons on, and yet you all have determined that not even your own kind can kill another being? You have created weapons of destruction, and yet you tell yourselves they cannot be used. Do you not see that every ‘rule’ you live by, was created by man himself?
You have far more empathy than any other being in this galaxy or the next. If I had the ability to wipe the world clean of everything non-essential to my survival, I am informing you that I would.
So I sit here, perched on my ledge, and I continue to ruminate over why you look at me. You’re seeking answers I tell myself. I can’t help you. We don’t speak in the same form, and even if we did, I know that you wouldn’t listen. I go back. You’re yearning for a sense of beauty and majesty in your life, I tell myself. This can’t be. Just beyond these walls are miles and miles of forest. The same forest I used to roam. If you had left me there, you could have appreciated me as well as my surroundings. Now you stare at me through slats. I don’t mind it here as I stated before, it makes everything easier for me. Food, water, shelter, all within my reach.
I have decided that I am tired of your company. I spread my vast, ghostly white pinions, and they beat through a gust of wind that approaches from the South. I let out an eldritch hoot. Stop gawking at me you fools.
You wait a breathless second in reverence, and then you simply begin to clap.
You seek my approval? Or worse yet, you assume that I desire your approval? The answer is no. Save your applause for when you discover how to sustain yourselves. At this rate, my kind will live on for billions of years beyond your time, and we cannot even hold a weapon.
You have been so sympathetic to our kind, allowing us to live, providing for us; but you had better pray that we never develop hands. You had better kneel down and worship every God you know the name of, and beg of them, “Oh dear God. Please let us remain as the only being with weapons”. Otherwise, we will seek destruction.
Do you believe in some self-righteous way, that your good-nature allows your society to exist? Do you believe that my utopia could never exist because it is one based on survival? These are all myths that you tell yourself in order to keep good faith in your misshapen ideals.
My Shangri-La functions off of the idea that a cage such as the one I’m in, is pointless. There are two options of existence in my world; survival and death. If you’re not worth being kept alive, you’re not going to be.
You all cry for more life. You all plead to your Gods, “Please, just a few more years. I’ve been such a good boy.”, and then you spend half of your lives staring at me.
This has not been an attack on your way of life, this has been a call to action. Stop looking at me, and start looking at yourselves. The only reason that you are still alive is because you beat the rest of us into submission. If you go any further down your current path however, you’ll have beaten yourselves into submission. Before you know it, we’ll be back at the top of the food chain, and you’ll only have yourselves to blame.
When you look at your reflection, what do you see? I see you all as snivelling shells of the animals you used to be, ready to be ground up into the sidewalk. When you look at your shelter, what do you say? I say, this place is death. You own the entire world, and yet you all force yourselves to squeeze into tiny boxes so that, “the cute little animals can have some room too”.
Is this morally abhorrent? No. These are the rules of survival. Your so-called morals are the reason you won’t survive another thousand years. You have entire institutions whose sole purpose is to free me from this cage, but as far as I see it, you are the ones who are trapped.
You see me. That’s all you do. I am ‘just an animal’, and yet I comprehend an infinity compared to you.
If you stopped looking at me, and turned around once in a while, maybe you would see the storm heading your way.
Believe what you will, but as you drown in your own nuclear waste, just know that all of us will look on in laughter.