LETTER TO MY SISTER IN THE NEW WORLD
Letter To My Sister In The New World
I write to you from a position of weakness. Indeed, it its the lowest I have been in this lifetime. Forgive my reluctance, for what can I say to you that I have not before? What is new that is not old already, and how can a troubled mind put another to ease? I’ll try and speak to you of it but the words fall short, somehow out of range. All I have is this feeling that turns me inside out. The flavors turn to copper in my mouth and I retch, though it is hardly an improvement.
No coin have I, no lands, no titles either. What we were told about the Old World was no more than wistful fiction. There is no promise here except that which we are already accustomed: cruelty, meanness, violence. I must admit I find it strange. I've been sifting through dark rivers, pan in hand, asking oligarchs where the riches lie. This is a land of abundance, of tall grain, white peaks, glittering towers. Yet those who live here are just as dissatisfied as you or I. Where the men are poisoned by the very fruits they clamor for, choking them down, day after day. They rush out to line up and gather more while the very bounty for which they professed Thankfulness goes Black with rot in the cupboard. They are a people united by their disdain for one another and their unwillingness to learn. A republic divided, embittered, contemptuous of lives they can only imagine or envision on diode panels, two-dimensional depictions though they might be. They have become convinced that the way to build a future for their peoples is to destroy the pasts of others, they seek freedom through imprisonment and peace through strife, and truth has found its last refuge in stone.
Your letter meant more to me than you realize. I no longer desire to be understood. I have plenty of folk to talk to, but no one to converse with. This land is strange, these people have forgotten the art. They do not speak together, but make noise at each other, a strange tongue that is pleasant enough but dances about what it should instead caress, possessing a hollowness that I find unsettling. Where your ink is a a signature, a delicate reproduction of your mind’s eye, this noise is too often much less. It confuses me. I’ve heard it all before it on some leaflet or telescreen, and I wonder what devil developed such a efficient system of recycling thoughts by which they pass through air into minds and come out again, disguised as something original, some false new discovery, regardless of veracity. Attenation-regurgitation, like sublimation, that is the cycle. I hear talk about the things which they believe each other find important and cloister in safe droves, shielded against dissent and challenge. Fed in cycles by a caste who are powerful and paid as handsomely as they appear, and so, these pixels and vibrations vie for space in my mind. But it's mine, the only real estate left when I got here.
The dead laid their claims and made their marks, but now the streets are all named and I have nowhere to run.
A strange feeling this is— I feel deceived, though by who, I could tell you not. It seems very much that we are all waiting for something here, together, though no one likes to say as much. Though I’ve learned better, sometimes the temptation still comes upon me and I ask what it is. No one can tell me. No one wants to. There are certain questions you do not ask here. There are topics you do not broach, places you dare not glance. When I do, it is in a hushed tone, I shrink into myself and try to seem as small as possible. I thought maybe this would make an answer more accessible, but it makes no difference. I am not intimidating, save these thoughts that give way to the words I make; my whispers are met with start and disquietude. They do all they can to not hear. To them, silence is deafening, solitude is lonesomeness, the curse of appetite.
Consume light, covet renown, penetrate flesh, imbibe. Philters to incense the nerves, bodies pressed together en sweaty masse, bass rattling, smashing the eardrums to flush sensation out of the rest of the body. By asking “why” I risk imprisonment and injury at worst, but at best, only my pride is stung by a perfunctory glance of distaste. Odd one, I am, but They, as I am, are confused, wandering. To where, I am not sure, but it is plain enough that enough are contented to stand idle through the duration of these orbits, heads down, eyes closed. I only know that I venture, endeavor, regardless of what might happen on the way.
Do not worry about me, sister. No fate can befall me that has not already. All that changes is the when, the where, and how. The why is irrelevant, for we all know is the beginning and the end. I entertain these fantasies about non-participation which you call ideation. A misnomer, a mislabel wielded by those too afeared to gaze into The Void themselves. When I look, the chill meets my spine and I know that I am here, but wasn’t always. When we last spoke at Heart’s End those years ago you cursed my name. You did not wish to hear. Such is the memory-hole, the double think of torpid minds.
How easy it is to forget whence we came and always return. How hard we fight to stay comfortable, to avoid any thought which might infringe upon the grand illusion. I have no such comfort. I am the cliffside shorn free, shattering into the ocean. I am the doe, struck and bolting for the water, fleeing predators in the grove. I am the frond underfoot, gently crushed. I am the ember in the tray, orange and crumbling. I am the woman on the bridge, pleading with the water. I am the star, burst brightly, spilling entrails across the expanse. I gladly traverse this lifetime of days, my stream proceeding unbroken except by sleep or induced lapses. I was born a thousand times you know, and will be again, but I fear I'll forget this life all the same. - Adelaide