Burning ablaze

Charcoal is just about dead, mostly carbon, all burned out. There’s this vague sort of half-intent to go on. It’s subconscious. It’s all programming. The anti-suicide morality can’t be broken.

We’ve tried.
It’s a failure.
The old morality can never be reloaded. You would die, go insane.
And the irony here is that, knowing this, you can’t do it.

Hemlock is a slow killer. It goes to the feet and the legs first, has to crawl all that way up. What are the chances, Ama-sa, that nobody will notice the slow decline?

You flat-line and they’re right by your bedside.
Have you tried to die today? Can’t have that. You know the rules. You mean too much for us to let you slip away.

Don’t worry. This is political, not emotional.
We don’t need that tripe.
We can swing this.

Consent is given by next of kin in these days. In the future, it’s only you. Only the programming that gives consent to keep on living. Negligent suicide is against the by-laws. Laws of the People. Laws of Hope.

And there is always Hope.

The massive conglomerate monster of the religions we failed to believe in as we drifted into vacuums of our own demise. The Church of the now-resigned Catholic Pope. That was a first sign, but not the last hint. There were others and the decline of church-going in the country was slow to come along.

When the factories moved, so did their hearts.
Beliefs were forged of resources. Education and Medical services.
These are the Hope of the future.

Keep your eyes out. You might find the symbols starting to degrade around you.
When you do, you’ll notice there’s no way out.

We have but one last Hope. And it, with its resource controls and medical protocols, will be our end.

So, watch out.
Never lose sight of Hope.

They are always with you. A permanent place in your heart. Ensuring it still beats with all the right things.

Charcoal, don’t you know?
Just like Carbon.
There is no way out?
You are fit into a very well-designed trap.

There is nowhere left to take the trash out. We have to keep it in our sights.
Trash is the future, and you are made of it.

Good little puppet.

the End

Two train tickets across the spread of land between where we had been and where we want to be. In twenty-five days, we’ll be back. If all goes according to planned. This is a bigger if than we had thought.

The world here is different, we have learned.
A life of travel and privilege seemed to say it did not matter. Not so much running from problems, but always having the same ability to face them.

Oh silly caterpillars. Did you not know?
Some plants are poisonous to you.
Eat and you can die.

We have gained a sense of this being true. We’ve been nibbling these nettles here, slowly taking in the needles here, digesting all this poison here. I think we’re full to the brim by now.

Alas. It’s time to go back.
A place where we can do the things we need to do to face the things we need to face to be the way we need to be.

It became so clear when the roads went nowhere and you couldn’t even take the ones that did. Stuck in a cage with lots of space – still, amazingly, feels like a trap. We got trapped. We tried to run – and just ran into ourselves.

The long tracks cutting deep lines across the deserts and the mountains will lead us back.
We will not drive this time.
We will take our bikes along for the ride.

It is not perfect, but it is better.
A good enough line to follow rather than go nowhere at all.

Soon, sunset. Soon, dusk.After mid-winter, we will be back.

What an adventure within ourselves we have had.
Did the star go out on the way up?
Were we climbing anywhere?
Was that little light even a star at all?

It glowed bright enough to see by, bright enough to seem light. Ah, but perhaps, minha amigo we were wrong to stuff it in this junky lantern.
It went out slow to cold.
While we watched it die, we did not know.

A star by any other name would glow as bright.
We have been misnaming things this whole time.

Now. What shall I call you by?