Staring through the chain link fence, I see ghosts of buildings marching past.
It’s been like this for years.
I gaze through monsters at another world.
Something I am not part of.
I only see the eyes staring back once I’ve been there for months. It takes even longer to realise they aren’t on the other side.
They are the barrier.
They are the fence.
People who hate people are the ugliest people, says a certain judgemental side of me, already falling prey to the spell. I’m part of the fence now.
I don’t see the sadness in them. I just see what they are taking away from me.
That other world. A whole new experience. Something beyond and terrifying. But new and bold and right in front of me.
I take a step back.
To wait for them to pounce.
They eat the self indulgent. The self posessed. The obsessed and the useless.
I am the easiest prey; staring longingly at them. Through them.
Imagining that those abstract and impossible shapes must be something better than this. They are future, industry, beauty and truth. Why do I long for them?
The redness flashes, and the time has come.
And before long, I am eaten.
People build barriers, to make the other side seem more attractive. Unfortunately, it tends to work both ways. Blocades between people are unhelpful in many ways. An isolated community immediately becomes distanced from those outside. Distance breeds contempt or fear.
There’s something about the fact that all these barriers are built in an attempt to actually build community. Security and isolation are somehow prized. The something is irony. And sadness.
A world of barriers is a lonely place. That’s all I’m trying to say. People shouldn’t stare at the outsider; shouldn’t build a fence to keep them out, or draw a border on a map to make the other people seem more different.
People probably shouldn’t live on islands all their life.
The attitude of people on continental Europe is so much more open and mixed than in the UK. The sense of freedom and togetherness inspired by the open borders between countries really makes the national communities blur and mingle. This is in no way a bad thing. And the cultures? Still held on to. People dig that kind of thing.
Once you step outside of your own window box, you might be able to see that any given group (or any given person for that matter) is probably basing all their actions on an entirely separate set of assumptions to you.
It might just be the only way to demonstrate, inculcate and learn that everything you (or I) believe is based upon a huge range of assumptions that may have little to no basis in any reality apart from the reality we’ve built on these assumptions.
It’s confusing. It’s potentially world shattering.
But we all need to learn it sometime.
Or we’re all going to eat each other.
That wouldn’t be very nice.
Image by Adam.
Text illustration by Alex.