Ascent

Ascending spiraled steps in hope of eventually reaching a solid surface, more a chore than a mission as we continue inexorably day by day. Or is that eternity by eternity? There’s not much choice, as these stairs, though solid and seemingly endless, do not provide enough solidity, enough surface, for other sustained activity. There is not even room to climb by twos, thus enabling the solace of close companionship. Certainly there is no room to make love between, stair to stair, to find what respite or pleasure such loving might provide. Perhaps for some of the more daring (as we are by force unaware of each other as individuals) an occasional rearguard rape may be accomplished, coming from behind as it were, never seeing the face of the victim. A temporary digression from the rote work, hand over hand, leg up and leg up, monotonous unfulfilling dance.

There has been word sent down from time to time, messages in popping soap bubbles. No one is quite sure what they say, written in unfamiliar code, dripping from the watery former bubbles. Some take faith that since we have no soap or water, the fact of such material proves the surface is not far ahead. How far can bubbles fall before popping to release their secrets? Others suspect this phenomenon to be some sort of rain, a creature of sky, not surface.

We have always been upon the stairs. No one remembers any other existence. If there were surface below, from which we started our climb, there are no stories to describe it.

Sometimes some one will let go in disgust, give up on climbing to take a chance on a less strenuous eternal fall. We never hear them hit a bottom, only senseless screaming tapering off into distance, silence.

There is a myth, I don’t know how I heard it. Perhaps subliminal messages are written upon stairs along the way; or it might have come as lyrics from the times of spontaneous singing. The myth claims there is a method of mindplay that can allow us to metamorph into birdlike beings who can open vestigial wings and fly swiftly beyond the stairway to wonders of land, sea, continents, oceans, possibilities beyond imagining.

I have attached my mind, all my will, to that one thought. I can almost feel my wings stiffening, getting ready to fly. But to fly, I will have to release my grip by grip on the stair, leap into faith that flight is even possible, and more importantly, possible for me.

Or is flying just another way to define falling?

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