The disjointed, incessant chimes of various clocks reverberate around the hall, their abrupt tunes signalling yet another irregular measure of time having passed. The chimes could all start again momentarily, or they could spread themselves out over the next eternity. What measure of time is it? Who ordained these frustrating devices to mar the silence with their ticks, tocks and chimes? Where on earth are these clocks anyway?
Where on earth precisely. I cease to revel in denial that I might still be on Earth any more. I have no idea how I got here, and I doubt anyone knows that I am here. Not that anyone would care that I've gone. 'What is this place?' I continually ask myself. I've never been here before, or , at least I think I haven't. Maybe I've always been here, but in denial. My life. My delusion.
It was all quite sudden really. The cogs of my life had been peacefully whirring away, unobtrusive and pretty unimportant by all accounts. Those blasted chimes unanimously brought me here, like an unexpected realisation instantly appearing out of the fog. All at once I came aware of a change of scenery, a change of atmosphere and a change of mind. My thoughts were projected into me; I can hear them, almost as if someone is dictating them to me. Not personal, not secret and certainly not mine. I just wish that they'd stop. They're deafening, drowning out my original thoughts and feelings. My own original thoughts and feelings. Each wave of this disturbingly new torrid mentality bludgeoned a previous memory out of existence.
These are not my thoughts!
And yet, why shouldn't they be? They're in my head for a reason. I have nothing to compare them to. Perhaps the combination of the forceful thoughts and the erratic clocks are hampering my efforts to decipher what's true and what's wrong. Or my own futile mortality makes me ready to accept the unreasonable.
I look around the room, or at least try to; I know it to be a vain endeavour. I'm trapped. I'm stuck in inertia, unable to resist the perpetual assault of someone else's thoughts. As a small act of rebellion, I convince myself that I managed to sneak a look. Temporarily throw off the chains of oppression, and all that jazz. It's a small act of defiance, and a pointless one at that. I take in the display that is forced into my eyes, the visual array that someone permits me to see and to know.
I regret having done so. Thousands of poor people, seated on the cold floor, all facing in one direction, all motionless, all supposedly thinking. Why do I regret seeing this? What's so strikingly different to what I expected to see, from this reality? They are all the same. No longer people, but mere person. Thousands of person. All identical. I pitied them, and yet, I can't help thinking:
'Am I them?'
Am I one of those person? Facing the same way, unable to move, being bombarded by the same unison of thoughts. Have we all been forced into conformity, an endless mass of person in one hall that stretches out as far as the eye can see? There is no horizon, no gentle, gradual end to this perpetuity of conformity.
The chimes interrupt the person's thoughts. Perhaps these are our collective thoughts. Perhaps these are the thoughts of one. Paranoia sets in. I ask myself, 'who is projecting these thoughts?'. I envisage straining my neck in order to glimpse the possibility of one nonconformist. There! Or there! I know that I haven't moved a muscle, and yet I can't help but imagine that I have done just that. My heart races, though I can neither hear nor feel any perceptible trace of a heartbeat, instead substituted by the erratic ticks and tocks of invisible clocks. I have no heartbeat. I am no person. I am one of the person. One iota of existence among a crowd of futility.
'Are these my thoughts?', I question myself. They seem oddly rebellious. And yet they are also oddly restrained. Overridingly odd, actually. Perhaps they are my thoughts, of one person. Maybe I was just paranoid, in denial of my utterly unique existence. I am not them. I am not of those person.
The disjointed, discordant chimes signal another cyclic realisation, over and over.
Edited by Puppeteer, 18 May 2009 - 10:50 AM.