All These Pretty Glowing Things

I

Once, we were born free of chains, free of cages, and free of burdens. We were born without bonds, without molds, and without agendas. We were born free of the thirst for gold and lust for fame. We were born without the appetite for things and trinkets. We were born without all these beautiful gadgets and distractions. We were born without any of these nifty and wretched things that are our pride joy. And yet these tiny objects have become centers for our attention.

Now, we are born into a world of chains, barriers and formats. We are all born free spirts, but we grow up behind bars and in chains. Our flesh is stuffed into a mold and we are coerced into one of the world’s formats. We were born naked and free, but in our world, we die concealing our bodies with their cloth, while our hands are chained and our feet are tied. Our eyes are sown shut and lips glued up tight, but we have all our wonderfully frivolous and twinkling things.

We stitch our eyes closed with the thread of our desires. Our gold, our fame, our toys: they sealed our eyes and locked them shut. With narrowed eyes for our possessions and vices we lost ourselves. Engulfed in a madness for our gold, fame, sex and possessions, we renounced any ownership over our bodies. We gifted our flesh to the ones who handed out gold and fame. We gladly sifted through our bodies, bit by bit, day by day, so we could get more from them. All we wanted was a little more. A little more money to buy a few more junky goods for our mantle. A little more money to buy more sex, more booze and more things. More things. We sold our bodies and slowly skinned away the flesh from our bones, we dawned our chains and became slaves to all these pretty glowing things.

II

We are all living in this brutal and nasty world of wonderfully frivolous and twinkling things. So joyful and so free are we. So drunk on our possessions and the pleasure we yield from their undying loyalty. We wear such charming smiles and happy faces as we venture into the world, sharing and showing off our delightful trinkets and toys. We post our cars and trucks across the internet, boasting and beaming about our mechanical babies. We flaunt our precious homes and brag about our wealth. We gloat and we smile, we display and we grin; all the while show casing our prized possessions to this brutal and nasty world.

We coward, at night, behind our fortress walls, guns and alarms. We dare not allow strangers in. We won’t lose our trinkets and toys to thieves, nor would we gift them away. Our trinkets are ours and our baubles are ours: they are not the neighbors and they are not our sisters’. We grind away all day to buy this stuff, we dare not lend it away. We shed blood and offered our bodies to the ones with gold so we could buy this stuff. We cast away bits of our soul and pieces of our hearts so we could purchase these wonderful frivolous and twinkling things.

And where do our bodies go, once traded away to the ones with gold? Where are, our creations taken and where are they held? Who collects our products and oversees their health? We do not care! We are left with hours to sleep, play and enjoy all our pretty glowing things. Where does the beef go when the butchers carry away the carts? We do not care! We can cook the beef once the butchers return it to our hands. We are happy and we are fat. We are joyful and we are merry. Our eyes are sown shut and we are carefree. We have our food and toys. We have our stuff.

III

We were made this way. We were made into a careless, breathless, heartless brute. We were made into a consumer and a worker. We were built and designed to love our toys and crave our trinkets. We were made into a fiend that devours and conquers the land. We were cast into this mold and made to wear these clothes. We were made this way, just as we have made products, gadgets and toys. Our dreams were manufactured on a line like the one we slave over. Our desires were fabricated behind a desk like the ones we type at. Our goals and agendas were forged in the minds of people craving gold and money, as we all do. We were made in their image: we were made this way.

We were told to protect our possessions and hold them dear. We were told to indulge in our vices and hold back none of our wishes. We were told to invest our life in work and we were told to pursue gold and money. We were told to buy these clothes and purchase those rings. We were told to become a consumer of meat and wine. We were told to indulge in all our wishes. We were told by the voices on the gadgets we made. Our machines, our televisions, computers and smart phones offered us these orders. They told us.

We were made this way, by the hands of another, one who was made also this way. And we were told to buy the many things we own. We were all made this one, precise, exact way: a way in which the ones with the gold wanted. A way in which they knew would increase their yield, and increase their profit. We were made this way, and we were told how to be. We were produced in their image and after their thoughts. We were created for their pleasure, their needs and their wishes. We are their product and their brand. We are their creation and they are our gods.

IV

These gods, these industrial brutes and charming devils lord over us all. They control our wishes and desires. We give them our bodies, our labor and our time. In return they dig deep and toss us flecks of gold, nickels and dimes. We sacrifice our bodies to make their machines and profits. We shorten our lives and occasionally die for the sake of their factories and brand. We pick their fruit and plant their crops for dollars a day; all so we can wander home to watch a TV made in one of their factories. We sip a beer brewed at their call and eat food bought from their mega farms. We make their merchandise, plant their seeds, ship the products, stock their commodities, sell their widgets and purchase all of it. We are their business. We are their profit. We are their labor and we are their chains. We are their bonds and their mold. We are their creatures, their children, their workers and their products. We are their pretty glowing things.

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3 comments

  1. Patrick – have you read Ray Bradbury? This short felt like a Bradburian story. I think it’s brilliant. You are correct. We are taught to be consumers. Consumerism is what destroys our creativity and individuality. If you choose not to partake in it then you are ostracized or have problems dealing with things. Wonderful observations. Very dystopian and yet on point.

    Liked by 1 person

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