Look around you. Look hard, but never deep. Let the scrutiny burn and the examination exhaust as it moves from pupil to pupil.
See what they are doing, having, enjoying. Glorify the image of that distant ivory tower, floating above the little space in which you occupy. Crave it from below. Yearn for that platform in all of its elevated authority.
Keep your eyes above the surface as you watch, just enough to admire from afar- the life, the dream, the fantasy.
But don’t look below. No-never, never underneath.
Remember how close to the ground you are in comparison. Remember the uncertainty, the want, the need, the deficiency- the absence that exists in looking up beyond yourself.
Imagine what it would be like if you were more like them.
Lighter, brighter, higher.
Let their “haves” build- cultivating so many worlds within your mind. Run through them like a maze. Wondering all the while, which if any, could be yours.
Whose would you want?
How would you choose?
Try them on for size, for fit. Climb the stairs, preparing to transcend once and for all in someone else’s mast.
Enter their space, only to find a rush of cold blanket your form.
Your eyes can no longer circumvent what is there. You see so much more than you expected. Cracks and stains, tatters and breaks. Your elevation doesn’t seem so high from in here. This space is so much smaller than you imagined.
Where is all of the light you thought you saw?
Where is the grand perfection?
Continue moving, from tower to tower, watching them crumble away in the wake of disillusion.
There is nothing behind but rubble and soot.
Eventually all that’s left is you.
Walk inside, recognizing the smell, the look, the feel.
It’s not as cold as you remembered, certainly not like some of the others.
The cracks really aren’t so bad.
And the breaks you have, well maybe they are fixable.
They must be.
After all, nothing else has been what it’s seemed.