Wednesday, June 23, 2010

A Stab

All these pieces of garbage. Microscopic waste. Stuck in the industrial carpet, ground into it until they're inseparable, forgotten until now. These things: fingernails, crumbs, hairs, flakes of skin, an assortment of ash, clumps of dirt, tiny pieces of string, even a length of tooth floss (which he identified by tasting). All of these things fell from a person as they stood in this space, and in so little time. It was amazing how many pieces of ourselves we lose in such a short span of time. How long? The building is one hundred and thirty-four stories tall, so maybe four minutes? Thirty seconds? Not long enough to remember in hindsight, but plenty of time to shed and drop. To leave bits and pieces of our DNA and our diet and our habits.

Bits and pieces overlooked by vacuums and carpet cleaners and janitors. By security guards and lawyers. Graphic designers and medical device sales people. Hell, even he overlooked them, day after day, elevator ride after elevator ride, until now.

Now, with his cheek pressed to the floor, the pattern of the carpet already marking his torso through his shirt, now he saw the droppings of human life, and he was afraid.