It Smells Down Here
April 2, 2008 10:16am CST
It smells down here. There is an unedifying odor of mendacity. The dishonesty and intangible whispers are followed by short glances and rolling eyes. The jealousy smells of rot. The acceptance of nothing more, rising up, mingling with a rainbow haze like the oil slick on top of water. It’s altogether sickening to be in the presents of so many rats. It’s dark and cold. There is a foreboding dampness that hangs in the air making it hard to breath. The sadness rises up from the depths to the light far above. One rat climbs on the other in a never-ending chain of desperation. In the corner, another rat chews the paws of one of his fellow members. From desperation he finds the gnawing a delicacy. He stops as he’s noticed, gives a twisted smile, then returns to the gnawing as the other rat lies exhausted excepting inevitable death. More rats mate in the dark corners as the smell of incest and rape, mingle with the combined odors of sewage. The only reason behind the sick scene is to increase the population. More rats, more incest, and more sewage are all that will come of this weirdness. Other rats scurry from one dark hole to another, running and jumping over anything that happens to be in the way. Sludge buildup, trash and litter thrown by passersby are just as common as the darkness and the smell. It breeds with itself as it mounts. A few rats hide, huddled together in another corner. They know the way out. They just can’t reach the door that will lead them to their freedom. They are too scared to think for the moment. Their eyes continue to race from the scenes of death that surround them, to the door above their heads. The door beckons their every thought. They know they must escape or die. As death around them increases, the huddle begins to murmur between each other. Eyebrows lift. Ideas are hatched. One rat can stand, reaching tall, while another stands atop, reaching still further until victory can be achieved. It’s going to take teamwork though and trust has yet to be overcome. Still, it’s a workable plan. Eventually, one rat will take the initiative. He will cautiously meander to a small clearing where he can take a firm grasp on the situation, standing tall to show others who will gladly follow his lead that they can achieve success if they help one another. One by one the huddling rats find enough courage to begin the formation of a chain, climbing one on top of the other, making a ladder that leads to the door. Fear is overshadowed with confidence as the rats that hate the stench climb their way to what is waiting outside the sewer. When the last rat reaches the ledge below the door, he hangs on with as much might as he can muster, while the rats below him climb over the one above to reach the outside. Slowly, at first, as the door is flung open, each rat, one by one, can begin to see a glimmer of hope. The smell from below begins to dissipate the higher they climb until finally, they can breath fresh air as they cautiously exit the hell where they were almost certainly going to die. Freedom has been found from the depths of the sewer. New smells, new hope and new beginnings replace the paralyzing thoughts, which once held them back. As the rats who escaped the wretched place from below emerge into their new world, some sadness remains in their thought process because they realize leaving that hell was relatively easy and simple with the help of like-minded rats who wanted a better way of life. They will not return though. They will never go back. They will only hope that each rat that remains of their own volition will eventually begin to understand, the sewer is not the place for a descent rat to live. Rats need a clean space and a place they can call their own.