The Rub

We alight from our train onto the platform like mercury into mercury — accelerating and accumulating as the contents of each carriage flow through the exit gates and outwards we flood, flowing out onto the pathways absorbed into the blurred silvery rivers swirling around the avenues and streets in and out of buildings — and all going somewhere.

There is little time to scrutinise the determined faces, minty-breaths and streamlined hair-dos of all these passers by. All wear voluminous padded clothing in slick technologically advanced fabrics that reflect both light and touch giving them the metallic look of bubbles underwater and the non-stick feel of something approaching nothing. Their suits inflate to create a giant upholstered fast moving glacier supporting a bobbing payload of well preened disembodied heads. There is the whisking slither sound of fabric over fabric as bodies hurtle along.

At a corner turn, we get a glimpse of feet. Each foot is armed with sharp-toothed shoes sporting diamond and metal-ended heels like a stone-cutter. The pavements are smooth and polished from their constant abrasion and yet these sharp heels are the only thing that cuts a grip into the glossy slabs from which they are hewn. These millions of scuttling and cuttling feet create a scouring dust that acts as a polishing agent for the padded bodies. The rounded and glassy towers of this city have been excavated and fashioned from the ground upon which it was originally founded. Every curvaceous arch and hollowed hall. High above, the roof-top gardens are just remnants of the former landscape, and amongst their trees you can see the small wooden huts on stilts that are the only architectures that were ever actually built.

As time has passed, the earth below has been continually eroded and the structures have become ever taller. The rapid swirling movement of the population cuts deeper downwards into the rock, excavating its own future and creating the avenues and streets that we see today. The further up any given skyscraper you look, the further back in time. The further down, the more recent the sculpt, each new sub level supporting its architectural ancestors above. 

This constant flow is impossible for any individual to sustain of course, and the bones and dust of previous generations remain simply where they stopped moving in the upper layers of the towers. For each youthful generation that cuts its level downwards into the earth, there is one that is left up there in the past. 

In time, the last patch of ground will be completely eroded by the whirling inhabitants, hurtling the living population into space like so many pearls suddenly cut loose from their strings. Their diamond heels will grip at nothing and their padded suits will reflect like stars. Leaving the skeletal ball of the planet tumbling behind.

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