The descent is not so bad as we were told. There is a significant amount of depth to the mental experience of falling from heights above our intended pay range. We have gone beyond the pinnacle of man’s real desire and stopped short of our gods’ coattails. We did not even reach for them, bless us.
I will tell you frankly, it has been a hard climb to the top – from the middle sections, from the depths, wherever each individual started from does not matter. We each took a hand hold above our intended stasis point and lifted our bodies to a point higher. None of us started at weights that would allow this to be an easily managed movement. We are no ants. Our own bodies have grown fat a fruitful, our greed hanging like fruit from our withered bodies to be picked by our starving comrades in stasis next to us.
No, great Seraphim, we have hauled our gluttony with us to the peak. It has suffocated the greater man, crushed the frail women disguised as desperate lampreys on the backs of the wealthy. We are top-heavy above the clouds.
Soon, my child, I will return to the story of the fall.
But, first, I give you this warning. Heed it, o Serpent, o quivering masses, ye hamburged lords and wigged commons. There is the tower of man we climb, into space, may it extend forever more. The wind is apart from it – the sound is the icy exhalations from the rictus of our fears. The wind will drive you to insanity. You will let go of this great tree, you will depart from the sanctity of the death clutch and fall forever by listening to its honey-coated sandpaper lullaby. It speaks in threes, devoid of tone, it beats like the kicking fits of a dying heart. It uses words like “halo” and “crouton”. It likes to whisper “dromedary” and “calculus”. In winter it sings songs that screech “fashion” and “great, big, festering sores”. Listen in the darkness, the dark hours of your dark times, when the shadow smothers like burlap in the void. It will sing to you of “status” and “wealth” and “postcard wisdom”.
We are different. We are the ones separate from those clinging desperately to stasis. The tree grows because we stretch out to the next handhold using the docile as stable resting places. There is mead there, though. There are no beermen here with their disdainful looks to the beverages you’ve not yet decided you’ll be against because other people aren’t.
The tree terminates, and here is the last decision:
Stop, give into stasis.
Or, reach for the next handhold that isn’t there. Find nothing and fall.
We jealous and self-serving bastards … we didn’t even reach for those coattails.