“What a beautiful view today.”

I gaze out my window toward the invisible horizon.

“So painfully pretty. The mountains have run away, the oceans have fled, the plains are hiding, the trees and flowers all gone.”

Taking a deep breath, I smell industry and business and freshly printed money.

“Can you not see the beauty that is civilization?”

The mountains, our foundation, our very bones, ground to dust for a few shiny bits and pieces. For money.

“How can you not revel in the glory of it all?”

The plains, our nourishment, the guts of humanity, paved over for parking lots, for shopping malls. For money.

“We have achieved total control over our planet!”

The oceans, the blood and heart of our dear earth, drained and strained for real estate and salts. For money.

“What our ancestors dreamed of since the dawn of man!”

The trees, our thoughts and dreams, reaching for the sky, cut down for boards and paper. For money.

“Why grub around in the dirt? Why gather dirt to grub around in?”

The flowers, bits of color far brighter than any gemstone, our smiles, mowed under and forgotten. For money.

“Talk to me. Help me to understand your desire, your obsession, with water and dirt and sunshine.”

The flowers. The reason I was here, in this room, having this man I did not want to talk to jabber away at me.

“Why risk ending up in prison for growing, what did you call them again? Flowers?”

Dandelions. A few dandelions. My mother said that her parents remembered when dandelions were considered weeds. A nuisance.

“You could have been out, experiencing this amazing world we’ve created, interacting with other people.”

I had never seen anything so beautiful in my life. I doubt I ever will again.

“But now you’re stuck in this little room. Unable to live life. All because of a couple of flowers in tin cans.”

Though, it wasn’t really the flowers that got me thrown in prison.

“Don’t you realize what tin can be used for? All the amazing products that can be produced for the good of mankind?”

Misuse of Resources was what I had been charged with. A couple of tin cans, that I didn’t turn over to the Re-Appropriation Department.

“But you were selfish and used those tin cans for your own… purposes, I suppose. I suppose you had your reasons, whatever they were.”

I gazed out the window, only because the slowly swirling smog was easier to look at than the face of my Interviewer.

“Not speaking? You realize that this is your last chance. The words you speak to me will be shared with everyone in the entire world. Anything you want to say.”

Even as I look out the window, my mind walks around my cell. 12 steps by 12 steps square. One bed, one sink, one toilet, one window. Everything is gray, everything is hard, everything smells of exhaust.

“You know once I leave, that’s it. Your life is over. You’ve had the mandatory 3 days to think about your crimes. Now you have the chance to say anything you want to the whole world. I, as your Interviewer will ensure that your words are shared with everyone. Tell me, what do you want to tell the world before you die?”

I turn from the window and the smog and say “This cell is to me, what the world you’ve created is to the human race.”


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