Drifting worlds tear me apart.
Yet I cling on to them.
A dying hope swells up reluctantly.
Maybe one of the worlds will rip me over to itself.
Wrinkled grimy hands, like wicked vines will snake through thin air.
To snatch me. Entwine me. Swallow me.
Forever alienating me to the wonders of other worlds.
And I shall not speak of what I saw in them.
They will sense my presence and close in.
Like a curious higher being, they will poke and nudge at my corners.
And I, the meek creature, will stay put. I will not bare my fangs.
Bidding my time, I will wait for the elders to encircle me.
The clockwork blinking of their beady eyes may churn my stomach.
Yet I shall be subdued willingly. For I want to belong.
My squeaks will signal them to reciprocate.
They too, shall emit a shrill squeak, accepting my offering.
Each outer circle will fuse into its inner one.
Layers upon layers of squeaky cogs.
A millions squeaks.
Do not make a roar.
Creaky squeaks will reduce me to confirm.
You shall hear my voice no more.
For I am indiscernible.
He is one of us, the collective voice will say.
One of us.
One of us.
One of us.
I catch myself chanting, rocking back and forth.
Is it better to be heard?
Or herded to be bitter?
As I close my eyes and lock my teeth with my fellow cogs,
I think of the giant wheel that we are a part of.
Are there other wheels? What do they do? Where do they go?
Is the wheel just another giant cog?
I want to break free and witness the others for myself.
But I tick. With precision.
Validate me fellow cogs.
For I tick. With precision.
What if I stop ticking?
What if we all stop ticking?
Would the giant wheel stop and think of where it is leading us to?
Or would it wake up from its dazed stupor and realize it was not meant to be?
Would it willingly disassemble itself?
Leaving us cogs to our own instruments — each cog, a wheel unto itself.
Would you then, tiny cog, reach out to lock again with your fellow beings and harbour a hope of collective precision?
Or would you choose to tumble along freely from one world to another and witness yourself as you rust out in a glorious yet glacially slow display of individual brilliance?
Time won’t tell.
The worlds are waiting.