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HAYWIRE Issue 10 Fall 2017

HAYWIRE

HAYWIRE Issue 10 Fall 2017 The smell of wet paint hangs in every room like fog, filling my nostrils and mind. My brain registers a dull pain behind my eyes when looking at these empty walls, This door frame used to have Inertia by Lucy Defty paintings taken down, boxed up, sent away. pencil lines marking where he grew I push my thumb into the The floors shiver, naked wet paint satisfied when my thumbprint remains and my finger comes away wet now that and white sticky. and their colourful carpets and cushions are gone. of the room surprises me, now that it is empty and devoid of lif, too big yet devoid of life The vastness suffocating. with two cut-out holes over their head, waiting Can I paint over, box up, ship away the memories I made here? They stand in a corner a white sheet Art by Gwendolyn Campbell, 9a for me to get in my car. 16

Expedition Leader’s Log Today marks the third anniversary of our arrival here at Sol III. So far, I have established several observations pertaining to species X. Before excitement overtakes you, let me assure you I could not be any more disappointed. Probability states at least one of these primitive creatures would differ even slightly from the others. Probability has failed us. These beings all appear uniform, act Photo by Anonymous Stardate 2017.245 by Paul Friedrich, 12a alike, and ultimately, die vapidly, leaving nothing but the echo of a nonsensical whisper. The word “individual” means nothing. They enter this world as wrinkled pink sources of clamor lacking any control over their bladder, then are herded into learning facilities like cattle. Here, mature members of their species prime them to believe each one of them is special and unlike any other, only to inscribe the exact same knowledge into all of their brains. I feel tempted at times to toss one of their young an animal treat. Once the young have transcended the educational conveyer-belt bottler, they enter some sort of profession where they receive thin paper-rectangles for their toils, reminiscent of how we might reward a pet. Most then trade these slices of dead tree for essentials they require for living, such as consumables or body-packaging, as to prevent their starvation or freezing to death. What follows initially puzzled me, but I now ascribe it to this species’ primitive nature. “Individuals” reaffirm their existence through purchase of essentials to increase their stockpile of what I now know to be “money”. In essence, the ultimate intent of their toils is to survive, which in turn serves to ensure the continuation of their labor. Species X lives trapped inside an endless masochistic cycle of meaninglessness, where unsavory activities derive justification from their necessity in continuing said occupation. It seems ordinary here to suffer through work in order to live and live in order to suffer through work. This mundane rhythm continues throughout their lives until at some point, they inevitably die. Most leave nothing meaningful behind, slowly disintegrating to dust along with their potential to create anything consequential. Instead, these self proclaimed “sentient” beings channel their entire brief lives towards purely ensuring their existence. I would find it quite amusing were we not as a species condemned to eternal universal solitude in the face of the insignificance of these “humans”. 17 HAYWIRE Issue 10 Fall 2017

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