Up High

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Photo by Chris Davis

The top of the world is a complicated place to be. Everyone longs to be here, because top means top, right? It means you know the right people, or are the right people. The right people for the top.

The top of a heap of steel and glass, reflecting the sunlight and your image back. You can see the wide expanse from up here. The structures around you, but mainly below you glint and gleam. Your glass castle lets you see everything, even yourself.

Except the details. You have to go down for those. The fine, delicate patterns of the streets and people below. The crush and crunch. Up here you have the high view, the broad view. The glare of the world is too bright, the details too small. There is a lot of air between the top and the bottom. The higher you go the clearer it gets. Encased in a nice smelling box, it seems all sunsets and lightening storms, and rolling clouds. Even the water is better. You see the raindrops first.

Or so everyone tells themselves, locked in this world of chrome and grey. The muted palette of life in the stratosphere. Nuance comes only in inflection, tone of speech. The people up there aren’t made in color. They are paper dolls, cut from a pattern. They forget what bold hues look like, unless it’s on a Rothko in the hall.

The world below is too dirty, too dangerous, too confusing. Up high, things are simple enough, drama creates itself. Greek Tragedies and Shakespearean. These are the lives of those in boxes, creating turmoil to pass the time.

The conundrum is this — if you spend too much time in the nest, you forget how to fly. Though, if you fall below, or have never tasted the clear air up there, you will spend much of your life thinking of it.

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Inside the Gherkin, London
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