The muck was pungent. Nausea wasn’t even close to what he felt as he plodded through the thick ooze of everything not clean. The smell, the sight, the sound of his boots squishing through the filthy unknowns, the feel of the filth rubbing against his boots; to say that his senses had been overpowered a long time ago would be an understatement.
He didn’t expect to see this up here. From down below, the world above looked to be a place where the heaps and mounds of trash didn’t exist. A place where navigating through the gullies and valleys, taking tenfold longer routes to remain clean was not the only option. How wrong had he been.
It was worse over here. There were no visible heaps or mounds or dumps of the filth. There was an ever oozing slurry of the trash, everywhere. And the ones here residing on top, were happily filling their bellies with the filth spread everywhere. It smelt, it stank, it revolted him in every possible way, but he couldn’t fathom how the ones on top could consume what was basically worse than fecal matter.
All of them had reached here from the steep, pristine steps where even a splatter of filth wasn’t tolerated. But up here? They were guzzling up the oozing slurry to grow and bound ahead. The ones about to sink, he understood. They were barely afloat amidst the scum, and consuming the filth was their only option. But those who were comfortably above it, they also willingly chose to take a deep dive into the filth, and emerge out ahead of all.
It was disgusting, nauseating, and worst of all, disappointing. He himself had fed scraps to a few who were about to sink. But those at the top end, they consumed this filth just to pat themselves on the back. It was pitiful. It was sad.
He tightened his thigh-high boots, squared his shoulder and plodded on. Taking pride and comfort in the fact that even he was the last one among them all, he didn’t eat shit. He was his own person. However little it mattered in the real world, that was something which no one could take away from him. That was something his entire self was built upon.
He was not a lie.