L I N E S
Everyone felt when that time of the year came,they could feel the humidity walking away, but they could still smell it as well. It was three days after the last rain of April. The town had been preparing for months. Adults knew the drill, they had maps drawn with infinite lines, that seemed to cover the land but never touched perpendicularly. Others had been gathering materials, it was hard to find because none of these things could be grown, harvested, or created by hand.They needed to travel for three sunrises to get a variety of cold boring lines, sometimes wrapped around each other, with spikes coming out, or creating never ending grids made of metals that seemed almost alien to this place.
Big machines which seemed like trucks with wheels half their size,colorless, in tones of grey as if the color was removed from the earth entered the streets covered with spikes, sharp, shiny strings of metal. The kids, who did not understand what was going on, hid behind their mother’s dresses, the sound of metal sliding into each other sounded as a thousand screams coming from afar. Imagine a metal knife sliding into an empty plate, but a hundred times louder. Kids closed their eyes tight as they covered their ears immediately.
This was the saddest morning for the trees, they thought this year would be the last one.
They thought they defeated the fence for the last time. Their roots had grown bigger this time, they had so many that they expanded across town. Streets were covered with a variety of roots; cars were no longer able to transit. Adults complained every time, they even saw some small roots peeking inside their houses if they left their windows open.When they opened their doors, they quickly had to go out, as they would see a timid root approaching. Some, even decided not to leave their houses in fear of the roots.
But kids had fun, they jumped each of the roots when they walked, they created games around them. And even started naming them and getting excited when they started growing longer. They created drawings and marks to measure their growth, but when adults found out about this, that kid couldn’t play with that root anymore. They covered the root with plastic to prevent contact, but little did they know, nature grows stronger when prevented from light.
This is when it all got confusing for the kids. Why would adults cut all of them? Build giant fences around their town, to prevent a root, a tree, a leaf from entering? It seemed like they were hiding or avoiding an old lover who wanted to be loved again.
But exactly three days after the last rain of April, everyone woke up at 5 a.m. and walked their way to the borders of the town. This year it all got somewhat delayed, they started cutting the very long roots that created lines all over town, before starting to build the fence.
At 6:32 am the first root was cut, a crying sound was heard in the distance along with the tree’s tears which created a painful body of water in the form of rain that covered the town. The rain was supposed to be gone three days ago.
Every root cut, several miles away, a tree trembled, shivered of pain. All their attempts of setting ground, expanding, connecting were being taken away by one cold cut.
After many cries, sounds of despair, and a growing rain, all the adults gathered along the border of the town to start rebuilding their fence.
Piles of barb wire, bricks, concrete, metal spikes, and blocks created mountains of diverse tones of grey that shined from the distance. Adults grabbed each of these materials one by one piling them up to create this fence. Only a couple of lucky ones who were able to buy gloves saved themselves, but the rest had sharp cuts all over their hands and stomach by handling these alien pieces of lines. So, an eight feet tall wall of sharp wires combined with small drops of human blood was being created slowly, but steadily.
The trees on the other side of the wall let their branches collapse of sadness. Feeling hopeless once again. They had no more energy to fight back, to create more roots, they were healing their open wounds by losing parts of their limbs earlier that day.
The night came in and the adults were almost done building their fence. They knew it was done when they got to a point where they had created an infinite line that eventually met itself on both ends.
They all walked slowly back home, moving together as a mass that covered the now empty streets of the town, as the kids watched them over their windows, realizing all their friends were gone.
Another year would start, trees creating organic lines that slowly moved and grew as if they were hugging the town.At the same time, humans would create different ones: sharp, straight, cutting ones that prevented any sign of affection. Who would win the fight?
The absurdity of the whole situation was hard to understand. It seemed like the younger generations found no harm in this disease, but others abstained from the idea of coexisting with the other who wanted to grow and be part of their lives.
Another year would pass, of the roots trying to go through the fence and a new fence being built.
Would they ever understand?
It seemed like no one knew who was there before, who’s land this was, and what was underneath the ground they were all standing on. The color of the town seemed to be walking away as grey tones of containment approached as if a gigantic stamp was trying to claim property by creating straight cuts that wounded this obscure land.
They made sure to create lines and more lines. Without knowing lines are meant to be drawn, not to build or separate.