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Bamboo Galaxy

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Posted

I wrote this for a more down to earth story I could submit to my school's literary magazine, since my other stories were about a DJing unicorn/robot duo and a sinister lamp post.

I didn't want to post it because it seemed too serious to me.

But I need the message right now.

I had just jumped from a cliff. Rather, I had failed at fatally hitting the rocks and sea spray. The starry night looked down upon me as I put my hand upon the smooth bamboo safeguards that now protruded from this popular suicide spot. My nose had just missed hitting one of the bamboo rods head on, so that was fortunate, but I had a black eye.

That was ages ago, probably. I was now lying on this uncomfortable network of wood, or grass, or whatever-it-was-considered, hands folded behind my head, listening to the ocean scraping itself against the stone barricade between it and the rest of the dry world.

The early morning fishing boats drifted along on the waves, oblivious to the universe of thoughts that made up my suicidal mind. I didn't blame them. I know my physical limits, and psychic inception of my emotions was definitely beyond my reach. I didn't want them to understand, anyway.

There wasn't much of a conscious reason for me to jump. Perhaps I wanted to be reassembled somewhere else; somewhere with more beauty, and more meaning, and more sensations. I didn't have any problems, comparatively. I'm grateful that I can live as comfortably as I do, but the comfort is only physical, and the emotional, somewhat questionable.

So I'll decide it was because I wanted to know what it was like. That's a fairly typical reason. Maybe my coworkers and boss won't press me too hard with that answer, if this somehow gets out. Would I be able to accept myself saying something like that?

... No. I can't accept that answer after all.

The Milky Way wrapped its arms around the sky, swirling and twinkling with unfathomable presence to me, and an even more unfathomably meager existence to the rest of the universe. Its lights illuminated the nearby rice terraces and its icy, distant appearance complimented the cool air of the early morning. The bamboo under me supported me and forced me to look upwards. By this time, the bamboo had left pressure marks on my back, and the symbolism of its support was really encouraging. My self-destructive temptations melted before the rich purple dome above my head. Reaching my hand out to the sky would be quite cliché, so I instead remarked at my situation internally.

There was a ladder leading to the top of the cliff from the platform. I felt the bamboo underneath me, and several other poles growing skyward that were rooted in the cliffside. But no matter how many poles of bamboo, whether it be one shoot, or a galaxy's worth, they all worked towards the sky from the ground up, and they supported people like me when I felt like I didn't matter.

I had long since abandoned my feelings of skyward hope for hazy reasons I couldn't myself explain. If the bamboo knew what was past the sky, would it aim even higher? It doesn't need a ladder. It only needs the sun as a goal, and nutrients from its mother earth that it will inevitably return to. I envy its determination, despite being rooted so cruelly to the ground.

I suppose when you're down, the only direction you have room to travel in is up.

That's probably why I grabbed the ladder.

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Posted

I enjoyed reading that. The transition from "... No. I can't accept that answer after all." to "The Milky Way wrapped its arms around the sky..." seemed a little rough to me, but overall it was a good read. :>

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Posted

The point was that the idea of lying like that would be not even up for consideration, so he thought of something else to take his mind off it.

Thanks for reading, glad you enjoyed it.

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Posted

I liked this a lot! Very well-written as always. :]

I especially liked the connection you made between the 'life' of the bamboo, and the life of the narrator (moreso with how it made them realize their resolve and 'grab the ladder' both physically and symbolically/spiritually).

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Posted

Good read :zelda:

So did you end up putting it in the magazine?

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Posted

I think he said that he didn't. I think he should have.

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Posted

I did. I just didn't post it here because it seemed too heavy hearted.

I won't know if they were put into the magazine until later this spring, though.

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Posted

Well if you don't submit anything to Page one, then its just going to be loaded with angsty poems and bad art. Is it too late to use this?

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Posted

I submitted it on time.

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