I've always looked down on the ground dwellers. Bewildered by their choices and lifestyle, I would sit for hours looking down on them... You might be thinking to yourself, Woah he sounds so full of himself... Who does he think he is looking down on people. But don't judge me. I may be looking down on them, but it is not just me, hundreds of other people are also looking down on them. The ironic thing is I do not think I am better than them, in fact I and my fellow wall dwellers owe our entire existence to their mishaps. If they hadn't slipped up, we would not be where we are now.
But for you to understand what I mean by ground and wall dwellers you need to understand where we both came from. You reading this now, are most likely a ground dweller. How do I know this, you might ask? Well wall dwellers are completely detached from ground dwellers. Since you're reading this, suspended miles above the ground, you are utilising what ground dwellers call transportation. I can hear those giant metal birds whizzing by our house, shaking its foundations as they zoom across us. We don't use cars or planes to move around, our entire world is interconnected with bridges and ladders. Everything is a few minutes away, we never felt the need to come down. We chose this life and are happy with our lives. Well, as the name shows, ground dwellers are the people of the city. Wall dwellers are the inhabitants of a new type of city, one that is vertical, suspended above the old city.
I have lived my entire life suspended from walls. I did not witness the start of our life but everyone spoke of the story of how it originated. All thanks to a simple trend that has started years ago and a misfortunate event. The story dates way back, even prior to the event that single handedly started our city.
My grandparents always told me how the city changed around them. The small houses were demolished to make way for modern buildings, roads quickly became infested with cars leaving no place for them to walk. The new buildings were built wall-to-wall. I had trouble imagining it as this is not what the city looks like now, so my grandfather would align sugar cubes in one straight line forming a wall. Soon enough ants would start crawling all around it, it looked like the ground dwellers and the buildings beneath us. After that he would stack more sugar cubes forming tall towers in the perfect line of sugar, an abnormality in what was order. He told me how the older buildings were demolished to make place for skyrocketing buildings. One thing that these new buildings didn't take in consideration was the fact that they were built on wall-to-wall plots of land. This resulted in two sides of the buildings being completely blocked off, in anticipation for new towers to pop up next to them. This created two large uninhabited walls, left unfinished and cut off from their surroundings. An eye sore that sadly has become the norm to ground dwellers. They carried on living not caring about these walls, it was like they completely forgot that such bare walls stood in their city. They rode in cars, blind to what's around them, sparing no thoughts to what's to the side of their offices.
The walls remained bare until someone eventually took notice, giant billboards were plastered on them, bringing in even more money. Thankfully not all ground dwellers are delirious. Where some saw giant empty walls for advertisement others saw a giant canvas waiting to be painted. The trend of murals soon took over, many empty walls were covered with beautiful illustrations and paintings, in fact our house overlooks one of them. I have memorized each and every line drawn on our wall. Just like everything in this world, everything has a starting point, an origin. Our elder wall, as my grandfather liked to call it, is the wall that our entire city originated from. Like all the other murals in the city this was commissioned, however it was never completed. A giant block of concrete fell on the artist as they were painting it, a freak and unfortunate accident. The half painted arm remained stretched on the wall, with the scaffolding still in place.
“The ground dwellers excelled in starting projects, but they were experts in not finishing them.” My grandmother would always tell me. The mural stayed unfinished for months, the scaffolding the poor artist used to scale up the wall remained intact.
This scaffold has remained erect, tempting people to scale it. Eventually people started using it and calling it their own. One lady bought giant pots and planted trees in them, she would go everyday during her lunch break and water them. One thing led to another, a market took place on this wall, people opened galleries, had book signings and events on this scaffolding. It was as if they all agreed to forget the tragic history of the mural that is now covered with layers upon layers of flyers and posters.
This wall was the hotspot for a year, everyone, who was someone or not, wanted to be in it, taking pictures and posting them online. But just as fast as it rose to infamy, it plummeted down. People slowly lost interest in it, they went back to their cars and conditioned offices and the wall was once again a backdrop to their daily lives that no one notices. No one except for us, the wall dwellers. It is said that our founding fathers were sick of the frivolous life of the ground dwellers. They yearned for a different lifestyle, one away from the sickening cycle of the city. They saw a life in the abandoned markets, scaffolds, trees. We outgrew our elder wall, expanding into the wall beyond it. We created our own world, expanding from one abandoned wall to the next. We carry on living, looking down on the ground dwellers, but they never looked up, always consumed with their lives and needs.