Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tower of the Sun


Prose

They said I would have my own empire to stand over, and it was true; for no one stood closer to the sun than I.

When I came to life, my kingdom was but a construction site. Only metal, sand and plastic, as far as my eyes could see. But I saw gleaming potential in every direction. My eyes, looking hungrily futureward, already saw the world as it would be.

And it would be glorious.

Back then, when my eyes first opened, my view was of the parkland and the beginnings of the Ferris wheel; when they placed the Golden Mask upon my face, it was then that I came to have Suita within my sights, and foresee the way the city would grow and change. I could look back into the past, as well, into Festival Plaza. I would see everything that was, and everything that would be.

I saw it all from there on the hill. 

When you already know how your short life will end, or how it will begin to end, you have the most magnificent sense of perspective. The time between my birth and when the Tree of Life was taken out of my body was no more than an eyeblink for me – and of course the empire too began to disappear, bit by bit. Soon my coverings were gone, and then I stood alone.

My faces, though, always continued to stare in those three directions – past, present, and future. I never wavered, even when the lights of my eyes went out. Even when the park before me – for so long that pinnacle of the ‘future’ – was torn to the ground. I could see my end as sharply and clearly as I saw that the future I had been built to represent would never be.

Ah – but was it so bad? After all, no one else was blessed or cursed with such knowledge. No one else could see the whole of Osaka in quite this way. And even though other towers came to be taller than I, I was ever nearest to the sun.