Fettered Armor Free, Dance With Me

Imagine that you were born into a world where as every person gets older they have to wear another piece of skin tight armor. By the time you are an adult you are completely covered over. You have an electronic helmet that lets you see out, but it only sees in shades of grey. The people here have lots of words for shades of grey, but only a couple for not-grey.

The longer a person wears this skin tight armor the more grime builds up underneath. They get blisters and sores and rashes and eventually some of them will die from that, but the armor keeps anything from getting in so they feel all of it more like a dull ache. They don’t even know how to talk about it because isn’t that just how everyone feels?

Imagine that you are the child born into that world. Somewhere deep inside you lives the knowledge that a human being isn’t supposed to wear skin tight armor every day of his life. Everyday of my life. So you fight it. You keep taking off the pieces of armor they put on you, but it wears you down. They don’t care if their world and their armor is covered in shit and spikes because they can’t feel it. If you don’t wear the armor they think something is wrong with you. So eventually, piece by piece, you accept it. You wear the armor, even as you tell yourself you are going to change it. the helmet clicks into place and you suck down that stale air.

Years later, you try to remember. Wasn’t I doing something? I remember. I feel something, but oh well. I’ll think of it later. Oh god. What’s that pain. There is a crack in the armor and something is oozing out. You claw at it and pull and now it’s really serious. You could get infected. You could die. You claw at that armor and pull it off, piece by piece. By god it stinks. You smell like something died a long time ago. You wash at it but it’s always like there is more grime and mucus underneath.

eventually, eventually, you can take long enough to look around and you start to cry because you had forgotten. You cry because everything is so deep and rich you could fall into it forever. There is shit and spines and you can see them now, but there are colours that you had forgotten. Things that the helmet never even let you see. you have to go back to washing your skin now.

Your skin is growing back now. There are still sores, but they only bleed a little now. You touch a leaf and a handful of sand. They feel like god and eternity.

You look around at everyone in there armor and you realize there is no way you could ever ask another person to go through what you are still going through, but you don’t want anything more than to feel them and see them free.

You do all you can. You take off a glove, or a boot. You wash it out and clean their hand. You ask them to take off the glove a little everyday. You cry a little because you are afraid it will never be enough, for them or for you.

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