Ever notice the vents? Yeah, some of them blow hot air and others cold, air-conditioned air, but there are those that don’t blow any air at all.
They just are.
Little inconspicuous holes in the walls. There are a few in the office building where I work. Grated, forgotten. Normalized and hidden in plain sight, as they say.
Then again, as who says?
Because there’s no one you can question about these things if you start to have doubts.
Co-workers don’t care. Supervisor says he’ll look into it but never does. Management says they’re just vents, as if that answers the question.
When I contacted the building owners, suggesting a fault (“because no air blows”), I got a message back saying some vents are just control vents, not for the blowing of air.
The next day I was summoned by management. “Why are you contacting the building owners directly? All communication must go through management.”
So ask yourself: Is this normal? The fuck are these vents for?
I’ve paid careful attention to them over the past few years, and I think I know. Oh, I think I know the truth about these awful, grated holes in the wall.
The building owners weren’t lying.
These aren’t blow-holes.
Slowly, quietly and almost imperceptibly they work, day by day, hour by hour, minute by fucking silent minute, sucking away our souls.
The pressure is so slight you don’t usually feel it.
But it’s there, in those eerie moments when the hairs on your arms stand suddenly on end, or late in the day, when it gets uncomfortably quiet, and you can hear that gentle hum of who knows what somewhere in the world.
Now you know what.
The vents sucking on you—on all of us.
But even more than that. Sucking you and us away, siphoning off our very essence like some kind of goddamn spiritual vacuum cleaner with vents for mouths. Monolithic and ubiquitous.
Ever wonder why you feel so tired at the end of the day even when you haven’t done a fucking thing?
Or so much more apathetic about every aspect of your life even though you struggle to find anything real to complain about?
It’s not aging.
It’s not a natural process.
It’s the soul sucking.
The perversity of it is they play it back for you. The essence they suck, they learn from it, then they rearrange it and stream it for you on Netflix as parody. What’s your favourite show? That’s your life regurgitated. Self-sustenance through spiritual auto-cannibalism.
There’s even a way to see the sucking of the vents.
All you’ve got to do is colour your thoughts. Make them weird, unusual. Give them a tinge of the extraordinary to make them stand out against the greyness of our modern lives. Then sit and watch as the colours spiral faintly out of you, flowing slowly but continually past the unassuming grates, and into the vent-beyond.