The Glittering & The Bleak


Fancy gowns and polished tuxedos were swirling around me while I was pushing through the vast hall to get to the kitchen doors. The obnoxiously expensive scents and the glamorized bodies pressed up on me, and with every collision; an expression of utter disgust and repulsion was thrown at me. They all seemed so caught up with the dancing and the twirling, no care in the world could snatch them out of the dream that they were living. I felt fire swell up inside of me, not the green fire of jealousy, but the red fire of anger and the blue of pity. How could they not care about what was going on around them? Do they have no moral sense at all? The glamorous and the glittering constantly surround them. The bleak and the grim are rarely ever heard of in this colorful hall. They’re only merely thought of for the span of one to two minutes, when one of the elderly speaks of the happenings outside of the hall on the streets. Even in those few minutes, that world seems so far away that they do not perceive it as something that is actually experienced by people like themselves, they see it as a world from some made up, unrealistic work by a pessimistic, depressed writer.

I finally reached the kitchen doors and was pushed through them; the stench hit me so hard that my eyes started tearing up. I saw many men and women crammed into a small space, trying to cook up the fancy recipes that they were ordered to finish in thirty minutes and to fill up the crystal glasses without dropping any of the fancy champagne on the pure gold trays. One of the girls who were filling up the glasses called me over to take away the tray that was almost complete. I watched her fill up the remaining glass, her face could work as a representation of concentration and stress and her clothes were soaked with sweat and fading stains. A big bundle of browns locks was suppressed underneath the hairnet that she wore to avoid an angry party host later on this evening. She picked up the golden tray to hand it to me, and just then, my brain saw the most vivid contrast of the evening. It was not the contrast between the reds and the yellows of the gowns, nor of the blacks and whites of the tuxedos, but of the plain, filthy girl and the immaculate, ornamental tray that she was holding up. I stared at her for a few moments until she started shouting at me for not hurrying out of the door with the tray. I quickly snatched the tray from her hands and ran outside of the doors, into the lavish hall that I so wanted to escape again. I wanted to get rid of all the glasses on the tray so that I can go back to the kitchen, where I was much more comfortable.

As I was roaming through the hall, the mental image of the girl holding up the tray plagued my mind and then it hit me hard. It was like an epiphany, I realized that how without the battered and frail woman, the glamorous, fancy tray would fall to the ground and scatter into a million pieces. How could I not think of it that way before? How could I ever think the tray holds up the woman? That doesn’t even make sense.


With every roar from the gathered crowd, my ribcage slightly vibrated. My clothes were wet and torn, my hair a heavy cloud of curls, and my legs were no longer strong enough to keep me standing for any longer. Despite of all of that though, I was elated. I’ve never felt more self-ruling or powerful in my life. In the midst of the people around me, I felt at home. I did not mind the stench of sweat, the lack of personal space or the piercing voices surrounding me; I was oblivious to all of that, blinded by happiness and disbelief. We are finally standing up for ourselves. We, the people who are always stepped on, mocked, and ridiculed for being how and where we are, are finally realizing that this is not how we should be living.

A few weeks ago, the majority of the population was quite satisfied with their lives; but not because they got what they deserved, but because they were blinded by the media and the ruling class. After a few incidents, which were sparked by the death sentence of a man who rebelled against company policy and solidified with the death of many other thousands of protesting people afterwards, the government thought that it had everything under control. They did their job; shut up the noisy group of insignificant renegades and restored everything to its usual corrupt condition. Now to reassure the people who mattered, a ball was held. Everyone who mattered or was of any importance to the government was invited and the rest of the population was left to sulk over their deteriorating condition. I was infuriated when I read about the ball in the local newspaper. How could they hold such an incongruous event while the whole country was on fire? This move simply told the masses one thing: “no matter what you do or how you try to set us right, we will always win. We are not afraid of you; you are nothing and we are everything. Watch us hold an extravagant ball while you rot in your so-called homes.”

We were infuriated; our souls lit on fire. We gathered in unison in front of the hall and demanded the presence of the oblivious aristocrats occupying the hall towering over us. As the hours dragged on, the crowd tired, and the people inside the hall continued ignoring our pleas and shouts, we decided to crash the ball. The leader of the crowd started shouting instructions and safety precautions through his megaphone. The energy we lost was regained. I felt a new surge of adrenaline rush through my veins as the whole crowd started running to the massive doors of the hall, trampling the “guards” who were stationed outside.


The small arrow of the clock was nearing ten when the weariness started to overcome my efforts to appear awake in front of the people. I stood by one of the long, draped tables on the edge of the hall; my feet were too tired from roaming around the perimeter of the hall, and I was sick of offering people drinks and getting rejected or getting thrown some more of the insolent looks of annoyance or pity. I stood in my place for ten whole minutes and even had the fatigue-driven courage to pick up one of the expensive glasses on my tray and take a few sips from it. Of course the atrocity that I had committed would not and did not go unnoticed; as soon as I put the glass back on the tray, one of my bosses started approaching me with a reddening face. As he was hurriedly walking over, I noticed the exact resemblance to a waddling penguin. I stared at him even more, realizing how stupid he looked as he huffed and puffed through the hall, straining himself to reach me while trying to avoid colliding with any of his guests. Can you not see how incompetent you are?

Source: Modern dance Vs Classic -  Myriam Melki

Source: Modern dance Vs Classic – Myriam Melki

No wonder you’re so bad at leading this crumbling joint, I thought. The old man finally reached me and started coughing abruptly; he then tried to cover up these signs of weakness by pretending to be clearing his throat. But the man didn’t get the chance to start his dialogue, as the hall doors suddenly burst open and a mass of common-looking people flooded in. All of the composed aristocrats that I had been serving for the past few hours were caught off guard. Every one of them was running towards the inner chambers of the hall, trying to escape the clutches of the enraged crowd. I noticed that the crowd avoided hurting any of the guests; they were only sabotaging the hall and shouting out rhyming slogans. My mind was racing; should I join my people or should I run off to join the others, who belittled me and were completely unappreciative of my services to them all throughout my life? It was not a hard decision. I ran to the crowd and was greeted with victorious hails. As I took my position in the midst of the crowd, I saw the whole hall from where I stood. I saw the fleeing and the confused. Then I spotted the girl I saw working in the kitchen. She was standing next to one of the tables with a tray in her hands, looking disoriented and scared. She obviously did not know where to go or who to follow, but most importantly, what to do with the extortionate tray she was held responsible for. I saw confusion in her eyes, then she zoned out of where we were; it was like her mind was in a completely different world. Then she suddenly snapped back to reality, looked around one more time, and then gave up the tray to the hard floor. With the sound of the glass breaking as her cue, she ran for the crowd and started yelling at the top of her voice along with the leader.

And from there on, it was hell for the oppressors and heaven for the oppressed. The oppressors were now the oppressed. The oppressed left the oppressors to fall and scatter into a million pieces on the hard, bleak floor that is justice.

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