Before you embark into the depths of darkness where avocado toast goes to rot, you’re required to put on the MILLENNIAL UNDERGROUND SPOTIFY PLAYLIST.
Start the playlist at “GIVER” for this chapter. Do not put on shuffle unless you want to ruin a perfectly timed playlist!!!
Where do you hide in the underground?
Where do you go when you don’t want to be be found?
Trigger and I took one look at the bus stop across the street and knew what we had to do: ditch the car, take public transit.
In a culture obsessed with cars, the bus and metro system was a way to slip undetected around the city.
It was also one helluva way to get lost.
Trigger swerved into an overpriced parking garage —
“If my car gets towed — “
“You’ve got bigger problems,” I reminded him, and he spun into a parking spot.
We ditched the car, running outside.
As we did, we passed a sign painted on the wall that made me falter.
Where had I seen that before? It was if the eyes within the star were staring off to something behind us… something in darkness…
The sound of footsteps snapping against the pavement brought me back. Trigger tugged on my arm.
“We gotta go, sis,” he said, trying to be upbeat and endearing but I could see the fear in his eyes.
We hustled to the bus stop. In that moment, I felt exposed in the darkness, as if I was standing naked on the street and the heavyset eyes from the star were eating into me, rendering me helpless.
Down the street, a bus was approaching.
“Oh thank God,” Trigger breathed.
Shouts could be heard from down the street. I saw the men who were after us in the sedan lock eyes with us, and started sprinting toward us.
Trigger grabbed my arm, fear in his eyes. That’s when I saw it, spilling red light across the concrete, like a beacon:
A millennial art museum, right down the street.
The same one Keke had posed in front of earlier.
“IN THERE!” I said, hauling Trigger with me as we sprinted toward the shifting light.
Behind us, I could hear the men closing in, fast and dangerous, a swiftness only evil intent can embody.
We pushed past glass doors, stuffed cash at the attendant, and disappeared into an exhibit labeled:
THE MILLENNIAL GREENHOUSE
And I felt my breath catch in my throat. All around us were fake plants, in a kind of glory beyond what photosynthesis could produce: neon plants, plants made of multicolored stringlights, a kind of jamboree of lights and color that made you want to spin slowly in front of it all and take a video to capture and share for posterity.
It was a place that transformed images into art, thoughts into poetry…
Luminous Lights of Eternal Plants, A Poem
the luminous lights
of artificial life
light up my life
as we run to save it
here to hide amongst the influencers
influencing our choice location to stowaway
hide your light in the weeds of crippling art
hide your mistakes behind the wrapping vines
choking you in the aesthetic
of vampiric culture
or commerce that swallows culture
selling it back to you
but dear god hide
from the footsteps
from the tourist traps
and the thirst traps
you can’t kill what’s already dead inside.
Eaten Alive by the Millennial Underground is a multimedia fiction series written daily by writer Amy Suto for National Novel Writing Month. Check out the rest of her blog here for more about her nocturnal excursions and writerly pursuits. Read the full Millennial Underground series as it’s coming out in the month of November at: AmySuto.com/underground, and be sure to subscribe via email so you don’t get #cancelled.