The string gets pulled in all directions. Each tugging it. Each trying to get a certain part of it. None of them want to give up. They could all let go but they don’t. They grasp harder. They try different grips hoping that will be the edge they need. Sometimes they get tired and loosen their grip. It feels good to loosen their grip but then they remember. It’s the remembering that brings them back to focus. They pull harder than ever before.
The string moves this way and that way giving each the sense that they are winning; that their goal will finally be achieved. An itch needs to be scratched. They get distracted – by a fly, by the sun, by their thoughts. The advantage that they gained is lost as the others pull to regain their position. Sometimes they pull in such a way that it gives them all a sense of movement; I’m getting somewhere!, they individually think. They continue to pull each other around in a circle until they get dizzy. They stop. They realize they are back where they started, “How did that happen?”
Their hands burn.
Each must win. None can lose.
None can win. Each must lose.
The string is passive; it allows itself to be tugged about; it’s of no concern to the string – it will win in the end. It knows. The string knows this.
A desperate pull shifts everyone. A yelp of pain. A shout of triumph. It goes on. And on.
They know it. They don’t listen.
They hear it. They don’t understand it.
The string understands. The string hears. The string knows – it’s only a matter of time.
They should know. They do know. They don’t care. They must pull harder. It’s the only way. It’s harder to release their grip than to continue to struggle.
It’s wrapped around them now. The string pulls tighter with each pull. The string doesn’t care.
They care now. They try. They are too late.
They can’t let go.