Why I Cry
I haven’t stopped crying since I was born today. Which to some degree is understandable. Babies do tend to cry, testing out their lungs, once free of the womb. But that isn’t my reason.
There’s this period of perfect clarity right after you come out, when you remember everything. That you’ve lived countless lives before this one, and will live countless after it. But that awareness soon fades, like memories of a dream after you awaken.
The overwhelming beauty of being in that state of perfect knowledge, while you’re still connected to the source of all life by the umbilical just before it is once again severed...that would also be reason enough to cry. It’s brought me to tears more than once. But that also isn’t why.
I don’t recall who I was before this. I did at one point, on the way out, but it faded along with everything else like it always does. I can’t say for sure whether it’s a step up from what I was before, or a step down, that I should be reborn as a mouse.
That isn’t such an indignity! It’s a humble life, to be sure...but I’m a mammal at least, with a somewhat complex brain. I have adorable siblings writhing contentedly beside me in the nest, their eyes not yet open, suckling as I do at the many warm teats of our mother. How I love them already.
I don’t know whether I should enjoy the taste of her milk, but I do. For all I know it’s repulsive to anything other than mice, but when in Rome. There is, in the eyes of the source of all life, such a thing as being a “good mouse” or a “bad mouse”. Not just ethically but being the mousiest mouse you can. Really living in that role.
So it isn’t that I'm ashamed. That’s not why. The life of a pest, of a hairy little rodent can still have its own semblance of meaning in the grand scheme of things. I cry, instead, because my fur is white. The same color as the fur on all of the adult mice around me in our cold, sterile transparent enclosure.
I cannot read the writing on the far wall, or understand the symbol next to it, but I can guess. Countless other mice mill to and fro restlessly in identical enclosures to either side, above and below. Still nursing from my poor, sweet mother, I curl my hairless little tail around myself...and resume weeping.