Afraid of the Sky:

Really, really - this is all too much. You don't have to do that. I can rip off the paint on my own. It's only a couple ten layers. No biggy. You should probably be over there sitting in the rock, anyway. There's no one there right now, as you know, and the birds are coming. The birds will get the better of us if there's no one in the rock when they get here. Go get in the rock. I got this.

The birds, I think, are from the moon. I know we couldn't figure this out before, but I've been thinking about it a lot, while I'm scraping and ripping over here. We're from the sun, obviously. The sun is large, and bright, and hot. And it sits there, like the rock. The moon is small and wispy, gossamer, like the birds. There are some up there now, you can check it out - see how they just float along? You can watch the moon like that, the way it floats along. You can't watch the sun that way, it will destroy your vision. That's like us. If I stare at you for too long, for example, I won't be able to see anymore.

The birds are jealous because we're of the sun, and they're of the moon. The sun drowns the moon, and it has to hide. Only when the sun is away can the moon watch. The birds don’t want to be this way, where only when we're away can they watch. That's why you have to get in the rock, so the birds won't overtake us. I'll keep ripping the paint.

Last time the birds came, someone was sleeping in the rock, and they shit on it. But we were all fine because…

See, sometimes it's like we're drinking for the hive. Half the people went away, to where there's another rock to have people in, and the cups here got smaller. Just about half smaller. As if by their absence we would need less nourishment. Does that make sense? Maybe we are ants of the sun. There is a part of a pack of crackers on the table, too. When our numbers are fewer, we eat less. That's the only thing this can mean. We drink, and we eat, for the hive.

I can't decide if lunch has to be earlier, then. The HR person is trying to figure that out, and she doesn't know what to tell. "Stands to reason," I said to her, "that if we don't have to eat as much, we should have to eat earlier. Because yesterday we didn't eat as much, so we're hungry sooner."

"Yes," she agreed, "but we can't keep eating earlier and earlier every day. Can we?"

Can we?

So the sun moves faster, now, when the people are less, and the birds don't need to be jealous as long. Days aren't as long and we eat and drink less, and our hive is happier. I wonder: if everyone goes and finds their own rock, so every hive is very small, will the days go faster than minutes, and will we not eat at all? We would all save a lot, that way, and the birds would never have time to try to overtake us, and we'd never even need to get in the rock. I think I will propose this.