I live at the bottom of a well. When I think back, I can't remember how long I've been here, or how I got here in the first place. Did I fall in on my own? Was I pushed? Perhaps a little of both?
I have everything I need to physically live here in my well. Food, a warm bed. I'm able to see what's going on outside the well on my computer, but I myself cannot actually leave. There are no ropes or ladders to let me out, and the walls are too tall to climb without tools.
There are people right outside the well. There used to be a lot - I could yell up and someone would come sit on the edge of the well to talk. For a couple of hours, I'd forget I was in the well; I was just talking to my friend, being a normal person. I liked it when people would come to talk. At first I could yell and someone would almost always come, but now people have gone to other places, places where they can't hear me when I yell. If I'm lucky, and I yell loud enough and long enough, someone shows up. But sometimes no one comes at all.
To pass the time, I watch what's happening up there on my computer. I can see my friends and family, I know they're safe and happy. Sometimes I tell them what's going on in the well, just to let them know I'm still here, but living in a well doesn't create great stories or photos like the outside world does. I'd tell them more, but there isn't more to say. "Hey guys, still in the well. I'll see you soon, I hope."
Some people think it's my fault that I can't get out of the well. Regardless of how I got there, they can't see that I need help climbing out. They think I'm not trying hard enough, but that's because they've never seen the well from the inside. They don't understand why I can't simply climb the walls like Spiderman, or how a string of shoelaces tied together is a nice thought, but won't get me anywhere.
More than a couple of times I've been thrown ropes, thick ones with knots to help me climb - I'll get halfway up the wall and the rope will turn to sand, letting me fall back down. Sometimes it takes a few days to get over the pain from the fall. I've gotten almost all the way out a few times, only to have someone let go of the other end, dropping me back to where I started with a bunch of bruises.
Every couple of weeks, the guardian of the well comes to visit. He sits on the edge of the well for 50 minutes, EXACTLY 50 minutes, and we try to figure out new ways of getting me out. When he gets up to leave, I have a little renewed confidence that I can find a way out of the well. Then I go back to watching the outside world on the screen. I look up; it's so high, so far to the top. I look back at the screen, wishing I had that view.
It feels like I've tried everything to climb out. Making cracks in the wall for foot and hand-holds, using pieces of broken rope to make another, being so tired and delirious that I believe for a few hours that a popsicle-stick ladder will hold my weight. And then I have to deal with the people who tell me there's only one way up. If I don't go up this way, I'll never make it. But why can't I try this way? I mean, we're all working towards the same goal here. The fact that I use bedsheets instead of a well-made expensive gym rope shouldn't make a difference - if it gets me out, I'm OUT.
To the people that pass above and look down, I wave. I smile, exchange some small talk. Sometimes I make jokes. The passers-by don't notice how deep the well is. They just notice there's a nice girl who told them a funny story as they walked by. And I keep telling the stories, because I want them to walk by again, and again. They think I'm down here because I like it. They don't know I can't get out.
How long before I can get out? Who's going to throw me a rope that holds my weight until they can grab my hand and pull me the rest of the way out? I'm not asking for an elevator, or to be lifted out in a helicopter. I just want the tools to be able to climb out myself. Why won't anyone loan me their tools?