By Aurélie Semunovic
Trigger warning: This piece of creative writing may be emotionally challenging.
I would actually go to great lengths to see, if when some people wake up, they naturally do their daily tasks backwards. I mean that based on the quality of the gymnastics performed by some individuals, for the sole purpose of avoiding their own guidelines, one would expect intriguing spectacles. It would probably not be too outrageous to find some of them washing their faces with their breakfast, brushing their toes instead of their teeth, and using their cats as full body towels.
You do not even see how and yet you lose us. Again and again we are won instead by distrust and animosity. You breed it, down it goes, and ouch do we feel it as it falls. You embody unchecked, abusive power, and are sustained only by a level of loyalty that not only transcends academic ethics, but deviates from the rule of law. Not quite a mafia, nor would it be organized crime, but maybe a mob, one could argue, if they had enough facts.
From the constitution to the most basic of Genevan laws, you place yourselves above the clouds in a kind of vacuum chamber. No one can get in, sure, but nothing of worth stays in such a place. And what does it say of the invited?
The 8th floor is a fabrique not for peace but for anti-intellectualism and anarchy. For the only individuals that rise to those skies must have made a devilish trade. They trade, they do. Favors upon favors the system is vertical and it sits on the heads of the bottom feeders too.
The Bottom Feeders, you know, the challengers, the button pushers, the question askers, the hungry readers, the arrogant writers, the equity seekers, the status quo movers. How exactly does one justify the violent throat stepping of bottom feeders in exchange for 8th floor seating?
Loyalty loyalty loyalty. What the 8th floor wants, the 8th floor, gets. One phone call is all it takes.
Throat stepping on the future you say? On the students you say? On the believers you say? On the naïve you say? On the doers you do.
No words are needed, the weakest align without even knowing it, for the reward is sometimes too Swiss to pass. And the visa holders will leave right? Out of sight, out of accountability. Another year, another batch, another back to crack.
For as long as the vertical glass walls and the halls of fame stay up, the pile of bodies will keep squirming to the top if only for a shallow breath of that 8th floor air.
Though not for the author of this text, as you can see. You’ve made it clear not to bother squirming this long. I simply don’t belong. No one that looks like me does, haven’t you seen?
To me they say, be compliant child. Do as you are told. Smile while they beat you, do not react. Do not show pain. Just be a good girl and comply. Do as you are told. Be a good girl and shut up, you worthless aggressive cunt. For when the 8th floor calls, everybody jumps.
On your guards! You visa holder, you racially different, you feminist. Do not stand out, do not outshine, do not even shine once. Do not be visible, do not be too loud, do not be too smart, and certainly not smarter than us. How dare you even try. Do not reflect our arrogance back to us, we allow you to be here, and you barely deserve it to begin with.
B e g r a t e f u l you bottom feeder, you’re only here for the picture.
And never question it child, no interim governance will save you. No accreditation report, no règlement d’intérieur, no code, no charter, no jurisprudence, no laws, no projet de loi, no législations, nor constitutions. Maybe your knees and some contusions. Who even bothered teaching you how to read, don’t you know ass kissing is how you lead?
There is no doubt that the 8th floor glasshouse rules it all, such great heights already it sits on.
Above the clouds, it holds closest to its ears, the weakest, the most eager for power, and sometimes the most desperate. Yes they say, yes they do, yes they are – an endless supply of ego boosting dandelions, fertilized by the remains of bottom feeders.
Rumors are, the first time an 8th floor dweller stumbled landing on a step too low, Plato laughed in his grave like a good old fellow. Though the sun does not penetrate caves, it does glass houses. And you know what they say about the sun, the moon, and the truth.
Image is from Google (November 9, 2022 @ 5:30pm CET)