“on the gray sidewalks and the green ocean; / in the cars and the kitchens and the bookstores; / in the crowded restaurants, in the empty woods and libraries.” – Gerald Stern, “The Red Coal”
The first time I swam through the sidewalk I was elated. When you’re a goblin, you coast along below ground, under pavement and asphalt. It was a lot tougher on us before the parking lot, before the superhighway, before the city sidewalk. Before paving you’d have to find stone to swim in. Try that in a field of marshy grass or an empty rainforest. But now – it’s a piece of cake. Concrete everywhere.
It takes a knack to swim through a sidewalk. First you glide up real close, and then, POP! – just bubble up sudden-like, to above-ground. We goblins can’t travel through dirt, water, or ice, so we’re no good in open country, lakes and ponds, or glaciers. We need the hard cover of stone, concrete, asphalt – and humans are proving exceptionally good at laying it out for us. Getting rid of nasty natural landscapes.
Oh, what a goblin can do when we rise to the surface. Pollute the waterways. Contaminate the air. Burn down rainforests. Make asbestos.
We’re getting most of the planet under hard cover. We’re just about to make it. We’re just about to take over the world.