Labyrinth . Questions are easy... it's the answers that can be hard to find. .
Consider if you will, a man: nobody special, just an average ordinary everyday Lego minifigure. Opening his eyes, he finds himself in a strange place.
"What the... Where am I? What is this place? How did I get here? All right, slow down, think -- what's the last thing you remember... I don't remember anything! Where I came from, who I am... My name... what's my name? I can't remember my name! What's going on here?"
"Gotta stay calm... concentrate on what you DO know. I don't seem to be injured... dressed all in white -- like a mental patient or something -- am I nuts? Is this even real? Calm down, calm down... I'm bald, have I always been bald? God, I just don't know!"
The questions mount up and no answers are forthcoming. He begins to wonder if he's alone, and shouts "HELLO! CAN ANYONE HEAR ME?!" The only response is the echo of his own frightened voice. He seems to recall from somewhere in the void that used to be his memory that when you are lost, it's best to stay put. But as there is nothing obviously advantageous about his current position, he begins to move.
The answer to where he is soon becomes clear: he is in some sort of maze. But this only begs more questions. Who constructed it? And for what purpose? Why is he inside it, with no memory of any outside world? "The government," he mutters to himself. "I just know the government has something to do with this."
Turning a corner, the corridor he has been following abruptly dead-ends. An annoyed sigh escapes his lips. Rather than turn back, he thinks, "I wonder if I could climb out?" But the walls are too smooth, there's nowhere to get a grip. Trying to jump is useless. "I have no knee joints, jumping is impossible. It's a wonder I can even walk!"
Continuing on, the thought that he might be dead crosses his mind. He has no idea if he's a religious man or not -- is he in Hell? Limbo? Does he even believe in these places?
"Here's something different, at least!" Leaving the white walls behind and entering a red section, he is excited, and his pace quickens. Although the only difference in his situation is the color of the walls around him, he feels somehow that he's making progress.
But all too quickly the red walls seem to close in on him, as if he's in the belly of some enormous beast. He begins, unconsciously, to move faster -- before he knows it he is running, not thinking clearly, making turns at random.
Seeing white walls again, he realizes that he's just gone in a circle. He forces himself to slow down, take a deep breath, and try the other direction.
But he hits a dead end. And then another dead end. Panic begins to nibble at the corners of his brain. He attempts to ignore his heart hammering in his chest, and goes back the other way again.
Try as he might, he can't stop himself from running. The echoes of his frantic footfalls pursue him. He sees a blue corridor and dives into it, as into a pool of cool refreshing water.
Calmer now, he is even able to laugh at himself a bit. "Imagine getting so freaked out back there, and over what? Nothing! Nothing at all!"
But that is precisely the problem. As he walks on, the nothingness presses more and more heavily upon him. "Am I alone here? Is there anything here but these damned walls? If only I could come across some sign... of something... of anything!"
Another dead end. He sits down to reflect. "Is this all a dream, a delusion? Is this all in my head? Or am I some test subject? Was I abducted by aliens? Have I been kidnapped and brainwashed by the CIA? Is someone watching me, laughing at me? Why can't I remember how I got here?"
"There has to be a purpose behind all this, there just has to be. Nobody builds a huge maze and plops some poor guy in it for no reason! Right? Right?!"
Around the next bend he can see red walls again. At this point he has no idea if he's gone around in a big circle, or if it's a new section of the maze entirely. After all the twists and turns he's made, everything has begun to look the same. In spite of, or perhaps because of, his previous shameful behavior amongst red walls, he strides into this red section defiantly.
He begins talking aloud to himself, or perhaps he's been doing it all along. He really isn't sure. "They can't do this to me... I've got rights, I'm an American!... I think. I sound American... I guess I could be Canadian. About, or aboot? About, aboot, about, aboot... hm, definitely about. Okay, I'm American. Thank God for that!"
"But would the Canadian government do this to one of their citizens? Probably not, eh? Hahaha! 'Eh!' The American government would though, you bet they would! Dirty bastards! But wait!... The Canucks wouldn't have any problem doing it to... American citizens! Oh ho! Got you, eh? EH?! Ha, sneaky rotten hosers, I see right through you! AAHAAAHAHAAAHAAAAAHAAAAAA!!!"
His wild laughter takes on a definite note of hysteria. As he comes upon another dead end, it dissolves into a shriek of rage, and he begins pounding impotently on the walls and screaming. "YOU LET ME OUT OF HERE! GAME OVER! I'M NOT PLAYING ANYMORE! YOU LET ME OUT RIGHT NOW, GODDAMMIT!"
Running blindly, caroming into walls, screaming all the while. "I'LL GET YOU! I SWEAR TO GOD I'LL GET YOU FOR THIS! I'M NOT A LAB RAT! YOU SICK SONS OF BITCHES! I'LL GET YOU! I'LL KILL YOU ALL!"
Weeping abjectly, promising his unknown tormentors anything and everything if they'll just let him out, he's been here forever, he'll die here, suffering is all there is, he must be a horrible soul to merit such treatment. When he comes to himself, he finds he's in a blue section again, with no recollection of having crossed any color border.
He feels cleansed after the cathartic rage and tears. He moves on with something like a fatalistic satisfaction. "I must traverse the maze. Yes. It's what I do. Sisyphus has his boulder, I have my maze."
"I will walk this maze forever, paying a penance for sins I can't conceive." This thought makes him feel stronger, it gives him purpose. Maybe in time he will find atonement for his crimes, maybe in time he will even find forgiveness.
"Of course I'm here for a reason. I must have done something. Otherwise it's just... just madness! 'Let's build a maze and pop some random guy in it just to see what he'll do'... No. No, I can't accept that. I won't."
He comes upon a new wall color he hasn't yet seen, yellow. "Making progress, making progress," he murmurs to himself. The terrible thought that the walls themselves might change colors and he's actually traversed this section numerous times already swims up out of the depths of his subconscious, but he quickly squashes it.
He is almost lighthearted as he walks along. Surely his newfound realization, his recently made peace with his predicament, has not gone unnoticed by the unknown powers that have placed him here and watch over his every move.
He has no idea how long he's been in this maze. Hours, days, there's no way of knowing. The color of the walls may change, the corridors may twist and branch differently, but in a more fundamental way they are forever the same. Nevertheless he is certain of some grand climax just up ahead.
He feels like a traveler nearing home after a long journey. "There will be no other colors. I know this. I can feel it. This is the last stage. Just around the next bend is the doorway out of this maze."
He regrets his earlier threats of vengeance. "When I meet my captors, I will thank them. I have grown spiritually. Surely they cannot fail to notice this. I have paid my dues, I have learned my lessons. I have earned the right to walk out, and I bear no grudges."
And yet, as the yellow walls give way to the white ones that first surrounded him, his body sags, his heart sinks. He was wrong. He isn't at the end at all, but back at the beginning.
Slowly he stands up again, throwing back his shoulders and marching bravely on. Whatever his mission is here, he hasn't accomplished it after all. Until those nameless powers are satisfied, he must keep going, and do it all over again.
And again, and again, and again, and again, and again...
A note on the build:
Having recently moved, my Lego collection is currently piled up in a corner along with a bunch of other stuff, awaiting preparation of a future Lego room. I can't really get to most of my specialty pieces, and even if I could I have no room to spread out. I'd have to shift 20 containers each time I needed a different kind of piece. But I haven't built anything in a while, and I'm going through withdrawals. I just needed to push some bricks together!
This is literally all the room I have to build in at the moment: squat on the floor with a baseplate in front of me, with exactly one bin of parts to the side. The way I have my Lego sorted, you can't do much that is interesting out of one bucket. You can, however, take a bin of basic bricks, one color at a time, and build a maze.
There don't seem to be that many minifig-scale mazes out there, which kind of surprises me. I'd like to return to this theme again when I can do a more elaborate one -- have stairs and ramps and ladders for different levels, have some monsters lurking in there, have some more interesting wall textures, etc. But this will quiet that Lego monkey on my back for now.