© 2018 Yuya Takeda

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2D/3D Generalist, Motion Graphics Designer, Artist, Tuna

[Story] Your Life in Tokyo, But if Tokyo Was a Single, Massive Tower

Updated: Jul 16, 2018

In the future, as land areas become scarce, Tokyo becomes a massive, single-body building that encompasses everything. The entire building becomes 100 floors high with areas generally divided by trade, although with some floors having multiple units. Due to shoddy construction, the ceilings are low, there are also no windows anywhere excepting some vent shafts that open to the outside world.

The city is overall clean in most areas, but all areas are aging slowly and falling apart. Government projects are being run to maintain all of the facilities but with the limited budget, municipalities have less choices on where to put their resources.

Every day the news talks about hidden pipe leaks, crumbling walls, and the impotent government agencies that fail to resolve issues on time. As one expert keeps putting it "a ticking time bomb".

Your living quarters are on the 50th floor. You have the fortune of having a window facing out into one of the massive air vents with constant flowing air. Your tiny room is always dark so you keep the ugly fluorescent lights on all day long. Due to the lack of sun exposure, you are constantly depressed, you take vitamin D pills as suggested by your local government but you think they're not helping. You have barely any concept of the weather given your job is mostly office work on the 60th floor of the building.

Just like every other floor, the 50th floor you live on has super markets, clothing shops,

bookstores, and a lot of everything. It’s massive, chaotic, and feels somewhat older than the rest of the floors.

Your day begins at 6 am. You're sleep deprived because your neighbors seem a tad loud the night before. The shops near your living quarters appeared to be prepping for a massive sale and the constant rush of clunky objects on rusty carts kept you somewhat at unease.

You wear your favorite suit, a nice tie, and some polished shoes and make your way to the 60th floor, where everybody else is trying to get to as well. The stairways are crowded as usual, it’s a long wait. The transport elevators are packed with people coming from all floors. These are massive lifts that can carry 300 people at a time or worse 500.

You remember the incident just months prior where 54 people died on one of the lifts due to aging wires and equipment. This prompted the hearing of several government officials who’ve apologized to the public with a deep bow and sorrowful face. All you thought of at that point was, “Damn, I’m glad I don’t have that job.” And then you think “what if I were on that lift....”

You do your work as normal, mostly spreadsheet stuff that clearly could be done by computers. You know that your job is going to go away at some point yet you’ve kept yourself in that company for about 6 years. You feel fortunate but the office space is horribly small, the tight-lipped atmosphere, the occasional “here, check this file” level of conversation roll on for hours until lunch.

Your lunch is at a stand-in, soba restaurant that serves salty soba and ramen. Cheap trashy food that you come to both love and regret. It’s salty, boring, and you eat it everyday because you rather put your work first than think about your own health. You take your vitamin pills, pills that keeps your stomach lining from being murdered by your stomach acids, a pill that keeps you happy, and a powdered medicine because you feel sick from claustrophobia, whatever that is. You do your thing, you go back to work. You work till 5pm.

It’s 5. Boring. At least your day is done and the only thing you look forward to is going home. You rush to the nearest lift barely catching it. And you ride amongst the hundreds of faces you’ll never remember. On the 54th floor, you shop for food. You grab some veggies, some meat, whatever. You just don’t know because you really don’t want to think about it.

With your shopping done, tired, you drag yourself to your room and you spend the rest of the day on the internet playing stupid games and watching pointless youtube videos. You know it’s a total waste of time but you do it everyday. The victors of this world are ones who act on their part. So you keep dreaming that. Dreaming for something to change. Dreaming for a better home. But reality sets in. You sit in the dark, listening to the low hum of the vent shaft, and the ever-echoing clacks of footsteps outside that invade your privacy. Your room is a mess. You haven’t cleaned in a couple weeks now because you keep putting it off. It’s upsetting but you just don’t seem to do it. Maybe you just refuse to change.

No, forget that. Whatever. Screw the world. I’ll deal with it.

You take a shower, brush your teeth, change, throw yourself in the bed watching still more dumb videos on your phone. Who knows how many times you’ve tapped and scrubbed that screen, how long you’ve abused yourself like this over and over doing the same day to day.

At 1 am, the world is finally quiet. You stop watching stupid videos. You throw your phone to the side. You got work tomorrow. Oh right, actually it’s 3 am. I wasn’t looking at my phone. Great... just fantastic.