They called me Kan because they said it was a better suited name for a servant boy who would die before the age of eleven anyway; they never revealed my full name. I always wondered why someone would keep their proper name from them-the last gift given to a child by his parents. Why? They had nothing to gain.

In my life Kan means ash to spread over the casket of the dead. The spreading of ash is supposed to bring peace to those left behind. So I was Kan, smiling foolish Kan. I was complete with tan pants past my knees where there were straps to tie the loose bottoms together, and a baggy white shirt with long sleeves. This attire was given to me in abundance in such shocking similarity I couldn't tell what I'd worn the day before. I was ordered not to "improve" my outfit. At age four I cut the two sleeves off one shirt "accidentally" by getting them caught in a clever hemming machine so the sides were perfectly matched, perfectly straight. This got me many odd surprised looks, laughing from the other children and several attempted stunts from the other children, which ended with me rushing about stopping fingers and feet getting smashed and cut off.

I was told not to make friends with anyone but the other workers. But I tried to make friends out of everyone.

One night I as a child of ten I escaped to the outside, not to leave permanently-I was in love with the place. You could see so much metal no where else-only to see what the people outside looked like.

They carried rich red and amber drinks in tiny translucent stuff, laughed, but didn't seam as friendly. It was warm outside-the breeze of a summer Kan never felt pinched his cheeks and welcomed him as he starred at the giant town he'd uncovered like a picture. It grew bluefish dark. I remember wondering what provided all this *light* that spread out like bird wings. He reasoned it was like the glass the people were holding and they must have a giant piece of it hidden away. Maybe he should take a piece? Plenty of the glasses had tumbled onto the street and shattered.

The only problem is I got caught. It was simply an older boy carrying a stack of white stuff marked with black on his back. All he said was 'hello' and looked at me blankly but immediately he began crying in terror. What would they do to him if they found out? What if he told them?

But if he had expected anger he was only surprised: the boy looked as mortified as he.

"Hey! Hey!"

And…to be continued…possibly.