Man Dies After Starving Himself for Park Pass

July 20, 2178- New-Den Swell- The mirrors placed on balconies and on the sides of businesses help to bring the light to the deepest reaches of the Swell during the day. At night, we have the World of Fitness.

The great complex of mile-wide domes, sitting on the edge of the surface, taunting us as we stare up at it- has long been a source of agony. Since it’s development, our sleep has been interrupted by the glow of its bright lights and the howls of excitement of the privileged that get to see what’s inside. Across the Swell, hundreds have been thrown from their gates as we try to catch a glimpse. Thousands have applied for even their most demeaning roles- petting zoo cleaner, snow raker- just to get the free one day a year pass their employment lends them. Dozens of families scrounged and saved for years to buy a pass for birthdays and holidays, only to be thrown from the gates with accusations of theft and fraud.

They don’t want us there. Yet still, so many of us strive to find ways into their circle. Into the domes of privilege. Such is the story of Joaquin Buena. After hearing countless stories of the silvery peaks of snow in the ski dome and the warm waters of the beach dome, Joaquin did everything he could to save the money for a day pass, including starving himself for five months. The money he would have spent on food all wadded in a jar he kept behind his warped mattress, on it written “World of Fitness”.

Joaquin was found by his mother this morning, who then suffered a heart attack at the sight. Her family now must use the funds to cremate them both.

Originally published at on July 25, 2020.

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