It was all happening in my head. The whole world was busy happening in my head and my head was like some sort of an ancient decrepit warehouse full of the junk of ages. Everything was happening my head and I realised with a shock that my head was bad. My head was the bad head and the bad head was an alien construct that had been secretly designed to serve our evil masters. A lot of time had passed very quickly and now all of a sudden my head was the decrepit old warehouse full of dysfunctional rusty old machines that I have been telling you about. I never saw it happen, obviously. It must have been some sort of time-warp created by my enemy. The bottom fell out of everything and then the next thing was that we found ourselves down in the rat-infested basement – a basement that there was no way out of because the wooden stairway had long since rotted away into dust. There never is any way out of the basement because that’s the sort of place it is. It’s the sort of place that there is never any escape out of and it’s my head. It’s the bad head that is full of ghosts and demons, squalling and squealing all around you. I am experiencing horrific feelings of intense claustrophobia – I want to run away from all the stuff that is happening in my head but I can’t because there’s nowhere else to go. I want to put some space between me and all of that stuff but there’s no more space left in my head. It is full of malignant, persecutory junk. My head is the bad warehouse, full of toxic waste products. Evil creatures live there, predators which move so quickly you can hardly see them until it’s too late. Either that or they creep up on you so slowly that you never notice that either. Either way the result is the same. The evil spirit of me is persecuting me – it is persecuting me with the full force of evil. It buzzes around my head like a giant predatory wasp looking for somewhere to place its deadly eggs. The dreadful noise of its wings, the frightening wasp-like noise that it makes. The evil buzzing of the bad spirits as they haunt you. When they hatch the larva will make their home in you and they will get bigger and fatter as you get more and more hollow. Until you are just like this big hollow thing, this vast empty warehouse full of fast moving ghost-predators that you can’t ever get away from. The evil warehouse is full to the brim with buzzing paranoia: you are relentlessly persecuting yourself and you know there’s no escape. You can hear the horrible buzzing wasp noise that is coming from somewhere in your head. You turn around but it’s gone, there’s only a bad smell. You’re all alone in the warehouse and the evil spirit of you is haunting you – it has been haunting you for your whole life and you can’t get rid of it. Maybe it is you, you think sadly. Maybe the evil spirit is you and that’s why you can’t get away from it. You were the evil spirit all along and it is all happening in your head. The whole world is busy happening in your head…
I was trying to figure out what all the other people were doing so I could do it too. What’s more, I was trying to figure out why they were doing what they were doing, so I could explain what I was doing just in case anyone asked. There is safety in numbers after all, as a wise man once said. If you see just one person doing something then don’t copy him because he’s probably off his head in some way. He could very well be a misfit you see – you wouldn’t know! If on the other hand you see everyone doing something then you’d better rush to do it too – you wouldn’t want to miss out on anything now would you? Plus, if everyone is doing something and you aren’t then that automatically makes you a bit of a misfit. By definition it does. The rules of the game are simple enough really – you just have to ‘get with the programme’! I remember when I was little, only knee-high to a boll weevil, all the teachers at school used to lose patience with me. ‘Get with the programme, Zippy’ they’d snap. This phrase went around and around in my head, as you might imagine. ‘Get with the programme, Zippy,’ I’d hear in my dreams, and then I’d wake up pouring with sweat. My brain would be feverishly trying to work out what the programme was so that I could get with it. Now that I have grown up and taken my place in the world (that’s only a figure of speech by the way, it doesn’t actually mean anything – not in my case, anyway) I have got it down to a fine art. I could write a book on it. I probably will write a book on it. I gauge what other people are doing – as I just said – and then I make haste to copy them. It’s necessary social camouflage you see – without the necessary social camouflage we would all be exposed as misfits! ‘Uh-oh! Look who’s been caught with their pants down!’ there will say, ‘this lad’s an idiot and no mistake!’ So I have learnt to ‘get with the programme’, as you might say. As you might well say. I’ve got with the programme and that’s the necessary social camouflage. No one is going to look at me twice now. ‘Poor old Zippy’, they used to say of me at school, ‘that lad’s never going to get with the programme…’ They were perfectly right of course really, but I still can’t help resenting them. No one likes to be talked down to, after all. No one likes to be ‘passed over’ in that way and left to rot on the sidelines. Ignored as if they are never going to amount to anything in life. I guess you could say that I have developed some kind of ‘complex’ about it, some sort of inferiority complex which has probably – over time – distorted my personality to some extent or another. ‘May have a seriously distorting effect on the personality’ says the small print on the packet. Not that we ever read the small print, of course. ‘Well, I’ll show them!’ I say to myself. That has become my battle cry – ‘I’ll show them!’ So here I am – I guess – trying as hard as I can to do what everyone else is doing so that I don’t end up suffering from some sort of horrendous existential crisis. ‘I can play this game as well as anyone can,’ I say to myself. I must admit that I still have zero insight as to why we are all doing what we’re doing. Although I figure that doesn’t matter so much. No one’s ever going to ask that question.
When I was small I had a friend who was a hopper. I called him Hoppy. Boy could Hoppy hop! He could hop six feet in the air from standstill. He could hop and pop and hop on hop without ever getting tired. He could hop all day long, come to think of it! I never saw anyone hop as much as Hoppy. I used to have hours of fun just from watching him. Hoppy never did much else other than hop – hopping was about the limit of it for him really. Either he sat still like a huge black flea, perfectly unmoving for hours on end, or he hopped. It was always the one thing or the other with good old Hoppy – either he was hopping like crazy or he was still as a statue. You never knew what it was going to be either – you never could tell. That impressed me too about Hoppy – the fact that he was so damn inscrutable; I used to wake up in the morning and there he would be, crouched at the foot of my bed is if he were carved out of obsidian. ‘What is it going to be today, Hoppy?’ I’d ask him, ‘hopping or staying still?’ Not that he’d never answer me of course – talking wasn’t exactly part of his repertoire. No sir, Hoppy wasn’t one for small talk! Or any type of talk for that matter. The only thing he had in his repertoire was hopping, as I believe I have already said. Either hopping or not hopping. I didn’t mind that though – I didn’t have any other friends at that point in my life apart from Hoppy and having him as a buddy got me through that difficult time. I wasn’t popular as a kid and often enough the other kids would beat me up when they saw me. At the very least they would mock me and humiliate me. It wasn’t like that with Hoppy though – we had an understanding. He accepted me; he was the only one who did, now that I come to think of it. My parents didn’t accept me – I was a disappointment to them. They had hoped for a child whose wasn’t as intensely introverted as I was, no doubt. A popular child who was on the school football team, perhaps. They never actually told me that I was a disappointment to them but I knew it all the same. I could tell by the way they looked at me at dinner time, which is just about the only time they ever saw me. Every day, the disappointed looks over the dinner table. Every day the same old looks. I couldn’t wait to get back to my bedroom and spend some quality time with Hoppy, trying to guess whether he was going to hop or not. Good old Hoppy, inscrutable old Hoppy. I remember spending long evenings staring into his face wondering, ‘what’s it going to be for tonight old boy? Hopping or not hopping?’ Hoppy got me through that difficult time in my life, as I have said. Hoppy’s quiet acceptance of me got me through. I will always owe him for that, needless to say. He was my only friend at a crucial stage in my life and something like that can make all the difference. Hoppy isn’t with me anymore unfortunately – he made one supremely vigorous hop one day, a totally crazy hop, and smashed into the ceiling of my bedroom. He must have been moving at a tremendous velocity because he went straight through the ceiling and embedded deeply in it. He stayed there for a good ten minutes before falling lifeless to the floor, all busted up. I could tell from the noise he made when he hit the roof that it wasn’t good news. It wasn’t a very nice noise at all – a sickening squelchy wet thud, followed by a deathly silence. That was Hoppy’s last hop and his greatest. He was some character, old Hoppy, and I’ll never forget him. I’d like other people to know about him too and that’s why I wanted to share the story with you…
When you see someone speaking then you know for sure that they are lying – isn’t that the truth? Is this not the Kingdom of Lies, after all? Isn’t that what it has been called? Is this not Mara’s Dominion that we live in? Has not Ahriman the Deceiver been granted Dominion over the Earth for Ten Thousand Years? Is it not so written in the Scriptures?
That’s the way things are in this world of ours – people are in a dreadful hurry to speak but they couldn’t speak the truth not for love nor money. The truth is a stranger here. We are in a terrible rush to speak the words that have been given to us but there is no truth in these words. There is nothing in the words that have been given to us – nothing but deceit. We love illusion too much and this is our reward. Has not the Deceiver been given dominion over the earth for ten thousand years? ‘No he has not,’ they will tell you sternly, but they lie. They are lying without shame, they are lying right to your face. They are lying night and day – they are lying night and day because that is the nature of this world.
The next time you hear someone speak, trying to fill your head with their words, remember this, if you can. Remember that people’s tongues are not their own. In enchantment has been laid upon this world and the enchantment is that no one shall ever be able to speak the truth, no matter how hard they try, no matter how long they might go on talking for. And even if someone spoke the truth by accident – as may happen once in a while – no one would take any heed. Mockery would be heaped upon their heads. We only care for nonsense, after all. Anything precious we throw away.
The next time you hear yourself thinking remember this – remember that each and every one of us is deeply attached to nonsense. We worship nonsense with a passion. Our love affair with illusion is truly without parallel. We celebrate liars every day – the greater the liar the more we celebrate them! If there were one who spoke the truth – just supposing that there might be, as absurd as that might seem – how we would revile them! How angry we would be! Quick to anger are we when we come across anyone who dares to speak the truth. Not that we ever do, of course. Not that we ever do…
Quick to anger, quick to wrath. Quick to inflict inflict cruelty and vicious condemnation. This was ever our way. Thus it ever was in the Kingdom of Lies. Those amongst us who have no great gift for clever lies are trodden underfoot and treated with contempt. We say that their heads are soft! We have no time for such as them. With those who prove to have tongues that are dexterous in telling complicated lies our admiration has no bounds, however. We set them up to rule over us, we pay them handsome salaries. Thus it ever was in the Kingdom of Lies.
We pay people to lie to us, that’s how much we value lies. We value lies more than silver and gold. The greatest liars are selected from amongst us and they are granted rights and privileges. Many are the rights and privileges that are given to them! Splendid are the dwelling houses in which they live. Great indeed is their power. A man’s power and status grows in proportion to the lies which he tells – is it not written thus? Is this not what it says in the Scriptures, that a man’s power will grow in proportion to the evil in which he partakes? Was this not ever the way?
I had reached a particularly savage low point in my life and I don’t really want to say any more about it than this. It is sufficient merely to say that I had hit a real low point – morally, emotionally and physically. I was going to say ‘spiritually’ as well then I realised that I don’t know what that means; it sounds good but that’s about it, as far as I can tell. I don’t know what people mean when they talk about ‘spiritual well-being’ or ‘spiritual health’ or whatever. It’s an important element in mental health these days – apparently – but does anyone know what is? I’d be willing to bet good money on the fact that no one really knows just what the hell this is actually supposed to mean. Anyway – as I say – it’s a real low point and I never saw it coming. It was waiting for me around the corner. My self-esteem was in tatters, my self-esteem was non-existent. Well, to be honest, my self-esteem is non-existent anyway – I don’t have such a thing and I never have done. I don’t even know what it means, now that I mention it. What joker invented the idea of self esteem? What freaking clown came up with this ? Are we supposed to go around ‘positively esteeming ourselves’ the whole time? Is that the idea? Self-esteem is a total lie in my view but the absence of it isn’t! No sir, the absence of it isn’t. You know what it’s like – I presume – to look at yourself and be utterly appalled at the profound, sickening worthlessness of what you see? Not only is it the case that you don’t like what you see (‘Hey guess what you guys, I’ve just discovered that I don’t esteem myself very much!’) but that you pitilessly see yourself for exactly what you are and ‘what you are’ is utterly lacking in any worth at all. And when I say ‘utterly lacking in any worth at all’ I really do mean exactly that. I mean exactly that with no frills or bells attached. It is as simple as that, it really is. This is a cold fact that has been revealed to you – an indisputable fact. No one is disputing it, least of all you. And it’s not even that it’s such a big deal or anything like that, really. It’s no big deal – it just is what it is. A maggot is a maggot and a tapeworm is a tapeworm and you are what you are. There is nothing dramatic about it at all, as I have just said, it’s a cold fact just like many other cold facts you could contemplate if you wanted to. Who cares, anyway? You obviously care (inasmuch as you are profoundly appalled and shocked by this revelation) but no one else does. No one else gives a damn. Why would they? It’s not like it’s anyone else’s business after all. They’ve got their own lives to be getting on with, after all, and you’re no concern of theirs. But the point here is of course that you can’t just ‘get over it’ – you can’t do that because it’s you that we talking about here. That utterly corrupt and completely worthless creature is you and so where exactly are you going to go with that? What’s your next step? How are you supposed to ‘make a go of things’ when this is your starting point? You’d like to walk away, you’d love to walk away – that would be the best thing in the world as far as you’re concerned – but you just can’t. You can’t go anywhere and start over because you have to bring yourself with you. That’s your ‘starting-off point’ and there’s no other, but at the same time, as I said, where do you go with this? I know you’re getting pissed off with me at this point, I can feel it. ‘Get over it buddy,’ you’d like to tell me. ‘Would you just get over yourself? Go and sign up on a self-esteem course or something. Go and stand in front of the mirror and do some fucking self affirmations…’
Suppose you met someone who was acting like a total freak, behaving in a totally weird, abnormal, odd or bizarre fashion, and so on and so forth, what you do? Would you run up to them and mock them? Would you call the police or park authorities or would you take matters into your own hands and beat the living shyte out of them? This is a test of character you see – it’s very interesting for me to see just how you would answer this question. I know lots of people who would just mock the freak straightaway without thinking about it; they would mock anyone acting like a freak as a matter of course and the thing about this is you see that this behaviour of theirs shows clearly that it is them that are the freaks and that hilarious thing about this is that they never ever realise it. Can you believe how stupid these creeps are – they find someone who is a freak and then straightaway they mock the freak thinking that this shows how cool they are (because they aren’t the freak but the person mocking the freak, which they obviously see as a superior position) but really they’re showing themselves up as being absolute total freaks themselves! I mean, what are they thinking? What’s going on in their frikkin’ heads, anyway? How stupid is it possible to be? The answer to this question is obviously that it is perfectly possible to be one hundred percent stupid, stupid all the way, completely and utterly stupid without even a shred of anything that isn’t totally dumb. So what do you think that feels like? How do you think it feels to be that stupid? That must be a rather interesting sensation, wouldn’t you say? What do you reckon it feels like to be them? If I met them I mock them, I tell you. They’re the ones I’d mock – I would mock them for being so ridiculous stupid as to not realise that they are making total freaks of themselves because they think that it is someone else who is the freak not them and because they imagine that this obvious fact somehow lets them off the hook! But no – it doesn’t let them off the hook. I’m afraid that’s just not the way it works. They think that having a good old laugh at some poor freak is a laugh and that it’s a laugh to have a laugh, and that this is all there is to it. End of story. After all, the poor freak hasn’t got a leg to stand on because he actually is a freak and so there’s nothing he can say in his defence. These mockers think they can just mock – and thereby get to feel good about themselves – and then just walk away with impunity and enjoy the rest of their lives (by poking fun at other freaks that they might come across, perhaps); this is their mistake because their stupidity in thinking this backfires on them instantly. It backfires on them every single time and they are so bloody stupid that they simply don’t realise it. I don’t know why but it infuriates me beyond measure that they don’t see this.
Normal people are so very normal, aren’t they? That’s just something I have observed. A little observation of mine. I don’t want to make too much of it though. I don’t want to try to milk it much too much. Don’t want to milk it, don’t want to milk it. So very normal, so very normal. I’ll say no more on the subject – I will hold my tongue and bide my time. I will be as silent as a hill. I will brood silently and let the weather play about my head as it will. On some days the clouds hang heavy in the sky, on other days the gales come raging in from the West and all the trees will be bent sideways. There’s plenty of weather to go around, one way or another, and so there’s nothing to worry about on that score. Set your minds at rest on that matter – we’ll never run out of weather here. I’ll say no more about that either, seeing as how no one has asked me to say anything in the first place. I am bursting with things that I’d like to talk about but now that it comes to it I don’t know what they are. We’re sitting here in uneasy silence, no one trusting anyone else, no one wanting to say anything. Someone has to make the first move. Someone has to say what needs to be said. My companions are taciturn and moody however – no one wants to give away any more than they strictly need to. There is an air of expectancy all the same and we can all feel it. A light breeze has sprung up and it is stirring the surface of the lake. Melancholy bird calls are echoing across the valley. Lonely, melancholy cries which only served to underline the isolation of our situation. Where are we? What are we doing here? Dark clouds pass overhead and there is a sudden chill in the air. There are uncomfortable issues that need to be addressed; uncomfortable issues that none of us are able to understand – what needs to be done, and why? And by whom? A fish breaks the surface of the water – presumably it’s a fish anyway. It sounds like a fish but it could be something darker, something more sinister. No one likes to say anything; that’s a line of inquiry that no one feels qualified to open up. Some questions are best left unasked, as we all realise only too well. Uncomfortable truths need to be addressed but no one knows what they are. Some of us are human in form, others are not. Some of us are stealthy reptilian creatures with thin lips and grey skin that is covered in very fine scales; others amongst us are ghost-like presences that can barely be seen in the gloom. No one wants to be the first to speak. By now the sun is sinking fast behind the ridge of spruces on the far horizon. We are all veterans of the Dream Wars here and as a consequence we’re all too aware of what lies at stake. The wind has picked up all of a sudden and there is a real chill in it – the end of the world is approaching rapidly and there isn’t one of us who doesn’t know it…
We all know what it’s like to have an unhealthy fascination for the darkness, an unclean longing for the sordid contamination that only darkness can bring. Where else would you get it, after all? Where else? We all know what that feels like of course. We’re all aware of the attraction, cogniscent of that yearning. That’s human nature I believe, and it would be disingenuous for us to deny it. We all have that longing to dip our toes in the shadowy realms and no one knows this better than me. We all want to be influenced, controlled and ultimately possessed by horrors so appalling that that the mind cannot comprehend it. Naturally we do. Why wouldn’t we? Let’s be straight about that. Let’s not be ridiculously coy on the subject. The matter needs to be aired after all and I’m the man to air it. Let’s not beat about the bush. I am full of talk of course and that’s my problem, were I to own up to it. Which I am doing. I’m full of talk and little else, where the truth to be known. Which it is – or might be, quite possibly. I’m not feeling the best today, as it happens. I’m not in the best form. My consciousness is murky and it is haunted by many shadows. They whisper to me softly, persuasively. ‘We all know what it’s like to be tormented by the temptations of Satan’, I begin again, keen to resume my theme. We’ve all been there – let’s own up to it. We’ve all been down that road – damn straight we have. We’ve all had the experience of succumbing to the temptations of the Infernal One and I think it’s important to say this. We all like to dabble in a bit of darkness and I know this as well as the next man. How well the next man knows it I can’t really say of course, but all I can do – under the circumstances – is make a reasonably informed guess based on the best evidence that I have available to me. Which is precious little, come to think of it. I haven’t really got much to go on. If anything at all. I don’t know about ‘the next man’. Or the man after that, for that matter. And in the meantime the theological debate rages on, as it always does – ‘Was God right to create the devil or was this an error on His part? Could it have been something of a slip-up?’ We all know that Satan is evil after all, and that has got to be a bit of a problem no matter which way you look at it…
Is there a world in which the clichés are forever fresh, forever apt, forever entertaining with their delight-inducing sparkiness? This was my question, you see. This was the question that I was posing, the question that I am posing. And the answer is, ‘Yes – there is such a world! There is such a world and we’re living in it!’ What a wonderful, splendid world this is therefore – what a splendid, splendid world. I’m amazed that people complain so much – what have they got to complain about, I wonder? You could walk into a room full of people, drop a cliché in there (just as one might release an evil-smelling fart) and the good folk there will cry out in amazed appreciation, they will be taken by surprise by your ready wit, by the remarkable dexterity of your tongue. How they will admire you! Such looks of admiration will you get! Such looks, such looks. Such glowing looks. Can you imagine how smug that will make you feel? You’re in heaven. Can you imagine how glorious your inner sensations will be in such an intensely validating situation? There is such a world you see and we are lucky enough to live in it. We live in a world where anything goes, just so long as – well, you know what I’m saying… Just so long as it’s – well, you know. I don’t need to spell it out. I’m amazed that people complain so much – you could walk into a room full of people and drop a real stinker, a real bad stinker that no one could mistake for anything else other than what it is, and then receive a round of applause. What more could anyone want? We all want a word like that and who can blame us? Personally speaking, I’m full of praise and admiration for such a situation because I know it makes sense in the way you like to see things. We all want to look at things in a way that makes sense of course and so when someone you don’t know walks into the room and drops a real stinker you stop what you are doing all of a sudden and there is a break in the conversation and we all break into words of soft murmuring appreciation. You get all these looks of admiration from complete strangers and that makes you feel so good. Everything feels so right and that’s how come you know it all makes sense. We are lucky because that’s the kind of splendid world we live in. There’s a brief pause in the conversation you take your opportunity to drop one in there. It’s as simple as that. You take your opportunity to lay your egg and that’s all there is to it. Murmurs of soft appreciation spread out like ripples in the pool. You’ve laid your egg and it’s simple as that. It’s not original and neither are you but who’s counting? LSD is being used by the audience. You take your opportunity and that’s all there is to it. You drop it in there and watch the nods of appreciation rippling outwards. ‘Yes buddy,’ they are saying as they nod, ‘Oh yes buddy – you said it right there.’ You’re getting all these looks of admiration and you’re feeling so good. These are sacred times and you are glad to be part of it.
Alas, I said to myself, I have wondered far from where I should be. I have left the track and now I am lost, far from the pleasant places that I used to know. My eyes had been elsewhere; my eyes had not been on the path. For many years my eyes were not on the path and then – when I woke up to my senses – I knew not where I was, nor how I had come there. The place that I had come to was not a good place. I knew that now – it was not a place that anyone would wish to be.
‘What am I to do now?’ I asked myself, ‘how can I find my way back to the more wholesome and pleasant places that I have left behind? Is there any going back at all?’ Great sorrow came up upon me then – sorrow such as I have never known. Unspeakable sorrow. I sat there for a long time not knowing which way to turn, not knowing which road to go down. All roads were the same, all roads led to my ruin as far as I could see. For a long time I sat there and no more thoughts came to me. No thoughts, only great shuddering waves of sorrow, each one shaking me more than the last. Waves that kept on coming. I sat there in that place for a long, long time until my eyes became quite sightless. I stared ahead of me not knowing what I was staring at.
I was roused from my stupor by warm wet feeling down at my feet. I looked down to see a large dog urinating upon my trainers. After having relieved itself it walked off, giving one of its hind legs a bit of a shake as it went on his way. ‘What else can I expect?’ I said to myself morosely, ‘this merely serves as a reminder as to how low I have fallen.’ This event started me off on another unhappy train of thought – ‘I have squandered all the wealth that I had been given,’ I cried out disconsolately, ‘I have squandered all my wealth and now I have nothing. I have spent the great wealth that was left to me and now I have nothing to show for it. I have spent it unwisely, without paying any heed to what I was doing….’ I didn’t have any health either, it suddenly occurred to me. The vigour of my early days was now quite gone and in its place had come infirmity, weakness and innumerable aches and pains. My senses were dull and my wits duller still.
The world has passed me by, I realised. I have slept and the world has passed me by. I looked and saw that it was true – my beard was long and it fell to my knees, my hair was down to my waist and it was as white as snow. My toenails curled out crazily from holes in my decaying Adidas trainers. ‘I have slept and an age has passed, possibly several of them,’ I said to myself. At last I understood my fate – the world had moved on but not me with it. The world had moved on and I had not noticed. ‘Alas,’ I cried out, I am Krumplstiltskin and I have slept for an age. I am Crinkleskrimpskin and I have fallen asleep on a park bench.
I remembered then the old rhyme from my youth that began with the lines: ‘Robot children come out to play/they shall turn your hair to grey’. Robot children were here now, it occurred to me. Lots of them. They were all around me, running gaily about the park, shouting and screaming with glee as children do. I had re-awoken in an Age of Transhumanism where I was nothing more than an anachronism. The apocalypse had come and gone and a bright new age had dawned – an age to which I was not suited. ‘I have no part to play in such a world as this’, I tell myself sadly. ‘My time has come and gone and I have missed it…’