All the other people on the bus had started to feed on my consciousness. I could see it in the way they looked, by the look of them. I could see it by the special look in their eyes that only I could see. They were feeding and feeding. They were enjoying it so much – they were experiencing great pleasure and satisfaction. Tremendous pleasure and satisfaction. Unspeakable pleasure and satisfaction. I could see it in the glazed look in their eyes, by the microscopic beads of sweat forming on their foreheads. I could hear it in the heavy breathing all around me. It was practically perverted, from where I was sitting. What am I saying – it was perverted. You don’t get anything more perverted than that…


They were the diners and I was the meal. They were the party-goers and I was the finger food. They were the consumers and I was the product. They were the dieters and I was the diet. Only this wasn’t weight-watchers…


I am in danger of losing my grip on my own mental processes here. It’s all slipping away from me… My wits are escaping me and my metaphors are out of control. I have to take back the initiative before it’s too late. Before they drain the very last drop out of me. Before there’s nothing left of me but a gibbering mess. Before I am no more than an eviscerated husk.


The bus pulls up at a stop and I want to get off, but I can’t. I can’t because my legs won’t do what they’re told. Every last bit of strength has gone out of them. I can tell by the way everyone is secretly looking at me that they want me to stay. No one wants me to leave. They aren’t done with me yet and they won’t be cheated out of what is rightfully theirs. My legs won’t obey so what can I do? I stay put, and the bus moves on. And the passengers on the bus resume feeding on me. Greedily…


When I say ‘feeding’ I mean KNOWING. Knowing as an act of aggression. Knowing as the ultimate act of aggression, as Ronald Laing says. Ronald Laing knew a thing or two. I am being devoured as I sit here, devoured alive by the horrendously insatiable minds of my fellow passengers.


Soon I will be all gone. Soon there will be nothing left of me but a few pathetic remnants. A few meaningless tokens of my existence. My social security number, perhaps. My medical card. Maybe a few desultory lines in next week’s Galway Advertiser…












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