Repeat Performance

I remember life. Ah yes, its all coming back to me now. Life! Those were the days… Actually, I’m talking nonsense. I don’t remember life at all. Of course I don’t – if I really remembered what life was like then I’d be alive now and I’m not.

I don’t remember anything about life. None of us do. We have our versions of what we think life was, or what we think it means to be alive. Or to exist, even. But that’s just a joke. My version of what ‘existing’ was all about, what life was all about, is crazy, pure crazy. It’s just my own private aberration, my own half-baked ludicrously insane notion about something I don’t understand at all. Something I can’t possibly understand. Something I am irrevocably excluded from understanding.

So all I have left to me is my own frighteningly pointless version of what my insane mind tells me existence is all about. Somehow the insight has crept up on me, the insight that is needed to help me see that I don’t really understand anything at all any more.

Beforehand I always felt that I could see some little tiny glimmer of light behind me, a little point-source of illumination in the long dark corridor which represents some hold that I have on sanity, some slight memory of what it meant to me to be alive. Only now I can see how this is only my mind playing tricks on me – what I thought I could ‘remember’ is only my distorted, way-off-track imagination. The light that I saw behind me – and upon which my sanity hung – is only a projection emanating from my deluded and fast-decaying mind. It’s my own creation. It’s my way of tricking myself.

The truth is that none of this business (this business that consumes me on a continuous basis) has anything to do with life. It has nothing whatsoever to do with life. So what is this business that I’m on about? How can I describe it? It’s just a kind of a thing that I do. It’s just a thing. Any kind crazy thing, really – it’s all pretty random. I don’t know how it started, how I ever got started doing it in the first place. But the thing is that once it does get started then you just have to keep doing it and doing it and doing it – perhaps in different ways, perhaps in a kind of special sequence or something.

Or perhaps a better way of explaining it is to say that it’s like something you do in a dream, in a dream where you are performing some kind of mundane task, a task that requires a moderate amount of concentration but which is at the same time very familiar and therefore not too demanding. The dream is a sort of murky one, the sort of a dream where you’re not really ‘with it’ at all but just sort of carrying on automatically, on and on, like a robot, doing whatever it is that you’re doing, applying yourself to whatever you’re supposed to be applying yourself to. What you’re doing makes sense, but only in a dim and murky way, which means that if you were able to ‘come to’ for a moment or two then you would realize to your horror that its all actually quite pointless, quite meaningless. If you could see what you’re doing you would realize that what you’re doing is total nonsense. You would see your own hideous insanity and that would be a moment of pure inescapable horror. I can’t even begin to explain how bad that would be – it goes beyond anything that can be explained.

So that’s the kind of business that I’m caught up in. That’s pretty much the kind of business we’re all caught up in here, each in our own particular way. Most of the time – for me anyway – the time seems to flash past in a truly frightening fashion. It goes past at a dizzyingly break-neck speed, and yet there is a sense of profound meaninglessness about it all. What the hell is time, anyway? What the hell is anything, come to that?

It’s like I have for some reason started to become aware of my situation – I can actually see the utter senselessness of what I’m doing. I can see it but at the same time I’m powerless to do anything about it. I can see how it doesn’t make it any sense but I’m not able to break free from the pattern. I’m like an alcoholic with his bottle, a junkie with his syringe, a gambler with his scratch cards. I hate the whole sordid futile business but I can’t do without it. Without it I’m nothing at all, less than nothing…

For a moment it all comes so clear – I can see in a flash the surreal ridiculousness of what I’m doing, the pure laughable nonsense of it. Just what the hell am I doing? How did I ever turn into THIS?

And then the awareness starts to dim again, and I feel myself returning to the comforting blankness of the pattern, the reassuring familiarity of the routine. A sense of dull stupid pleasure suffuses me as I return to the only thing I know, the only thing that makes any kind of sense to me…


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