It’s so very hard to escape from unreality, I reflected glumly to myself, so very, very hard. Perhaps even impossible. No matter how hard I struggled, it was only ever ‘unreal struggling’ that I was engaged in, and so how was this going to help me escape from unreality? It was all a charade. It was all a farce. It was all a joke. I grew more despondent and demoralized by the second. Was there no hope at all? All of my strategies were – at root – unreal strategies. Every angle that I came up with was, when it came down to it, an unreal angle, a flimsy fabrication born of my own terrible desperation. So how was this ever possibly going to do me any good? With this as a basis, how could I hope to get anywhere?
Hope, hope, hope. That word was so bitter on my tongue. I could see with a clarity that could not be denied that all the hopes I had ever clung to were of unreal variety. Naturally they were. What else could they have been? I felt like laughing. Not in a good way, though. Even this goal that was so very important to me, the goal of ‘escaping from unreality’, was an unreal goal, it occurred to me then. The whole endeavour was unreal. The whole concept of escaping from unreality was unreal. This last insight floored me. It knocked me for six. I cannot pretend otherwise – when this final understanding came to me it just knocked the stuffing right out of me. It completely gutted me. What a richly appropriate term, I thought to myself with sardonic humour – I felt like a mackerel lying on the stinking slimy deck of a fishing boat, my insides freshly (and unceremoniously) scooped out. My only future to be thrown in a pile of other freshly gutted fish. With no regard to how important my guts were to me. How important it was that they should be in their proper place, which was inside me. Not strewn around the deck or thrown over the side. This insight was the corker. This capped it all – I couldn’t move on from this.
I tried to bounce back from this body blow but I couldn’t. I just couldn’t. I felt as if someone had just punched me with uncommon savagery right in the stomach, it occurred to me then, as I abruptly changed metaphors. Someone who had the genuine desire to hurt me – as badly as possible. Someone who wanted to inflict genuine lasting injury to me. I also felt, I reflected to myself, switching metaphors yet again, as if someone had placed a giant manhole-cover over my entire world, pinning me down, closing me down, restricting me totally, putting an end to any hope that I might ever have had. Ending my hopes with absolute irresistible finality. I wanted to cry out in anguish but realized that I was feeling too hopeless to do even this. The cry died on my throat, it came out as a mere anguished croak…
Fighting down a wave of pure undiluted despair that very nearly drowned me, I tried to recover myself. I tried to regain my customary resilience. I fought off the urge to give in completely. Something inside me kept on fighting. Some core of determination. There had to be a way, I told myself, there just had to be. I just needed to keep looking for it. I needed to gather myself together, to marshal my resources. Then it came to me. I knew what I had to do. I would create a world within a world – I would create my own world.
I would ignore all this awareness of how impossible it was to escape from unreality. I would turn my back on all that and begin anew. I would start afresh. I would craft a world that had absolute logical consistency – a world that made perfect sense in every respect. Within the terms of this world there would be no questions, no uncertainties, no grey areas. Everything would be set out ‘just so’. It would be perfect in every way – it would be the way that I wanted it to be. It would be the way I said it should be. True to my word. True to my intention. The only imperfection would be that I needed to create it, to utter it, to intend it, since this world would not exist otherwise. This would be the only illogical detail in the scheme. But once I had created it, perfect in all its details, logical in all its details, then I would pretend that I hadn’t made it, that I hadn’t intended it, and I would move into this world. I would take up residence in it and pretend that this made-up world was the only world there was, or ever could be.
And if anyone came along and said otherwise – assuming that someone else could come into this world of mine – then I would get very, very angry with them! I would put a stop to their heresy. I wouldn’t allow any dissenting voices. I would come down hard on them. I wouldn’t allow any other points of view. Any viewpoints other than mine. And then everything would be real. Everything would then be as real as real could be….