I’m the worst avoider in the world. Avoid, avoid, avoid – that’s all I ever do. I avoid everything. There’s nothing that I don’t avoid. I avoid answering the phone when someone rings, I avoid opening letters that come through the door. I avoid looking at emails. I avoid answering the door. I’d never answer the door – not in a million years would I answer it. I pretend I’m not in. I crouch down out of sight. I turn the volume of the TV down real low and wait for them to go…

I avoid thinking about stuff too – if there’s something I have to do then I avoid thinking about it and that way I don’t have to do it. That kind of stuff goes on the whole time for me. There’s stuff going back years that I have been deliberately not thinking about! I don’t know how far back it goes – back to my early twenties at least, if not before. I couldn’t really say what most of it is about, and I’m sure it’s not really relevant any more, but I’m still repressing it all the same! It’s in a box along with everything else. It’s in that box – that dark and dingy old box where I have put so much stuff over the years. It’s full to overflowing at this stage, I’d say! I fancy that every now and again it does overflow and some repressed content or other (some senseless fragment of a repressed content) comes into my awareness. When that happens I generally ignore it as best I can and get on with something else. I avoid looking at it, even though it sits there doing its best to get my attention…

I guess everything that I’ve just said is normal enough – who can’t relate to this kind of stuff? We’ve all been there. Everybody knows about that kind of stuff. It’s normal but I just take it to an extreme level. Extreme avoidance is what it is. Normal but extreme. But the thing is – the thing that I coming to with all my perambulations – is that my avoidance goes way beyond normal shit like this. Way beyond. In the last year or two I have begun avoiding reality itself. I have become so good at avoiding that I have taken it to the next level. I have ascended to the next level of the game. I am – I guess you could say – an ascended master in psychological avoidance. Only strictly speaking it’s not what you’d call ‘ascending’ I know. It doesn’t go anywhere good – that’s for sure! In fact I think it’s going somewhere pretty bad…

What’s happened is that I’ve started creating my own version of reality – a type of hugely over-simplified reality in which the only type of stuff that gets to happen is the type of stuff that I allow to happen. That’s the only type of stuff that can happen in my private universe – the stuff I want to happen. I’m totally in control you see and I say that it’s not going to happen then it doesn’t. If I say that it doesn’t exist then it doesn’t exist and that’s the end of the matter. That’s the end of the story. In this made-up reality, in this virtual world that exists only in my own head, I play various games. I entertain myself by making up a list of things to do that are really very simple to do, things that are no bother at all, no challenge at all. I make up the list and then I go ahead  – again, in my head – and do them, and that’s fine. I feel good about that. This gives me satisfaction – I enjoy it. It’s good. It’s me doing my thing…

The last year or two I’ve spend happily in my very own virtual reality world in my head and the real world doesn’t even get a look in! “Real world, what real world?” I ask. Ain’t no real world here, just us chickens. Just us chickens. Just us chickens. No one here by that name boss. You’ve got the wrong address. You want to try down the road. Try somewhere else. Just us chickens here. Just us chickens. Just us chickens.

So this was all great and as I say I was happy enough in my own virtual reality avoidance world until – to my unspeakable horror and dismay – all sorts of problems and challenges started popping up unaccountably in this world. This world that I was supposed to be in charge of. All sorts of nasty convoluted little problems that stopped my carrying out my lists. All sorts of glitches. All of this stuff started spreading like wildfire once it got established and before very long it was plaguing the life out of me. It was bedevilling my every step. It was haunting me and giving me sleepless nights. I thought I was safe in my virtual reality bubble and then all this went and happened. What are you supposed to do when the sacrosanct confines of your virtual reality avoidance world get contaminated with problems and worries?

I had no choice really – I created another level. I created a brand new hermetically-sealed avoidance world. A world designed expressly for the purpose of avoiding the first, contaminated avoidance world. This brand new avoidance world was completely untouched by the first one – there was no connection at all, no passageway or door by which the contamination might spread. I could begin again…

So I moved in. I took up residence. I had banished the old virtual reality avoidance world entirely. It no longer existed. It wasn’t allowed to exist. I made it not exist because I was in control. I was the boss of this world and what I said went. And what I didn’t say didn’t get to be there. I made up a whole bunch of new games to play and started playing them – forgetting about the old games that had been contaminated. And I’m happy to say that it’s all been going very well.

So far…


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