The Moment of Realization

clown screen shot

I woke up in a cold sweat – in the grip of a fear you just couldn’t believe. I came up for air out of a bad dream. A nightmare, in fact. Panic-stricken. “They’ve taken my stuff!” I roared at the top of my voice as I jumped out of bed, “The dirty lousy bastards are after taking my stuff!” But this was no dream as it shortly turned out, it was real. A low moan escaped from my lips as I quickly scanned from one end of my bedroom to the other hoping against hope that I would see all my stuff there safe as houses. The way it always is. The way it always was, I mean. Past tense. My stuff! “The dirty lousy stinking shower of bastards” I roared in anguish as the truth struck home. They really had taken my stuff!


My bedroom had been stripped bare in the night, my possessions pilfered as I lay asleep. Where before there has been piles of lovely stuff, now there was nothing. Bare floorboards only. Those thieving bastards had cleaned me out I realized. They had done a number on me. They had taken me to the cleaners…


The sense of sheer desolation that swept over me at that moment went way beyond anything I had ever experienced. If you had somehow transported me to the moon and left me there I could not have felt a greater sense of desolation. I had never even imagined that it could be possible to experience an inner emptiness like this. I’ve been through my share of bad experiences in life – more than my share, come to think of it – but nothing that could ever have prepared me for the feeling of inner desolation that overtook me that morning when I realized that all my stuff had been robbed in the night. Leaving me nothing to console myself with. Not a bloody thing. Zilch. Nada. Not a bloody sausage.


As I have said, I had been very thoroughly cleaned out. A real pro job. Everything was gone. Every last thing. All the stuff that I had so lovingly collected and accumulated over the years. All the stuff that I had so painstakingly sourced and acquired. All of my acquisitions – robbed. I couldn’t believe how bad this made me feel. How bad I felt at that moment, when it finally sank in that this was real and not a bad dream. “My stuff, my stuff, they’ve taken all my stuff…” I moaned. I went into some kind of altered state after that. I think I dissociated. When I came back to myself I was sitting in the living room wearing a crumpled clown suit and wrap-around silver shades with a half-eaten plastic container of Chinese take-way in my lap. Noodles strewn all over my trousers. Chicken chow mein it looked like and it had been there some time by the somewhat rancid smell of it. Days, possibly. The TV blared, some lousy stinking game show…


For a moment I didn’t know what had happened. For a moment I couldn’t piece it all together. My brain was struggling to orientate itself and recreate some kind of a linear time-line. I knew something bad had happened but I didn’t know what. An incoherent sense of dread suffused my very being. Then I remembered. They had taken my stuff. Anguish overcame me again and I wondered despairingly how I would ever get over this. If it was possible. Then – before I could get too deep into it – a deeper level of realization or insight flooded my mind. I had never actually existed at all – the whole thing had been an elaborate hoax, a ridiculous trick that I had played on myself! The stuff that I had been so obsessively collecting over the years was only a decoy. It was a red herring – something to distract me from seeing that I had never really existed in the first place!












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