I am literally terrified of existing. That’s why I cling to illusions; that’s why I dwell in shadow… I cling to illusion and dwell in shadows as if my very life depended on it. Not that it’s much of a life, mind you. It wouldn’t be much of a loss to anyone if I did lose it – it’s a tattered old rag of a thing really. It’s a frayed and threadbare garment, and yet I can’t bear to let go of it…


I am so very terrified of existence. I draw back instinctively into the dank private cave of my private unreality. My eyes bulging out of my head, suspiciously scanning from side to side, looking for something strange to latch onto. “What do they want with me? What do they want with me? What do they want with me?” is my constant thought. Although it’s not quite as well articulated as that (if indeed it is articulated at all). I’m not very good on the articulation front, generally speaking.


I’m trying to shut it out, but at the same time I can’t help knowing that it’s out there. Reality, that is. The hairs are standing up on my forearms because I know that it’s there. Although – again – I’d never articulate this to myself this way. Apart from just now that is, because I’m making a special effort. Trying to come clean about my sordid situation. In case that helps me – although I somehow doubt that it will. I have withdrawn so deeply into my private cave of unreality at this stage that I doubt if anything can help me. I’m hopelessly addicted to my own private games and I simply don’t have the courage to think about breaking free from them…


My eyes are twin saucers of limpid paranoia, scanning this way and that. I know that they are out there and that they want to put an end to my sordid pseudo-existence. Because I’m too frightened to do so myself. I haven’t the courage to do the decent thing. I can feel them out there. I can pick up the vibrations of their thoughts in my bones. In my long bones; in my femurs, in particular. “What are they saying? What are they saying? What are they saying?” I know they are making their plans. They have so many powers at their disposal and they are using all of them so that they may know where I am hiding. The hair is standing up on my head with fright. It would be comedic, if only I could see it. I have no place left to hide.


There’s stuff going on out there that I don’t know about. Something is going on. People are talking about me, wanting to know about me. “What do they want of me? What do they want of me? What do they want of me?” I fret. I pace up and down in my cave. My two ears are sticking out as far from my head as they can, trying to pick up on what is going on. I can feel the trouble that is out there for me – terrible, terrible trouble. I can feel it deep in my bowels. I can feel it in my deepest parts. It’s a like a groan that issues forth from the deepest part of the earth – the deep, deep groan of my impending doom.


The shadows can’t protect me anymore. Dazzling searchlights are being shone in my direction, picking me out in their pitiless glare. My eyes blinking helplessly in the unaccustomed light. Caught out. Caught totally unawares. Startled out of my games by the headlights of reality. A lorry hurtling down the road towards me, horn honking. Bearing down on me. “What’s he doing? What’s he doing? What’s he doing?” the voices boom. Someone turned the light-switch on. I’ve been caught out in my games. Exposed. The shame is the most intense thing I have ever experienced. It’s like a mountain. A mountain of pitiless shame. I feel like I’m going to faint. I’m reaching out for some friendly darkness to save me but there’s none there…





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