I Thought That I Was Myself But I Was Mistaken

I began what was to be a grand epic poem of Homeric proportions with the line, ‘I thought that I was myself but I was mistaken’ but it all went to pot shortly afterwards. I couldn’t hold my attention together. I couldn’t hold anything together. Words failed me and I found myself all at sea, floundering about in a net made up of inappropriate idioms and maladjusted metaphors. I thought that I was myself but I was mistaken, I stated boldly but then immediately trailed off in wild confusion. Instead of freshly brewed coffee they had freshly grewed coffee and it was making me gag. Stubbornly, I forced it down – I had paid for it and I was determined to enjoy it. Do you remember when you were younger and innocent in the crooked ways of the world and you still believed that human beings knew what they were doing? It’s like children thinking that adults know what they are doing and that they can make everything OK if there’s any problem. That they can fix all problems. Such a comforting feeling. Some people never lose that feeling. It makes me feel sad when I think this. Sad and lonely. It’s like discovering that a madman is dancing on your chest and swinging a cut-throat razor around. You want to scream ‘Let me off the bus’ but it is too late for that now. You turn to the man sitting beside you but you see that he’s in a hallucination. His lips are moving as he mumbles away, incoherently responding to the ghosts in his head. You shake him violently by the shoulders but he doesn’t see you. You’re in his hallucination but you’re not you you’re a bug crawling across the footpath. He tries to stamp on you but you’re too quick for him and you dart into a crack between two paving slabs. The bus driver’s in a hallucination too – he’s a child back in school again and the angry teacher has sent him to see the headmaster for misbehaving in class. He’s waiting in the corridor, full of fear. He knows that he’s going to receive a punishment for not learning his lessons. The headmaster is a giant spider-crab with tiny roving eyes on stalks. You know you’re in trouble when he jumps up from his chair and starts clambering over the desk to get to you. You’re afraid but you know you mustn’t show it. You’ve become a child again and the adults are all insane. They can’t make anything be right again. They can’t fix anything. They’re all lost in their own private worlds, trapped in their own hallucinatory realities. It’s no good trying to communicate with them because they’ll never hear you. The freshly grewed coffee has given me heartburn and I suffer in silence, my face a mask of gruesome agony. I had thought that I was myself but I had been mistaken. I wasn’t myself at all, and I never had been…





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