“Don’t touch me” I snarled viciously, my voice super-charged with venom. “Don’t touch me…” No one could ever touch me however because I have no body. No one would want to touch me anyway because I’m so toxic. So very toxic. If anyone came across me they would avoid me like the plague, I’d say! I kind of am the plague, come to think of it. That’s not too far from the truth. You’d be right to avoid me. “Don’t touch me” I screamed again, recoiling violently from an imagined aggressor. There was no aggressor there however – there was only me. Only me. I was the aggressor. I have always been the aggressor. The aggressor has always been me, for as far back as I can remember. Always, always, always. How did I get to be so toxic, you might wonder? The same way as anyone else, is my reply. What other way is there? The same way as everybody else – exactly the same way, I would answer. There aren’t any other ways really – you just wander down that road, that old, old road. It’s easy enough to find your way onto it! You know the road I mean. Everyone knows it. ‘Easy is the descent to Avernus’ says Vigil. How right he was. How right he was. Easy is the descent. Easy is the descent. It’s so easy that you don’t even notice yourself descending – you don’t notice it at all. You drift onto the road that leads to Avernus and you never notice how you got there. You never see yourself doing it. It’s as if you’re a sleep-walker. What am I saying? You are a sleep-walker – that’s the whole point. You’re a fully paid-up somnambulist. You’re a member of the professional association. You’re an accredited member. Of the Guild of Somnambulists. You’re sleep-walking but you don’t know it. You don’t know it because that’s what sleep-walking is all about! It’s all about not knowing. It’s all about the absence of knowing. You don’t know what you’re doing. The easiest journey in the world, that’s what the trip to Avernus is like. ‘Bang’ and you’re there! You’re there before you know it. Does that frighten you? It ought to frighten you. Don’t you think? What could possibly be more frightening than that? Hey – wake up you dozy bastard! Wake up. Wake up. Wake up. Wake up. Wake up you’re in hell. You dozy bastard. Wake up and smell the roses. Wake up and smell the coffee. “Don’t touch me” I hiss venomously, full of instant malice. But it’s only myself I’m talking to. There’s no one else here.