I was barking like a sea lion. Barking and barking and barking. I was barking like a sea lion in the dreamscape of my own imagination. Only it wasn’t a dreamscape, it was reality. It was all too real, all too real. I ran along the landing, my breath coming in ragged bursts, barking as I went. I wasn’t barking really I was coughing – that’s what it sounds like when I cough. It sounds like a sea lion barking.
I had to get away in a hurry. I tore down the stairwell, taking the concrete’s steps two at a time. I only knew one thing and that was that I had to get out of there. The Hero Force was strong within me. Only it wasn’t – I only knew one thing and that was running. Running was my middle name. The Hero Force was in reverse; it wasn’t Hero Force any more. I’m sure you know what kind of force it was. Not the heroic type anyway, definitely not the heroic type. We lose everything when we run – did you ever realize that? There’s nothing left of us when we run; it’s very important for us to understand that. It’s very important for us to understand that everything’s already been lost. If only we could understand this. What are we running for then? Do you see what I’m saying? It’s already lost but we don’t know it. It’s already been lost but we keep on trying to hang onto it. We’re trying to preserve something but what we are trying to preserve is no longer there.
The Hero Force comes and it goes. That’s what I have eventually come to understand. There is a season for all things; that’s what I have come to understand. So now I bide my time – I spend the days waiting. You would walk right by me without noticing. You would walk right by me without giving me a second glance. You’d never pick me out from the crowd. I bide my time. I wait. Day by day the evil grows – it seems so strong to me that I can smell it. I can sense it at work all around me. Evil has grown confident, sure of its mastery over this poor world of ours. There’s no one there to oppose it.
The moment was fast approaching. In some way that I could not explain I knew this. I knew that some extraordinary event was about to unfold, one way or the other. I felt it in my very bones. The physical world is only the icing on the cake, after all – it’s important to realise that. It’s important not to get carried away with all that icing. It will only rot your teeth, after all. It will give you diabetes. Those that have ears to hear let them hear, isn’t that what Jesus said? Those that have eyes to see let them see. There is none with ears here however. There is none with eyes. Am I perhaps the one-eyed man you might ask? I fear that that would be overstating the matter somewhat. That would be overstating things. I have a single rudimentary light-sensitive cell on my forehead capable only of discerning light from dark. At times I can see the light; at other times I am aware of the shadow falling upon me. I grow cold in that shadow – my very life starts to leave my body.
I had taken the Hero Dose, and my mind was full of chaos. Too much chaos for one man. One could lose oneself forever in all this chaos. Multicoloured motes of light float before my eyes. They must be floaters, I tell myself. They must be floaters. Strange hieroglyphics unravel in my head, but my attention is too thinly stretched for me to understand anything of them. The information is too much for my poor capacity. My attention is stretched very thinly indeed and I am barely able to make sense of anything anymore. I move my hand in front of my face and I have a million hands. I walk and my legs are like a millipede’s legs. I turn my head and there are thousand million worlds all around me. Barking like a sea lion I make my way on unsteady legs down the concrete stairwell. The smell of stale urine hangs in the air. My fate awaits me, and I am in dread of it.