The Inverted Marvel

It was a decadent era, I wrote, spawning many grotesque departures from social etiquette… How is decency to prevail when the social niceties are not being observed? I was livid. I was as livid as a bruise, as livid as a strip of red meat thrown into a sizzling hot frying pan. ‘We live in a grotesque era, my friends,’ I declared grandly, getting ready to pontificate at great length, but really it was me that was grotesque. I was a hideous freak – was it any wonder that no one could meet my eye? I would like to invite you to meet my eye. Consider it a formal request! My eye floats up above us, a great jaundiced globe, glaring balefully here and there, seeking out faults wherever it may find them. This wasn’t ‘my’ eye really of course – it was the ‘Introject’, it was the ‘Central Scrutinizer’, it was the Unholy Curse of Our Forefathers that has been passed down to us for our self-keeping. It was ‘the Bringer of Pain’, the ‘Harbinger of Misery’. What does life consist of my friends, other than the passing on of countless miseries? Isn’t that what we always do, isn’t that our sacred duty? We have to pass on our secret sorrows to the next generation, we have to add our bit to the collective burden. We have to visit uncalled-for pain upon the heads of the innocent. That’s what they call being ‘public spirited’, I guess. We have to do our bit. We have a certain obligation. No one is exempt. This situation is unusual and it takes some getting used to, I’ll grant you that. We start off with this most singular situation where there simply isn’t anything that isn’t most marvellously wonderful through and through; there isn’t anything that does not contain within it an infinitude of marvels, and then we turn it into pure unremitting garbage – we turn it into filth, we turn it into tawdry nonsense. We turn it into undiluted misery, misery like a dripping tap. Like a tap that no plumber in the world can never stop dripping! That plumber doesn’t exist, I’m telling you! The plumber that could fit that dripping tap hasn’t been born! Let me assure you of that… Let me assure you… Such is the wretched nature of this world we have created so assiduously for ourselves that not even a single marvel is to be found within it. There is nothing good, nothing wholesome, nothing honest in it anywhere. There is nothing even remotely resembling a marvel in it anywhere and this – some would say – is the greatest marvel of all. How did we ever manage it? This is the Inverted Marvel – the marvel that has been turned upon its head. Our work is never done, is it? There’s no time for slacking. There’s always more to be done – there’s always extra misery to be thrown onto the pile. Lest anyone ever manage to crawl out from under it…






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