The Temptation To Exist

Just about anything can bring on the temptation to exist, can’t it? It doesn’t take very much at all. This is something that occurs to me ever so often and whenever it does occur to me then this always makes me sit up and think! This particular insight always sets me pondering. We are surrounded on all sides by the garish lures of existence. ‘The garish lures of existence’ – I love that phrase. I could say it over and over again, but that won’t get me anywhere. I know it won’t get me anywhere. ‘Exist,’ say the lures on all sides of us – ‘go on, you know you want to…’


Existence looks pretty damn great when you’re looking at it from the outside, it’s true. When you’re window-shopping. Nothing ever looked greater, I’m sure! Nothing ever looked greater. ‘Why, I’ll have me some of that!’ you say to yourself. You’re salivating straightaway – you can feel the wet drool running down your chin. ‘I’ll have some of that,’ you say – ‘give me a big fat slice of it…’ You are looking at the fabulous opulence of existence and the longer you stare at it the better it looks! You never saw anything half as good. You never saw anything full stop. It’s not as if there is someone there whispering in your ear, ‘You’ll regret that later on, buddy…’ It’s not as if you’d listen even if there was! Damn right you wouldn’t listen, not when existence looks so great. Not when it looks so good…


‘Exist!’ say the lures. ‘Exist!’ They’re crying out at you like sirens. The siren song of existence! Another fine phrase there, I say to myself. A fine, fine phrase. A very fine phrase. An opulent phrase, rich in nuance. The siren song of existence. The siren song of existence. Go on you know you want to. Just have a little nibble, just have a little taste. We are all nibblers here, aren’t we? Show me someone who doesn’t like nibbling! Show me someone who doesn’t like to have a little nibble every now and again, a little nibble on the quiet. I’ve got a pain in my jaw from nibbling too much, to be honest. I almost dislocated my jaw a while back trying to fit too much in my mouth in the one go. I suppose it’s gone beyond nibbling when that happens to you! You know that you’ve gone beyond the nibbling stage when you dislocate your entire jaw from trying to take too big a bite! ‘You’ve gone way beyond nibbling now, son,’ I say to myself reproachfully – ‘you’ve gone way beyond nibbling now’.


I can’t actually remember the last time I felt so embarrassed – you’re standing there with your mouth open in full gape – beyond full gape in fact, substantially beyond full gape – and your jaw is locked open and you can’t shut it any more. The pain alone is unbearable, never mind the embarrassment! What will people think? What will people say? And you’re standing there like one of those deep sea gulper fish whose gape is bigger than their entire body, and you’re punching yourself repeatedly in the jaw like a maniac trying to get it to go back in again, try to get it to click back in place. Vast mouth, ridiculous little body… Vast mouth, ridiculous little body… And there’s rivers of sticky drool coming out of your mouth, which has got so absurdly big that you don’t even look human anymore…


‘It’s far from human you look’, I told myself soberly. It’s far from human you look. More like one of those deep sea gulper fish that live at the bottom of the ocean trenches five miles below the surface. When you try to pull these fish up to the surface they get all busted up from the change in pressure. All I can do is put it down to an error in judgement, a simple error in judgement – no more and no less. Okay, so it was awkward enough at the time but it’s all just a learning curve. Isn’t that what they say? It’s all just a learning curve…


I don’t even know what a learning curve is, now they come to think about it. I don’t know how a learning curve differs from any other type of curve. Why does it have to be a curve anyway? What’s that all about? When I look in the mirror I see a man who has made mistakes – more than his fair share perhaps. I see a man who has made a lot of mistakes and who will go on to make many more. That’s what you are dealing with, right? That’s what I’m dealing with anyway! I am a machine for making mistakes. The other way of looking at this of course is to say that when a ‘machine for making mistakes’ makes a mistake then it’s doing what it’s supposed to. It still safely within its operating parameters, safely within its tolerances. Which are pretty wide. Pretty damn wide – as wide as the whole world, in fact. As wide as my grotesquely distended mouth when I tried to gulp down the whole of existence in one go. ‘That was a mistake buddy,’ says the voice in my ear, but I already know it! You bet I know it – I know it better than anyone could ever know anything!



Art – Siren Song, by LIK, from







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