The King Of Buzzes

I was talking about that old King Buzz again. I was always talking about that old King Buzz! The truth was of course that I didn’t really know anything about the King Buzz any more. ‘You don’t know anything about buzzes until you have had that old King Buzz,’ I said, speaking to anyone and no one both at the same time, ‘you might think that you know what it feels like to be buzzing but you don’t.’ I stopped to chew my lip for a while and then continued gamely, ‘That old King Buzz  starts somewhere in your elbows funnily enough – that’s where you feel it first.’ I was making it all up of course – I didn’t know anything about the King Buzz, I was only just mouthing off. I was mouthing off like a gobshyte. ‘And then the next thing is that you feel it in your tailbone. When that happens you know you’ve only got ten minutes before it hits.’ I was mouthing off like a big moron, I was mouthing off like a fool. I wasn’t even a human being any more at this stage – I was a self-perpetuating bundle of rusty reflexes, I was a puff of stale air, I was a badly-deteriorated residual body-image struggling to maintain itself against the overwhelming tug of entropy…


‘Do you know that thing where you suddenly realise that you absolutely hate yourself for wasting your entire life being a total utter asshole?’ I commented. I was fishing for group validation but immediately realised that I’d misjudged the situation – they weren’t going to validate me at all, pretty clearly! ‘Validation’s pretty thin on the ground around here,’ I commented wryly to myself. I’ve been here before of course – I’ve been everywhere before. Do you know that thing you know that thing, I gabbled hysterically. The room was full of silence – no one wanted to look me in the eye. Validation was pretty thin on the ground around here, I told myself – even the unclean spirits couldn’t wait for me to move on, even the unclean spirits felt bad being near me. They feared contamination…


I am always having to move on, that’s the story of my life really. ‘Do you know that thing when you have become a stinking deteriorated carcass and you’re totally infested with malignant psychological egos that make you walk around and say things that don’t make any sense?’ I began conversationally, trying to inconspicuously merge into another group. Just dropping it in there, in my very best conversational tone. Just dropping it in there, so very casually, so very easily that you’d hardly even notice me doing it! You wouldn’t notice me doing it. You would almost think that I had been there all along, a cherished and accepted member of the group. Not an outsider. Judging my moment impeccably – just dropping it in there. Ripples of interested conversation spreading outwards; other related conversational themes being sparked up. I didn’t even need to say anything else after this. I had timed it perfectly, I had judged the moment to perfection. No longer was I the outsider, no longer was I the pariah. The intense gratification of social inclusion – that most exquisite of elixirs, that most fragrant of ambrosias… Was there ever anything sweeter?


I was no longer fully human at this stage of course. I was a faded stain on the carpet. I was a perambulating bundle of rusty reflexes, a creaking hollow shell that still managed to walk and talk and act as a human being. After a fashion, of course! After a fashion, after a fashion… I still had my good moments, mind you – it wasn’t all bad. I had a good job in the HSE, I had a responsible and meaningful role in society. People looked up to me. Well, maybe that’s overstating it a bit, but you know what I mean. You get the picture. I knew I still had a valuable role to play.


My jacket was coated with mildew and my beard was down to my knees; my breath came in long ragged infrequent bursts and there was moss growing on my trainers. I didn’t know how long I’d been sitting there lost in thought, trying to work out my winning strategy. The physical part of me was here but my spirit was elsewhere. It was time for me to come in out of the cold I realised – human kind had need of me once more! The Forever War was still raging unabated and I had my part to play in it….





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