The Bad Thing

They can smell it off you of course. They always know that you’ve done something bad. They may not know it consciously, they may not know that they know it, but they know it all the same. They know it and they make sure to keep their distance. They know it and it shows. It always shows.


Human again! Human again after such a long, long time! How sweet that feels, how sweet that feels. I had forgotten how sweet it was. I had forgotten the sweetness of being human, the wonderful sweetness of being an actual human being.


I was in the Value Store trying to buy some value but there wasn’t any. There was no value to be had anywhere – everyone was selling it but no one had it! There were warehouses stretching off in all directions with nothing in them. Row upon row of forklift trucks stood idle; there were fleets of big container trucks parked up doing nothing. Doing nothing, going nowhere. Get your value here, all the billboards screamed. Special offer on now – ends midnight! Rock bottom prices! Discount prices guaranteed! Everything must go! The desolate atmosphere told a different story however; the desolate atmosphere told a very different story indeed.


It occurred to me that I wouldn’t know value if it was staring me in the face! I didn’t even know what it would look like; I would probably walk right by it without recognising it. What was it for, anyway? What would you do with it? What was its designated function? Rock bottom prices guaranteed; rock bottom prices guaranteed. But what did it mean? What did any of it mean?


Sadness had overcome me as I sat there. A sense of desolation and loneliness. What kind of world was this, I wondered? It was a world with nothing in it, an empty world. Rumours of value abounded but no one ever got any sight of it. It was a hoary old tale at this stage – no one even knew what was meant by value any more. It was a rumour about a rumour, that’s all. It was a distant echo of another distant echo. No one knew what it meant anymore; no one could be bothered to ask. No one even thought to ask.


I was trying hard to be someone else. I was trying very hard – I was trying just as hard as I knew how. I was trying every day. There wasn’t a single day that went by that I didn’t try to be someone else. I watched TV programmes that I didn’t like; I spent time with people I couldn’t stand. I did a job I hated. I said things I didn’t believe. It wasn’t working though – I didn’t know how to be anyone else. It wouldn’t work for me.


They can always smell it off you, you know. Even if they don’t know that they know, they do all the same. They suspect. They always suspect. They suspect on some deep level and it colours their attitude – either they distance themselves from you or they get nosy and ask too many questions. Both responses are just as bad. Both responses are just as bad…








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