I Had Become My Own Enemy

I was losing freedom every second, trapped in an ever-decreasing spiral. I was trapped in a game of my own devising, trapped in a game that I had never intended. I had become my own enemy; I had become my own jailer. ‘Throw away the keys, throw away the keys,’ I yelled like a complete fool, neither knowing nor caring what I was saying. I had thrown away all responsibility to the four winds in my excitement. Paranoia came in then, as it always does. It came in through the back door and before very long I was starting to suspect my own shadow.


Farting like a rascal, I seized the hilt of my broadsword with both hands and took the fight to the enemy. I was playing the game. ‘Smite the enemy, smite the enemy, smite the enemy,’ the robot voice inside my head intoned passionlessly. I was playing the game but I didn’t know it. I was losing freedom every minute but I just couldn’t see it. I had to obey the robot voice. Everyone always has to obey the robot voice…


‘Obey the robot voice,’ the robot voice intoned mercilessly, and we all knew that we had to obey. We all knew how very important it was to obey – it’s important to obey the voice that tells you to obey. We had to obey because the robot voice was our own thoughts – everyone always has to obey their own thoughts. We’d be in trouble if we didn’t. We’d be in terrible trouble if we didn’t. Can you imagine what trouble you’d be in if you didn’t obey your own thoughts? You’d be up in court for sure, listening in dumb silence to the serious charges are being brought against you. The sheer enormity of your crimes would shock even the noisiest person into stunned and horrified silence.


The days were long and the nights were longer, and yet somehow it all went by in a flash. The space inside my skull was cavernous and cruel and once the echoes started up there was no stopping them. The best thing was not to move at all. The best thing was to lie low and hope that nothing bad happened. Piles of old thoughts lay on the floor gathering dust. They were slowly rotting. Larvae were hatching within them – they will emerge in the night when you are asleep and creep silently across the floor, their pale bodies glistening in the moonlight. I wished I’d never thought them – the thoughts, I mean. The thoughts had come thick and fast at the time no one and I had never paid any heed to them but now that I could actually see them my stomach writhed in disgust within me. I had never paid any attention to them at the time but now that I could actually see them it was a very different story. It was very different story indeed…


I was walking along an endless barren plane, picking my way slowly and painfully through piles of jagged volcanic rocks. I was in the badlands. Picking my way, picking my way. Picking my way amongst the piles of vicious rocks. Lost in the cruel and cavernous interior of my own vast skull. My own vast but terribly sterile skull.


Paranoia came in then – it came in through the back door the same as it always does. Waves of paranoia were sweeping in, getting stronger and stronger every time, knocking me off my feet. The undertow was vicious and I knew it was only a matter of time before I got swept out to sea. Swept out into the pitiless ocean of paranoia, to be thrown from one wave to another with any pause, without any possibility of respite.


That’s what always happens when you give up your own freedom of course – you end up chasing your own tail, you end up running from an enemy who never gives up. You run and you run and you run but you can never escape. You can never escape because you have given away on your freedom. It had seemed like a good idea at the time of course. It had seemed like the best idea ever…











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