I was frightened by the frightening noise. I was frightened by the frightening things. I was afraid that the very bad thing might happen. I was more afraid than I’d ever been in my entire life. ‘Obey the fear,’ I bawled, ‘obey the fear, obey the fear…’ People looked at me of course. I hadn’t meant to shout out loud like that. Defiantly, I continue to repeat my mantra only quietly, only in my head this time. ‘Obey the fear, obey the fear, obey the fear,’ I said angrily in my own mind. ‘Obey the fear, obey the fear…’
I decided to go for the Meat Supreme. ‘When in doubt, go for the Meat supreme,’ I told myself wisely. When all else seems to fail, when the shifting sands of your fears and insecurities threatens to give way under your feet, then go for the Meat Supreme. I was lonely of course. Always so lonely. I was too afraid to talk to anyone else, you see. Far too afraid. Much too afraid. I was gripped by a fear that was just too great to articulate. No one could see me anyway – I was an intangible and as far as the solid ‘chunky-monkey’ folk of the earthly world were concerned I simply didn’t exist. That’s what it’s like when you’re an intangible…
I wasn’t always an intangible though. I would like to be clear on this point. I used to be just like anyone else – I had a lot of physical interactions with the material reality. You bet I did. Just as you probably do. I say ‘probably’ because I don’t really know. I’m not in a position to say with any great authority. Or any authority at all even. That was a long, long time ago of course. It was an awfully long time ago and to tell the truth I can barely remember it any more. I actually can’t remember. Sometimes I wonder if I’m making it all up, but I try not to go down that road. That’s a bad road to go down, as I know from experience. It’s the worst road to go down. The road of self-doubt.
Self-doubt is a constant companion of mine, you see. Self-doubt and loneliness. I’m an expert on that, you might say – a renowned expert, a world-class expert. I’m a renowned world-class expert but no one has ever heard of me. Naturally no one has ever heard of me – I’m an intangible, after all! I’m one of the intangibles. Not that I know of any others, come to think of it. I wouldn’t know them anyway. Obviously I wouldn’t because they are intangible to me to. Or maybe I’m the only one. On the other hand maybe I’m not. Either way it doesn’t make any difference to me – I’m on my own in both cases. Just me and my thoughts. Just me and my never-ending hopes and fears.
I still have hopes and fears, intangible as I might be. We all have our hopes and fears, don’t we? Even we ghosts still have our hopes and fears. You might not know that but I do. That might not be part of your daily experience but it is of mine. I spend all my time lost in my hopes and fears. I don’t really know what my hopes and fears are, mind you. If you asked me I couldn’t tell you, my hopes and fears are empty of substance, just as I am. They’re intangible, like me.
‘Does time passed quickly where you are?’ you might ask. ‘Does it pass quickly or does it drag?’ The straight answer is that it is both at the same time. That’s a strange thing, isn’t it? I think that’s a strange thing. When I look back, I’m conscious of her time has fled, how quickly it has sped by. It flies, just as they say. It flies like a bird. Like a very fast bird, not a slow one. It’s frightening how fast time goes by. Like some sort of crazy train. Like the Ozzy Osbourne song.
And yet at the same time that time flies, it also drags. It drags unbearably. It drag so much that it doesn’t seem to move at all. You could say that I’ve got the worst of both worlds therefore. You really could say that. How can time fly and drag at the same time?’ you ask, speaking – no doubt – out of a deep and abiding perplexity. That’s just the way it is though. That’s the mechanics of the situation and it doesn’t matter a damn as we understand it or not. Why would it if we understand it or not? That’s what life is like here and let no one tell you different. They don’t know anything anyway. What would they know? People are utter fools when it comes down to it and they simply can’t tell you anything. They want to but they can’t. They’re yapping imbeciles. They are utter yapping imbeciles but I envy them all the same. I envy them so much that it eats into me. It’s not only self-doubt that eats into me therefore but envy too.
Time flies and it crawls but there’s an awful lot of it either way. There’s an endless amount of time here, where I am, but it’s not real. It’s unreal time. There’s an endless amount of ‘un-real time’ here, for what that’s worth. Is that a good thing or a bad thing – what do you think? What are your thoughts about that? Not that you care, of course. Why would you care? You don’t give a damn and I know that very well. I’m under no illusions there. So anyway here I am. I’m sitting here in carriage Number 4 of the crazy train and there’s no stopping. There are no stops. The train is racing through the night, its engines whining insanely like an mad crazy out-of-control turbine, and it’s on its way to nowhere. It’s on its way to nowhere fast.