I was having one of my famous days. ‘I’m Zippy, I’m Zippy,’ I sang, ‘everybody knows my name…’ I was full of good cheer and at peace with the world. For once, the world was a good place. A warm place, a welcoming place. People recognise me wherever I go course, but they say nothing. It is understood by all that there is no need to actually say anything. That’s understood, that’s understood by all. People recognize me but they play the game. They don’t let on. I have a big smile all over my face – I’m delighted to know that everyone is playing the game so well. I have such a big smile that it’s hurting my face. I dance through the streets singing my little song, my face practically cracking in two from the giant delighted grin that I am wearing.
I was operating on a strict ‘need to know’ basis. ‘Do I really need to know?’ I asked myself and the answer was no I don’t. Say nothing, I advised myself. The least said the soonest mended. I had turned into a giant crab, walking sideways down the street, gesticulating wildly at passers-by with my outsize pincers. If anyone looked at me sideways I swivelled my eye sticks and looked at them sideways too. ‘How you like that buddy,’ I said to myself, ‘I’ll rip your damn ears off so I will.’
My head was jammed full of semi-digested thoughts. A single soggy unwholesome mass of turgid good-for-nothing go-nowhere thinking, sitting right on top of me, crushing the life out of me. I cried out in pain but no one took any notice of me. They continued to walk right by me, not even sparing a single glance in my direction. They seem to be repelled by my suffering more than anything else. ‘Is there no compassion left anywhere in the world?’ I wanted to cry out but I couldn’t. I had lost the power of human speech.
I was so vulnerable that I felt threatened and intimidated and bullied by every living thing that I encountered. A small bird edged up tentatively towards me, looking for crumbs no doubt, and I immediately shrank back in terror. I didn’t feel able for the contact. When you are as vulnerable as this you send out invisible messages to the world, I realised. Informing the predators in your immediate vicinity of your presence, informing them as if by loudspeaker of your frighteningly painful vulnerability. You’re grassing yourself up despite yourself. You can’t help sending urgent telegrams out to the Predator World. You can’t help summoning your own doom. With your nascent semi-developed telepathic powers you feel them making a beeline towards. You can actually feel their surprise and delight – ‘Why, here’s some soft, weak and timid creature signalling its terrified vulnerability to us,’ they think.
Their thoughts are grim and dark and their only joy is inflicting pain. I’m swimming in a dark, dark ocean, an ocean so deep that goes on forever. It’s an Ocean of Fear and I’m a little skater insect on the surface of it going around and around in frantic little circles, trying as hard as I can not to be aware of the dark depths beneath me. If I break the delicate water tension I’m finished. I have to try to think of something safe, to try to stop myself emitting fear vibrations. My fear vibrations are summoning the very thing that I’m afraid of. Not that I know that I’m afraid of – all I know is that it will be terrible beyond all imagining…