The sky was black, black with rage, black with frightening malevolence. I was more terrified of that sky than I am able to express. I knew no one else could see it – only me. ‘Who can help me’, I asked myself, ‘who can help me? Can anyone help me?’ I knew very well that they couldn’t. I was trying to remember the sort of things I used to think about when I was still alive but it wasn’t really coming back to me. I was nostalgic for the old thoughts that I used to think. I wasn’t sure if I was remembering the thoughts right or not – I had no way of knowing. They didn’t feel the same somehow. I was going through the motions of thinking my familiar all thoughts but somehow it didn’t feel the same. The tentative feeling of nostalgia was giving way to panic instead. I was clutching madly at these old familiar thoughts of mine, the thoughts I used to think so much, but it was like grabbing at smoke. Black, acrid smoke. Toxic black acrid smoke. The smell of burnt insulation from a burnt-out electrical machine.
Tears were streaming in rivulets down my face and I wasn’t sure if it was the smell of the burnt insulation causing this or if perhaps it was because I was sad. I’ve never been very good in connecting with my emotions, even when I was alive. Especially when I was alive, it occurred to me. Especially then. That had always been a big problem for me. Not that I’d ever been particularly bothered by it at the time. What you don’t know you don’t miss and there’s a lot of truth in that phrase. Perhaps too much truth for all I knew. If it’s possible to have too much truth, which I assume it may be. I’ve never been particularly good connecting with the truth either, come to think of it. Not very good at all. I was always secreting my own patented brand of mental bullshit and I spent my time relating to that instead. Not that I would have seen it like that of course. Not that I would have seen it like anything really.
I had to escape from the sky, I realised. It was pressing down on me with murderous intent. It was leaning heavily on me and I knew it had plans to crush me. The murderous sky, bristling with colossal animosity. The angry, angry sky. So big and so angry, so big and so angry. I was like a poor futile housefly, struggling to find a way through an invisible window pane, unable to register the fact that my tactics of buzzing back and forth just weren’t going to work this time. They might have served me well enough in the past but they weren’t going to cut the mustard in this particular situation. The situation where the sky is black and angry and where you want very much to escape from it. ‘Oh that situation,’ you pipe up enthusiastically, ‘naturally trying to escape from that situation is never going to work. Of course it won’t. Everyone knows that…’
When people talk about me – if they ever do – they’ll probably say something like ‘He was a man whose own bullshit eventually got the better of him. That’s why the sky is so black and angry and wants to crush him.’ I don’t know whether this was a reasonable thing to think or whether it was just an example of one of my typical bullshit thoughts. When everything is just a bullshit thought then where do you go? How do you know how you stand then? When you realise that all your thoughts are bullshit isn’t that thought itself not bullshit? Or could I be fooling myself about that too? When you fall into the life-long habit of fooling yourself it’s hard to know anything very much. You don’t really know shit, to be honest.
‘When you are desperately seeking comfort in a comfortless place then that’s not a very good situation to be in’, I told myself. I knew it to be true anyway but I still went ahead and told myself it. If I didn’t talk to myself then no one else would. No one else knew that I was there. I had a duty of care towards myself therefore. A duty to keep on talking, to keep on stating the obvious. To maintain my hideously-distorted personal narrative in whatever shape or form I could. I had to escape from the sky, I realised. It was looking down on me angrily with murderous intent and I had to escape it.