I lambasted him for that. For the thing that he did. I lambasted him thoroughly, as was my right. As indeed was my civic responsibility. I do have a sense of justice and fair play, after all. So I lambasted the hell out of him but it didn’t do any good – he was the same stupid bastard after the lambasting as he was before. Or rather – should I say – I was the same stupid bastard as I was before. The crowd of people that had gathered to watch me had been egging me on the course – they always egg me on – but it wasn’t as if I really needed any encouragement. I gave myself one last vicious punch on the jaw and I gave up, exasperated and exhausted. My arms were so tired I could hardly lift them and I was black and blue all over. Same stupid bastard, though – always the same stupid bastard. I had no compassion for myself at all. The crowd drifted off in search of some other entertainment whilst I dusted myself off and tried to remember what I had been doing before this totally unprovoked attack on myself. It was hard enough though because I had punched myself so many times in the head that I was somewhat punch-drunk. Punch-drunk and slap-happy.
I was determined to punish myself for the bad thing that I had done. That’s it, basically. I was recriminating against myself. Sometimes I try to focus on the positive of course, just like it says to in all the books. I never get very far with that however – I think I’m getting somewhere and then the trail sort of goes cold. The track peters out amongst the briars and nettles, so to speak. I just can’t get any further with it. And I can’t even remember what the bad thing was now. I don’t want to remember, I’m frightened to remember. It’s like a dark room that I don’t want to enter. I can work hard on finding imaginary virtues or imaginary good deeds, but nothing is ever going to change about that dark old room. Imaginary good deeds, huh? I’ll just have to have a think about that. I’ll just try to think of a few examples – I’m sure one will come up sooner or later! Oh yes, there’s one. I created the universe. Now it’s coming back to me. It’s finally coming back. That’s got to count as some kind of good deed, surely?
Or perhaps it doesn’t count as a good deed. There is a school of thought that says that the Creation isn’t a good thing at all, as I’m sure you know. We all know that school of thought. I have of course always tried to encourage the view that it is the ultimate in favours to create the universe in the rather ostentatious way that I did. I have intimated on more than one occasion that I would like a little appreciation for this splendidly altruistic action of mine. In my heart-of-hearts however I must admit that I can’t really buy this story; everything was getting on just fine before I came along did the whole ‘Creation’ thing, after all. It was a pretty cool scene, as I remember. There was certainly no one actually asking me to do it. So whilst on the one hand I do rather like the official story that ‘creating something out of nothing’ is a great and wonderful thing, I’m afraid that I’m also secretly rather aghast about the thought that I might have made a very bad mistake – the ultimate bad mistake, in fact. That’s when I tend to turn on myself and give myself a lambasting. I take it out on myself because there’s no one else to take it out on. Someone has to be blamed for this mess, after all.