Angry Sumerians with superb hair-styles and frighteningly white teeth are running full pelt down the street towards me, brandishing crudely fashioned weapons. The end of the world is approaching rapidly but no one is interested. It has happened too many times before – the details may change but the end result is always the same. The nanobots are in a feeding frenzy – they are devouring the very fabric of space and time. In its place, they excrete modern society. Everything is being degraded, and – very shortly – everything is to be degraded all over again. The more things change the more they stay the same, isn’t that what they say? I must confess that I don’t really know what they mean when they say this, but I come out with this line quite a lot myself. It has a sort of resonance, as I’m sure you’ll agree.
Whingeing, whining, and self-cherishing. Whingeing, whining, and self-cherishing. Isn’t that how it goes? That’s how it goes with me anyway. What a joke, huh? What a bloody joke! Only it’s not the sort of joke you’re supposed to laugh at. Jokes you’re supposed to laugh at are different. They can be quite funny – if you’re in the right frame of mind to be laughing that is, which generally I’m not. I’d like to be feeling humorous of course, we’d all like to be feeling humorous but what can you do? In the sour, bitter world which I unfortunately inhabit humour is something which doesn’t exist. It’s an alien concept. It’s not something I can relate to.
People approach me on the street and tell the complicated jokes. They look sideways at me with the eyes of eels as they pass by. I can’t understand the significance of their words however. They look at me with tortured faces, expecting the impossible, waiting for the ‘special thing’ to happen even though it never will. Even though it never can do. The special thing that everyone is waiting for is a hallucination it’s true but it is not the usual kind of hallucination. It’s not something that has any relationship with reality, which is something that normal hallucinations actually do have, contrary to what you might think. That’s the difference and it’s a big one. When we are relating to normal hallucinations then we are – at least to some degree – in touch with reality, which is a redemptive factor. The type of hallucination of which I speak here is not like that – it comes with no redemptive factor, none at all.
I am firing off an arrow from the sacred Bow of Intention. I am visualising myself releasing the arrow into the blue sky – ‘Fly, arrow fly,’ I cry out loudly, ‘fly away and never come back…’ The arrow is stuck fast to my fingers however and I can’t release it. ‘Release the arrow, release the arrow!’ I tell myself, but I can’t. People approach me on the street with complicated explanations of the fundamental enigma of existence but I stumble past them heedlessly – I can see their lips moving as if in slow motion but I can’t make any sense of their words. Their expressions are lugubrious, mournful – imploring even – but I ignore them. I have hardened my heart.
They too are waiting for the impossible, they too are hoping for a resolution that can never happen. They search for a salvation which will never be theirs, a salvation that will never be anyone’s. Instead of pity I feel only anger. I want to shout at them, rage at them, shake them violently by their collars until they see sense. I don’t, though. I repress this urge and push roughly past them, refusing to be touched by the pleading look they all have in their eyes. I can’t allow myself to take on their suffering…