The street angels were out in force, stalking the pavements. There was no escape from them – they were everywhere. ‘This land is precious to me,’ I lied, ‘and now it is full of unclean things…’ I failed to mention that I myself am one of those very same unclean things. I neatly avoided saying that.
Somewhere out of sight in the shadows the Reality Simulator was humming. You could almost not notice it, if you didn’t know what it was that you were listening for. I could hear it though – I can always hear it. Even when I’m asleep I can hear it, and that’s what makes me different from everyone else I know. No one hears the Reality Simulator in their sleep – they don’t even hear it when they’re awake. They never hear it, as far as I can tell.
It could be that people hear the Reality Simulator too but for some reason they never mention it. That could be true too, but I rather doubt it. The obvious conclusion is probably correct in this case, the obvious conclusion being that no one apart from me can hear it. It’s not a nice sound though, it’s more than just a little bit disturbing. It’s enough to disturb the hell out of anyone, in fact. Can you imagine it – everywhere you go the godawful all-pervading humming of the Reality Simulator telling you that everything is a lie.
Maybe that’s OK, you might say. Maybe you could learn to live with it. Maybe it’s not so bad. Maybe you can learn to live with a lie. You’d have to think about this one for a while though – the glib and easy answer – which always comes out of our intense desire not to be disturbed in any existential way, needless to say – can never be relied upon, after all. Oh no certainly not – the glib and easy answer can never be relied upon. It’s only the crickets chirping away in the long grass, we say. It’s only the wind in the tall trees. It’s only the crying and wailing of seagulls. It’s only dogs barking in the night… Scientists have proven that it’s only the dogs barking in the night. Scientists have proven, scientists have proven. We’ll hear whatever we want to hear of course – we’ll only ever hear what we want to hear.
I can hear the Reality Simulator talking away to itself, only it isn’t the Reality Simulator really, it’s me. I can hear me talking to myself in some long-forgotten corner of my mind – ‘simulate the false reality’, I’m exhorting myself, ‘simulate the false reality, simulate the false reality, simulate the false reality…’ There is no humour in this monotonous refrain of mine – no humour at all. I’m telling myself what to do and my words are charged with urgency. I’m panicking in case I’m not able to obey myself. I’m freaking out. It’s very important that I am able to obey the mind-created compulsion. Nothing was EVER more important than this. Simulating the false reality is the most important thing there is – this need permeates every aspect of my life. The pressure of it finds its way into every single thing I do. The terrible, terrible pressure.
‘Do the bloody thing’, my mind yammers hysterically at me, ‘do the thing, do the thing, do the thing, do the thing, do the thing, do the thing, do the thing….’ My mind is abusing me every minute of the day – ‘Just do the thing,’ it snarls at me. ‘Just do the bloody thing, you stupid useless bastard,’ it rages – ‘what the hell is wrong with you, anyway?’