Pulling The Wool

I was in the Joke Universe, larking around, having a bit of a laugh. The Joke Universe is such a laugh, isn’t it? It’s such a great, great laugh, only it isn’t. Not really. Larking around, joking around, only this was no joking matter, as we were shortly to find out.


I was walking down a path of my own making. ‘Here’s a path of my own making’, I said, ‘I’m just going to try walking down it to see what happens.’ So that’s it – that’s the story of my life. Not much of a story, but what can I say? What can any of us say? Not much of a story but I’d like to see you do better. I’d like to see you do better if you were me, that is – that’s the stipulation.


I’m in the Joke universe, trying to keep a smile on my face. Trying to keep my banter appropriately light. That could be the story of my life actually – that could be my epithet. ‘He tried to keep the banter appropriately light…’ but not really of course. Not really because that just isn’t true. ‘Keep it together’, I tell myself, ‘keep it together because you’re in the Joke Universe now and that’s a serious business.’


‘But what is the Big Deception all about?’ they ask me – ‘what is the exact nature of the Great Lie?’ I pretend not to know what they’re talking about however. I put on a practised expression of dull confusion laced with absent-mindedness and start mumbling something incomprehensible. It’s my strategy of choice. One of the men who had come up to me hangs back, his hat pulled down over his eyes. His mouth is a terse line – he knows very well that I’m pulling the wool. ‘You can’t fool me that easily,’ he seems to be saying with his hooded expression, ‘you can’t fool me like you fool the others…’ I recognize him instantly as an Adjudicator.


I was pushing myself, launching myself into the world, hungry for validation. Such is always the way, as I know you too have come to realise. That’s something we all know now. It’s the Age-Old Reflex and it works as well now as it ever did. Better, even. I launched myself out into the world, hungry for validation, eager for whatever morsel of approval I could manage to elicit. It wasn’t to end well, however. It wasn’t to end well at all.


I was hunting desperately for kudos. Without it I was nothing, without it you’d walk straight by me in the street without giving me a second glance. I was nothing and nobody. I had been pulled in by the police for questioning but they had nothing on me. They never have anything on me – I’m not part of the Real World after all. I’m a shadow being from the Shadow Realm. I’m in hiding and I don’t know what from. I’m not in reality because reality is my enemy.


Life is an adventure as everyone knows. It is an adventure but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be fun. When you’re on the run from reality and you know in your bones that this time you’re not going to make it then that’s no fun. It’s still an adventure but it’s just not a good one. You embarked bravely upon the big adventure but it’s all turned sour. It could never have turned out any other way. It could never have worked out any other way because there was never anything there to work out, one way or the other.


I was geared up for anything, at this stage. I was in the zone. ‘Whatever happens now I’m ready for it’, I said bravely. I was playing the Finite Game but I didn’t yet know what the outcome was to be. Everyone wanted to know what the Great Deception was all about but I wasn’t saying anything. Not me – I was keeping my cards close to my chest. I was playing dumb. I was acting like I didn’t know anything. I had my stupidest expression on. ‘They aren’t going to learn about it from me’, I swore. ‘They aren’t going to learn about it from me…’




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