As is well known, I finally completed my most original and iconic masterpiece in the long, hot summer of two thousand and twenty two, which I called ‘Vindication of the Supreme Colossal Titanic Ego or How the Bottom Suddenly Dropped out of my World’. I had nowhere to go after this however; I had no follow-up to it and that was the problem. I neither existed nor not-existed. I didn’t know whether to be happy or sad, whether to be light-hearted or depressed. Trapped in a terrible limbo of my own creation, I was forced to take stock of my life in the most radical possible way. I knew then that I had to reinvent myself – and fast!
I was in a spot and no mistake. I was up against it in a big way – my whole life had been leading up to this point and it was a dead-end. It was the most horrific dead-end ever – you’d have to see it to believe it and even then you might not. I had built up a fine head of steam and I was all set for success and then this. I was cruelly cornered in a cul-de-sac and that hurts – believe you me. Although you might be inclined not to, obviously. I was face to face with the most horrific dead-end ever and it was all my own fault. I had no one to blame but myself. I’d done myself up like a kipper.
A clown scene had developed on the far side of the square, the side where all the buskers hang out. People were leaving the area as fast as they were able, rushing whilst trying their best to look as if they weren’t rushing. Everyone had that same stiff, unnatural expression plastered on their faces, their incurious eyes staring fixedly ahead, their mouths set in grim lines, thinking about nothing but how to get out of there. In the distance the sounds of police sirens. A sense of unreality had settled upon the scene – everything was happening all at once and yet nothing was happening. Everything was right up close and personal, and yet at the same time it was all so far removed…
It always happens like this, of course. Now that I come to think of it, it’s always the same thing – first the great rush of momentum, the building sense of excitement, the anticipation of greatness, the anticipation of imminent all-encompassing glory, and then that awful archetypal moment when the penny drops, when it dawns on you that you’ve got it all wrong. You couldn’t have got it more wrong and yet it happens every single time. That awful, awful moment. How could you have gotten it so wrong?
A clown scene had developed. Events had taken an unexpected turn for the worse and the pleasant, good-natured atmosphere of the day had evaporated – for all the world as if it had never really been there in the first place. Things had turned very ugly very quickly and anyone who could get out of there had done so. If you hadn’t been paying attention then that was just tough luck. If you happen to be still there when things turned ugly then that was your own fault. The awareness of your mistake rushes up to you with the speed of an express train. A tremendous silence had fallen – an incomprehensible, unbreakable calm. It was the interval between this world and the next, and it stretched on and on forever… You have been labouring so very hard and for so very long, and for what?