Bed Worm

Farting angrily in the night, the bad things roam restlessly around the fields that surround my house. I can’t see them but I can hear them – I could hear them coughing harshly from time to time, letting out mad yelps and making strange bubbling noises. I could hear them all too well as I lay there cowering in my rickety bed, pulling the bed clothes around me, trying not to get too afraid, trying to keep a cool head.


“But what is too afraid?” you ask, “what sort of a thing is ‘not being too afraid’? How exactly would you characterise such a state?” You’re mocking me, of course – you’re laughing at me for being such a pathetic worm of a man. I’ll let it pass though – I won’t rise to the bait. I’m not a trout, after all! No, I’m not a trout. I’m an eel. The eel is my spirit animal, it is my totem. If I had a flag (or a coat of arms, even) then it would bear the insignia of an eel rampant on the field of sludge. That would be my proud banner.


The night creatures terrify me and I’m not ashamed to admit it. Well, I am ashamed it but when fear becomes too great, when it goes past a certain point, then all considerations of shame, and the need to cover it up, disappears. As I’m sure you yourself know only too well. Then, there is only naked blind fear, careless of what it has to do, careless of what indignities may become necessary. That’s how it always is when terror grips your innards – no thought is given to the question of how much of a fool one may appear. One does what one has to do, no matter how graceless – or downright shameful – it might be. That’s the freedom fear gives us.


I know you’re probably thinking that they weren’t really any fearsome creatures roaming around restlessly outside my house, making vile noises as I lay in my bed quivering with terror. I know you’re probably thinking that it was all in my head, that my fearful mind was simply imagining things. You’re wrong, though. The rational mind always tries to explain things away – that’s how it disguises its fear. That’s why the rational mind is so harsh, so quick to judge – because it is in denial of its own abject fear. That makes the everyday mind cruel, you see – that denial makes the mind unspeakably cruel. Fear has a lot to answer for, my friends.


Fear either makes us into monsters or worms, I guess you could say. It’s either the one way or the other, isn’t it? I may be a worm, but at least I’m an honest one! It is of course a bit sad the best thing I can say about myself that I am at least an honest worm, writhing around in sheer unexpurgated terror in the dead of night but that’s how it is, I’m afraid. And I really am afraid. I have no other way of consoling myself, no other way of repairing my self-esteem. I’m simply making do with what I have available.


In my dreams I am no bed worm but a Mighty Eel, writhing sinuously (and yet at the same time powerfully) in a great stagnant pool of brackish sludge. This is my Kingdom. Never mess with an eel, my friends, never mess with an eel. The eel is King of the Deep. The eel has magical properties. It feeds on poison, on toxins, but comes to no harm. The Eel King thrives and grow strong where lesser creatures would perish. It swims through filth and suffers not. It eats what is not wholesome and yet it never become sick. It rejoices in conditions that would horrify any other creature…


I am undergoing mitosis, I realise. I am nearing the hour of my transformation. All my life has been leading up to this moment (although having said this, I have to admit that this could be said for any moment). My whole life was leading up to this moment but I overshot in my excitement and so it all came to nothing. I couldn’t control my own momentum and before I knew it the moment was gone; before I knew it the moment was behind me and I was catapulted headfirst into a life of nonstop surreal stupidity. “It might be a life of nonstop surreal stupidity, but it’s my life of nonstop serial stupidity,” I told myself bravely, from the comfort of my crumpled and malodorous bed.





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