Behind The Smile

What’s behind people? Do you ever ask yourself that? Do you ever wonder about that. What’s actually behind them? A smile a nod a blank face. A cross face. A bored face. A taking the piss face. A superior face. An ‘I know what I’m talking about face’. Sometimes people may say things to you sometimes they don’t but what’s behind it all? What’s the difference? They may talk at you. Like an involuntary reflex but what’s behind it? The muscles in their faces may make smiles, but what of it? Sometimes a whole big load of talk comes out of their faces. Intelligent people can say intelligent stuff to you. Stupid people can say stupid shit and as a rule they generally do. I wonder what the difference is though. I can’t really see it. Can you see it? What lies behind all that talk is a comfortable opinion. Lots of comfortable opinions some are stupid and some are smart but all are very comfortable. So comfortable. It’s all the same really because there’s nothing behind the opinions, nothing at all. You think there is? We’re led to believe there is. We’re led to believe, led to believe. But we’re always led to believe that’s the name of the game isn’t it. That’s the nature of the exercise. We go where we’re led. We ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS go there. You bet we always go there. We go there all the time. But there’s nothing there really so don’t look. I know you won’t anyway. If you do look you’ll see something frightening. You’ll see something very frightening. You don’t want to see it – I know you don’t. You know you don’t. What you’ll see is nothing. You’ll see nothing because there’s nothing there! An empty desert. A hollow wasteland stretching off blankly in all directions with no one there. Because you’re not supposed to look behind the comfortable talk the comfortable opinion the comfortable banalities of everyday life. Why would you scare yourself like that? All the people you meet the people on the television all so comfortable. They’ll give you their opinion but there’s nothing behind it. They never look behind what they say so why should you? It’s a spooky feeling. You might give yourself a bit of a fright. Bit of a nasty moment. Something you’re not supposed to see. Like catching someone sitting on the toilet. Expressing a comfortable opinion. Giving you a smile or a nod walking by you on the street. If you meet someone they might smile at you. Contort their faces. You’re not supposed to look so why would you. Comfortable professional faces. The whole world is just a comfortable opinion so why would you look behind it? Comfortable comfortable comfortable. Take a seat. Take a pew. All so very comfortable. Why would you ever wonder what lies behind it? Why would you want to?

 

 

 

 

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Treatment Resistant

The people were angry. They hated me. They wanted to kill me. I could hear them shouting and roaring outside of the building. It wasn’t real – I was stuck in the dream box having lots and lots of dreams. I was stuck in the therapy box having therapy sessions. I was having to experience all my issues over and over again until I was cured of them. Only it wasn’t working. The therapy box couldn’t cure me. I was treatment resistant. I was in the dream box dreaming my head off. I never knew it was possible to dream so much. I never dreamed so fast before. None of it was real. The therapy box wasn’t real and neither was the therapy. That was just another dream. The dream box wasn’t real either – I was only dreaming that it was real. I could hear the angry voices of the people outside – they wanted to break into the building to find me – they wanted to kill me. They were breaking windows and throwing stones. They were very angry and they knew I was there – they couldn’t wait to find me and kill me. They knew I was in the building – they could read my mind. In another reality I was a successful TV personality. I had my own show on Channel 6. My show was called Mr Fuckwit and I played a character who always did lots of stupid things. People enjoyed watching this show because it made them feel that they were not stupid. They knew that I was the stupid one and they could have a good laugh at me because they could see that I was such a stupid fuckwit. The show was moderately popular. Then there was a bleed-through of the two parallel realities and I suddenly became famous in this reality too, only I was famous in a bad way. I was famous for being bad and everyone wanted to kill me. I had mismanaged the economy. I had damaged the ecosystem. Their lives were all fucked up and they knew it was my fault. They were very angry about everything being my fault and they wanted to make me pay. Then they would feel better. They couldn’t wait to drag me out of the building where I was hiding and kill me. They knew I was in there. They could read my mind. I was hooked up to the dream machine dreaming my head off. I was in the therapy box having therapy but the therapy wasn’t working…

 

 

 

 

 

The Dreamer And The Dream

I was trying as hard as I could to wake up out of the dream but I couldn’t. It just wasn’t working out for me – I was getting nowhere fast, you could say. The fact that I was trying so hard to wake up just goes to show how deluded I was! There was no such thing as the dream so obviously I couldn’t wake up out of it – there was no one in the dream to wake up. That pretty much goes without saying, really. It goes without saying so I can’t think why I bother to say it; if there’s no such thing as ‘the dream’ then very clearly there’s no such thing as ‘the dreamer’…

 

I was trying so hard to wake up out of the dream that I was in danger of bursting a blood vessel! I was in danger of doing myself a mischief. All to no avail of course since the more I tried to wake up the more I reinforced the pernicious illusion that there was someone who needed to wake up! You can see how hopelessly deluded I was. Samsara is such an insidious trap, isn’t it? Just as soon as I worked out that there was such a thing as samsara I started trying to get free from it; no sooner had I learned that I was in fact in a state of sleep I started making consistent and concerted efforts to exit the samsaric realm and all its attendant sufferings. You can see how much good that did me! I’m suffering worse than ever now…

 

Sometimes I wonder if I wouldn’t have been better off never hearing about samsara. As I say, it doesn’t seem to have helped me any. All that’s happened to me as a result is that I’m now caught up in second-order samsaric traps. That’s what happens when you try to escape from samsara – you create second-order samsaric delusions because you have put all your money on there being someone who wants to escape, someone who needs to escape, someone who ought to escape… Now that I come to think of it I can see that hearing that there is such a thing as samsara is synonymous with wanting to escape from it or believing that one ought to escape from it. You can hardly know about samsara and all the sufferings that are to be encountered there and not wish to be liberated from it!

 

As I say, sometimes I think I’d be a lot better off if I had never heard about the Big Old Dream which is samsara and how we’re all lost in it. I’ve gone from being an ordinary fool (and there’s safety in numbers as regards ordinary fools, as I’m sure you would agree) to being a socially isolated fool, a fool no one wants to talk to, a fool no one can relate to. I can’t even relate to myself anymore, for god’s sake. My head’s completely tied up in knots. I’m suffering way worse than I used to be back when I was completely unaware that there was any such thing as samsara. Life’s gone from bad to worse. I’m not just saying that for effect – that’s the honest truth. Or at least it’s as honest and truthful as anything can be when you’re trapped in a self-perpetuating dream! Which is I suppose another way of saying that it’s not honest or truthful at all since neither of these things can exist in a dream. How can the dream be honest, how can the dreamer speak truth, when there is neither dream nor dream?

 

Sometimes I feel that I’m cracking up completely from thinking about all this samsara stuff so much. Well maybe I’m being a trifle over-dramatic there – primarily – I suppose – I just feel irritated with everything. I’m annoyed, if I were to be honest (which I can’t be, as I have already said). And when I look around me and see everyone enjoying themselves (as far as I can tell, at any rate) whilst being completely unaware that they are dreaming, it really annoys the fuck out of me. It really pisses me off. That’s just plain unfair, in my book – it’s as if they are actually being rewarded for their ignorance, whilst I have to go around feeling permanently at odds with myself…

 

 

 

 

 

Iterative Sequence

I was having this dream in which I was totally engrossed in eating some kind of steamed chocolate pudding drowned in lots and lots of thick chocolate-flavoured sauce. Slowly but surely it became too messy to handle  – it started spreading everywhere and sticking to everything. It was all over my hands, my chin, the sleeves of my jacket, my shirt, my trousers, you name it. It was in my hair, in my ears, up my nose. I could hardly breathe. It was sticking my fingers together – it was gluing them together in fact so that I no longer had hands but just a pair of seal-like flippers. I was flapping these flippers freakishly in some kind of slow-motion grotesque horror show, trying to scrape the super-sticky chocolate sauce from my eyes, nose and mouth. I was slowly but surely suffocating. The dream was starting to turn bad on me. It had started off OK but it had quickly turned very bad indeed.

 

I woke up choking, gasping for air. My lungs felt as if they were full of cold phlegm. Phlegm that had congealed into a solid mass. My lungs were full of dead man’s phlegm. I could vaguely see that my skin was covered in a fine penicillin mould; my whole body was green with it. My arms and legs were waving slowly to and fro like stands of seaweed. I was at the bottom of the sea, crabs nibbling at my pale, lifeless flesh. Shrimps played in my hair, which drifted languidly in the undersea currents. The weight of the sea above me was immense. I could feel it slowly but surely crushing me…

 

I woke up again. The last time it hadn’t been real. It had been a false start. The last time hadn’t been good but it hadn’t been real either. This time it was. After a few minutes of lying in bed I realized that the alarm on my phone hadn’t gone off and I had overslept. I was going to be late for work again. The first dream – not the dream about waking up – had been very real. It had been disturbingly real – I could still taste chocolate sauce in my mouth. Not very nice chocolate sauce mind you, but still. I wonder what that dream symbolized I thought, reluctant to get out of the bed. Perhaps the sticky pudding represented life, it occurred to me after a while, and because of my appalling uncontrollable greed it had all turned to shit. Everything had turned to shit.

 

As I drove to work later that morning I could feel my mood starting to dip. My analysis of my dream had been all too accurate, I realized. It had been right on the button. It had been too close to the truth for comfort – that was my life in a nutshell. Everything was always turning to shit for me and it was always my fault. It was my fault every time. A terrible feeling of demoralization swept through me then. What was the point, I wondered? I hated my bloody job and I was barely earning enough to cover the rent. The years rolled by relentlessly and nothing ever changed. What the hell am I doing with my life, I asked myself. What the hell am I doing this for?

 

Just as I was thinking this the alarm on my phone went off and I woke up for a third time. None of this was real, I realized. It was all just an iterative sequence. I was stuck in a therapy box reliving the bad bits of my life over and over again until the message I was supposed to learn finally sunk in…

 

After a while I remembered that the therapy box was a dream too. I was in the Husk World and nothing was real. If I tried very hard I could make it seem real for a while but then after a while everything would always revert back to some kind of out-of-focus shifting movement like a sea of dried-out grass stalks blowing this way and that in the wind. There was also a faint rustling noise coming from somewhere, sometimes louder, sometimes quieter. That’s all there was to the Husk World. It was a kind of minimalist affair. The Husk World was the worst of all possible worlds. To be a husk in the Husk World is the worst of all possible fates. The faint rustling sound was my own voice – it was trying to tell me something but it was impossible to know what. It was probably nothing important…

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Was In Reality

I was in the forum trying to make sense. I was trying to fill up all the space with words. Lots and lots of words. I was trying to paper over the gaps with whatever came to hand. I was in reality. I was in reality trying not to turn away, trying not to make a mad desperate break for it. I was panicking. I was freaking out big time. What’s reality all about anyway, I ask myself? How would you describe it? How would you specify it? What is it that makes reality be reality and not something else? What else would reality be if it were not reality, if it were something else completely? Does reality have to be reality – could it be something else? These questions and many more like it were swimming through my mind. What’s reality all about anyway, I think to myself? What makes it so great? What’s the big deal with it? I’m feeling resentful now. I’m full of resentment. I feel as if I might be turning against reality. Everyone says it’s so bloody great but maybe it isn’t. Maybe its shit. We have to go along with it because its reality and so what else are we supposed to do? What bloody choice do we have anyway? I feel myself sinking into a kind of depression. I am morose, fretful, given to foolish and petulant outbursts. Petulant outbursts are always foolish aren’t they? It goes without saying really but I had to go and say it. Look what you’ve done now you went ahead and said it. Imagine if there was a word that you mustn’t ever say – a word you must never never say. Imagine that you went ahead and said it – how foolish you would feel! Foolish wouldn’t be the word for how you would feel. It wouldn’t even come close.  I don’t know what the word would be. Imagine how very very angry you would be with yourself. How savagely enraged. You’d want to punish yourself – you’d want to punish yourself savagely for your incredible stupidity. Stupidity isn’t the word for it. If hell didn’t exist you’d have to create it. Does hell exist, I wonder? Is this it? Are evil spirits real? Are you evil when you hate reality? Are my thoughts all wrong? Is it wrong to think wrong thoughts?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nausea

People are such bastards, aren’t they? Yatter, yatter, yatter – that’s all they ever do. Blabber, blabber, blabber. Do they care that they’re never actually saying anything at all, that they’re talking non-stop shyte as fast as their mouths will let them? Do they fuck. They couldn’t care less. They are sublimely indifferent to the fact. As I say, they are complete bastards.

 

Well yes, you might say, but they don’t know that they are yabbering on about nonsense. They don’t realize it. It’s not as if they are wittering on about pure nonsense on purpose – they think that what they’re saying makes sense! That’s the illusion they’re labouring under. They think that it’s all good stuff. High grade conversation. Very interesting. Quality product.

 

I wonder about that, though. I really do seriously wonder about that. You see, I’m starting to think that they are doing it on purpose. Precisely that. Exactly that. I’m starting to think that they know exactly what they’re doing. It seems to me that it’s all part some of some deliberate scam – people aren’t really that stupid. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the time that I’ve spent on this planet it’s that people aren’t as anywhere near as stupid as they make themselves out to be. No sir they’re not. That’s just some kind of camouflage or disguise that they’ve learned to put up. Learned at an early age.

 

Well what kind of a thing would that be, you might ask. What kind of a thing is it where people consistently pretend to be as dumb as shit when they’re not? That would be a hell of a thing, wouldn’t it? That would be totally insane, to put it mildly. But you’d be wrong if you thought that. It’s not insane. It’s far from insane. It’s downright sinister, in my book. There’s something very bad going on here. Something the majority of us are far too innocent (or far too naïve) to ever suspect. Or perhaps we do suspect. Perhaps we do more than just suspect. Perhaps we know exactly what’s going on. Perhaps – underneath the act we’re all putting on – we know only too well. We’re just going to keep on pretending that we don’t know. Keeping up the watertight act. The act that we’ll never admit to be an act. Because for some reason its a no no to ever admit that…

 

My thoughts are rudely interrupted by the unnecessarily loud voice of the woman sitting at the table next to me. “Welcome to my world!” she says. Welcome to my world.  Welcome to my world. Now you know what it’s like for me, in other words. “Welcome to MY world you bastards” I think to myself. Welcome to my world which is a world where I have to listen to people saying ‘welcome to my world’ in their unnecessarily loud voices. Which is a world in which people are constantly yap yap yapping like idiots even though they have nothing to say. Which is a world where people are practically tripping over themselves in their mad rush to see who can come out with the most hideously inane nonsense.

 

I glance at the time on my phone as I finish the last of my Americano. I feel depressed. I feel thoroughly nauseated. It is only ten thirty in the morning and already the day has gone to shit.

 

 

 

 

 

The Laughing Skull-Heads

It was the 2065Horrorcom Fest and the laughing skull-heads were everywhere. They were raining down from the skies above. They were skedaddling all over the pavements. They were dive-bombing the party-goers and everyone was laughing, laughing, laughing. You couldn’t help laughing if you were there – you wouldn’t be able to help getting caught up in it! In a way it could be said that the laughing skull-heads tell jokes though they don’t really. They tell the type of jokes that no one can ever remember afterwards. You can’t even remember them at the time – if someone were to ask you what you were laughing at you wouldn’t be able to say. It’s not that the jokes they tell are genuinely funny either because they aren’t. It’s not really what you’d call ‘humour’ in the traditional sense. Or indeed in any sense. What happens is that the laughing skull-heads distort reality so that you think the jokes they’re telling are funny when they’re not. This has the same effect in the end of course – you laugh yourself silly and that’s all that counts. You fall about all over the pavement and that’s a good enough measure of success. Who needs drink when you have the laughing skull-heads distorting reality left, right and centre?

 

The Horrorcom Fest is well under way now. The air is thick with laughing skull-heads. They’re about the same size as tangerines and they are flying about all over the place. They’re weaving intricate patterns in the air. They’re like alien life-forms. It’s not that they tell jokes that make you laugh because they don’t. There’s no humour involved, not in the traditional sense of the word, anyway. The laughing skull heads rewrite reality – they create new versions of reality in which the jokes they tell actually are funny. They create short-lived parallel universes in which the jokes are funny and you aren’t completely stupid! These universes aren’t real. That’s pretty funny in itself now that I come to think about it. The laughing skull-heads spin out a thousand different short-lived analogues of space-time every second – their dexterity is beyond the power of any human to comprehend. No stage conjuror ever came close to this. Their jokes are whole universes – albeit universes of a very degraded nature.

 

You can get lost in these jokes and never find your way out. You can lose yourself forever in these universes and never know that the joke was on you. The laughing skull-heads – in their infinite malice – creates new versions of you. They create bad versions of you and you can never tell the difference. Rather than telling jokes that are genuinely funny – which is beyond them – they create analogue universes in which their jokes are funny. Only they’re not really because the whole thing is a cheat. It’s the cheapest form of entertainment you can get – everything gets adjusted to the lowest common denominator and that ‘lowest common denominator’ is the bad version of yourself. The jokes aren’t jokes at all really  – they’re viral pseudo-realities. They’re informational black holes. They are fractional realities that never add up to anything. It’s the best thing since sliced bread – its compulsive entertainment of the very worst kind! Mankind’s ultimate achievement – it’s what we’ve been aiming at all along. It’s our destiny. We were bound to get there in the end and so we did – we did what we were always going to do…