Category Archives: The Universal Experience of Humankind

The Beast

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From the sooty shanties of Kensington to the overflowing burial mounds of Hyde Park, all one hears of in London today is The Beast. This flesh-eating Lusus Naturae, currently overflowing both the underground network and the world’s oldest functioning sewage system, is even the maxime popularis of tight-lipped respectable ladies in what is left of the city.

The Beast has, I admit, devoured a number of souls that cannot be counted in the mere tens of thousands. The true sum of unfortunate statistics given to its voracious hunger will remain contested for generations, if indeed we survive long enough to gather such information.

But to tell you the truth my dear reader, scandalous as it may seem to our co-competitors at The Guardian; I admire The Beast.

It was not so long ago that I could not think clearly over all that damned noise. The piercing shriek of the snowflake. The blade-in-my-brain of the endless complainers. Escalating by degrees over the years. Increasing in exorbitance of both volume and content.

“Exit Brexit!”

“Trans people are people!” – a tautology if ever I heard one.

“The planet is dying!”

“My toilet has mauve demon fur growing out of it!”

“I can’t breathe, the air makes me nauseous!”

“The Sun. Can you remember what the Sun looked like?”

Et cetera, et cetera. All very loud. All very earnest. All, in an extremely tedious literal sense true – apart from “Exit Brexit” which is a phrase without truth value. But impossible to concentrate around.

Now, as a consequence of The Beast, the complainers are thankfully no longer with us. I can think clearly. My thoughts. Hot, black, heavy, sticky thoughts. The kind that have me afraid of sleep for the things that will wake me. Halting thoughts. Thoughts that make the heart leap and scratch.

But they are my thoughts dear reader. And I can hear them. We have our insatiable friend to thank for this. Those of us who are still alive are undoubtedly better off for its quieting omnipresence.

And so it is with great sadness that I look toward the upcoming democratic ritual. If the polls are to be believed then The Beast is about to lose its majority. The repercussion will either be a hung Parliament or a sickly Corbyn administration. Or both. Dread to think. In any case, the result is sure to put Brexit, now in its forty-seventh year of negotiation, in jeopardy.

I for one do not wish to live to see the outcome.

On Sadness

Right now, as I write this, I am sad. There is moisture in my head. My lips are heavy. If I were to stand a force greater than gravity would make me sit.

We are all sad at different times for different reasons. We are recharging. We are grieving. We are afraid for a future that we cannot predict. We are broken. We are tired. We are stuck. We are at odds with the universe. We are at odds with God. We are at odds with strangers. We are at odds with friends. We are at odds with ourselves. It happens.

Sadness is a lens. It allows you to see what is in front of you. Your father’s frailty was always there. Now it is in focus. Your mother’s concentration as she puts on her glasses to read an email. Your friend’s soft smile as she shuffles a deck of cards. They were there. Now you see them.

Sadness is a glass cage. You observe your own actions as an audience member watching a film. You hear your own voice in conversation. It is hard work. Words come slowly. You miss the connections between things. You are present, but you are not present.

Sadness is a process. Inside the gears are whirring. You will discover things.

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Sadness is a veil. The light is there. But it is hidden.

Sadness is fleeting. All things pass.

Sadness is necessary. It holds us back from the things that hurt us.

Sadness is a map. There are paths. There are mountains. There are valleys. There are peoples and prizes. Here be dragons.

Sadness is a web. You are stuck to you. We are all stuck together.

I am sad because I am tired. I am sad because I see jagged machines rising over the horizon. I am sad because I do not understand myself. I am sad because I am not sure if I will make the right decisions.

Sleep on it. See what changes.

 

On Not Being Special

I want to be special. By that I mean I want to be uniquely brilliant. A magical star-being who floats brightly through the cosmos, lighting up every face I encounter and bringing joy to the universe.

Most people are not magical star-beings. Most people are human beings made of bones and flesh and skin. Of prickly anxieties. Of uplifting smiles. Of tired, heavy heads. And so on.

Star-beings are the same, except when you encounter a star-being, you don’t just pass them by, you tingle with cosmic resonance. You vibrate, however briefly, at their frequency.

But the chances are, because so very few people are star-beings, that I am not a star-being. The chances are that you are not a star-being. And, for me, not being a star-being is unacceptable.

To want to be a star-being is a strange desire. It is the desire to be followed, monitored and remarked upon by strangers. It is the desire to be known by people you do not know. It is the desire to be a freak.

So why do I want to be this kind of aberration? Why am I not content to be a normal, human kind of person? Why do I wander my kitchen when I think nobody is watching, giving acceptance speeches to prizes I have not won to an audience that does not exist? Why, when I enter a room, do I not stand near the far corner, nor in the centre, but float up towards the ceiling? Why can I pass through solid objects as if they were vast, infinitely thin cobwebs?

The answer is that I am insane. Not insane in the sense that I am illogical or delusional, although I am, like everybody else, certainly both of those. I am insane in the sense that I have a feeling and a belief, despite all contrary evidence and knowledge, that I am special. That I am luminous. That I have some magical lesson to impart to humankind and our successors.

The problem is this; when I see a person and speak with them for an evening, conversation inevitably turns to the big questions of how and why we got here as a species, and where and how we are going as a species. These conversations are invariably filled with unverifiable generalisations, but my observations seem superficially wise. So wise is my persona’s appearance that I have come to regard myself as if I actually am wise.

So there it is. Charm leads to praise. Praise leads to self-confidence. Self-confidence leads to self-aggrandisement, and now I am talking about myself as an interdimensional elf-man. A healer of universes. A real-life Dr Who.

So how do I deal with not being special? I don’t. I can’t. I am special. I am the glimmering gold dust of a thousand worlds. Feel my yellow light billow through your tiny brain. Meet me in your dreams.