The roads are dirt, my feet are bare and the only way i seem to keep my balance is by bending forward while pedaling back with my feet. Every step is a lurching jerk. I have to pull my shoulders back before i trust my body to respond and let me slow my pace.
Great effing Horus, i must be drunk. I try to blink the blur away, and squint to see the edges of form, but to no avail. As my attention from my balance wanders, the next step on my left i lose my balance. Slow down, I’ve been here before, I’ve got this, I tell myself. Thrust left hand out grip invisible rail and swing right food around extra on its next step, stumble twice on right and raise right palm up and away.
Inches away from a startled woman. “Tthorry” I slur, lurch left and stumble on.
As the grey-out fades me back in i realize I’m in the middle of a rather wide dirt street, surrounded by dull brown buildings. It’s night and people are out and milling. Most ignore me, except for those who step out of my path, glancing back to make sure I’m not dangerous. I do my best to glare back and then realize I’m approaching this all wrong.
I manage to stop without falling over, fooling my dumb balance by reaching out and pressing against non-existent walls quickly on one side then the next telling myself i can somewhat stand. I sway for a minute or two triumphant.
I slowly bring my arms up either side of my head, breathing out and drop on my ass.
“Ugh-Oh!” I cough as I land on my bottom in the dirt but I seem to be ok and stable in my lazy lotus position.
No one seems alarmed. Maybe drunks are normal in this town.
Where am I? How did I get here? Why am I so drunk? I keep swaying back and forth and my left hand twitches like I’m having a seizure.
Someone grabs me by the neck and throws me on a flat surface. I can’t help but start babbling, trying to explain I mean no harm but all that comes out is nonsense and drool. I try to rise and only succeed in vomiting on myself.
That’s when the beatings start.
Kept in a dirt room for days, I am beaten often. My tormentors all seem cut from the same mold: large, arrogant and brutish. Straight out of central casting. No matter their race or gender, not a one under 6′, all thick & broad shouldered. One of them has fists like large rocks and biceps bigger than my head. Sometimes he gets disgusted by me and hits me till my world grows black
They are angry when I talk. Even when I attempt to mimic whatever language they speak, I am kicked and hurt.
Sometimes there are others, they examine me and discuss me like I am meat.
One of them, Ahmed I will learn later, has me cleaned and carried away. I am his now. I don’t know why. Maybe he was told to.
A thoughtful piece by Jesse Walker:
Having lived through the neo-conservative revolution with it’s “stay on message” media philosophy, I tend to see shifts in media truespeak as orchestrated. A perfect example is the brilliant slander of the term “political correctness” to hurl against someone who calls you out on your bigotry.
I dreamed I was standing feet away from a murky lake in Peru, where you hunt the large lizard-fish. Johnny called them the Mi-Go, which shows you his lack of ability for remembering detail. The books said they were simple to catch & beneficial to eat. So there I was. Standing on the edge, staring into a cloudy reflection, a large pool the colour of semen, the consistency of bubbly bath-water. i was nervous, fuck it, i was scared, the mere idea of being underwater, unable to see, unable to breathe, wrestling gilled lizards the size of men.
My fears were unfounded. I found a specimen almost as soon as I entered the water. It was docile & i was quickly dragging it out of the water, it’s surprisingly flesh-like back clasped to my naked chest. I carried the gray-green amphibian to my nearby abode I insisted on calling The Shack, though it was up a story of bare stairs. The inside was also stark, white, barrack-like w/ two cots & a sink on the left. In the middle of the room stood a silver reheating pan, w/ remnants of sliced up sausages & onions littered on the bottom, somehow reminding me of Jean Paul. I was sure he had been here previous to me. Always one step ahead that Jean. I shouldered the large catch onto the bed on the left & turned to the person on my right, who hadn’t been there before. Without words they assured me we could stretch the catering pan to accommodate the fish and cook it using burning wood. When I turned back away, they were gone again.
I was squeamish about cutting into the thing with a face combining the worst of human and cod. I down the knife and decided to stall by checking the back supplies. The cupboards were full of canned goods, & a refrigerator opened in front of me. Replacing the door out of the building, there was now a side hallway lined w/ iron-bar doors on the north side. Through the doors i could see dozens of metal shelves w/ boxes of canned & bottled foodstuffs, & even some bagged dried vegetables. I returned to the main room & looked at the large dead fish lying gaped-mouth on the bed. I still wasn’t up for cutting in to it so i lay on the second cot & took a nap. The next few days i avoided the fish-cutting by finishing as many other preparations as possible. Finally I had the silver pan stretched, the fire started & the Mi-Go (?) laid out. I started an incision at the base of the spine and quickly decided to avoid furthering the bloody mess. Time to add garnish. I had taken some dried mushrooms, an onion and was grabbing some bottles of tomato juice for my permanent hang-over. The back of the store-room opened up, some industrial lights turned on and I saw some olive-skinned men moving in the back. One of them saw me & started apologizing that the store-master was unavailable and that they would be open later. I realized the foodstuff was not the property of the shack nor mine to take. Undeterred, i stared at the man and placed two American fives on the shelf in front of me. He said nothing. I had either paid for my pillage or added another footnote to the White Man as arrogant thieves.
Back in the main room they were all there, all my aspects, ready for the ritual. We lit the candles and vibrated the opening words. I wasn’t ready. My hangover got the best of me and i passed out. I awoke in an armchair, sandwiched by incubus and succubus. I was too dazed to fight it and lay there overpowered by the feeling of flesh.
This probably would’ve continued on had not the Mi-Go (?) broken the spell. It lay on the cot again, my vision zoomed in to watch it’s head take on a human appearance. The shock woke me up and i stepped back into the hallway. The Mi-Go (?) had grown arms, muscular and human, and was crawling across the floor towards me, trying to scream for water. The cut i had made in its back winked obscenely at me. I was scared. I had almost killed and eaten something so close to human. Would it come back with Deep Ones seeking vengeance? Was i cursed for my intent and causing harm to the creature? As it crawled into the storeroom water bubbled up from the stone floor and the creature sank underground, still silently screaming for the ocean. I had either failed or barely escaped damnation. The world went blank.
This refusal defies all my laws of bibliography and synchronicity. I work in an environment where I hear it mentioned at least once a day, Seriously, like the library has no other books on race relations. I never read or watched The Help. or The Butler. or 12 Years a Slave no matter how many well-meaning patrons push it at me.
I don’t need to forgive anyone for America’s race relations. And I won’t. You never forgive, you change. Just like any other personal relationship. I am not sure that I am comfortable being in a personal relationship with my American heritage, merely because of the vehement 24% that will take offense to this sentence much less my life. At this point I am required to defend myself by saying how much I love my country. Which I will not because of Mathew VanVlack, who taught me the Erasmus quote “I am human, therefore nothing human is alien to me” back in High School. Obviously this Cartesian thread took us different places. He was a good friend.
Colin Wilson was an important thinker in my limited intellectual word. He took the existentialist crisis head on & sought tools against it. He understood Uncle Al’s declaration that “Know thee that existence is pure joy”, while embracing The Great Work as did Gurdjieff. His works explored both mysticism & deviant criminology in an effort to understand the vast possibilities that is human existence.
I was never the reader of novels that Colin was, I have no desire to tackle Proust & my one foray through Joyce’s Ulysses was enough. It was more his interpretations of his beloved reads that I found inspiring.
One of the great Silver keys given to Wilson by Abraham Maslow, who shared with the Colin the work he had done on “peak experiences” . Dr Maslow insisted that these “peaks” were spontaneous & beyond our control. Wilson begged to differ & in his 1971 opus “The Occult” postulated ‘Faculty X’, a superior sort of intuition that could be part of mankind’s next development.
Let us keep in mind that Mr. Wilson was not a scientist but a literary critic and armchair philosopher. Nevertheless I find his speculations absolutely fascinating.