Life seems to be a dreadful imposition on a single consciousness (you, me).
A human body, like my own body, is something you can’t get off like you can get off a bus. I’m trapped inside it and there is nothing I can do to escape it. To escape it is certain death. I wonder how we ended up like this in such a nightmare. Knowing it’s all going to end with an utter blankness while, simultaneously, incapable of waking up from that nightmare.
I remember many dreams I thought were real at the time I was dreaming them, terrifying situations I thought I could never escape – until, with great relief, I wake up and leave it all behind in that quickly forgotten dream. Life’s problems, by comparison, are often insignificant compared to those one sometimes meets in dreams. But this waking nightmare of the bodytrap, all our bodytraps, is not a dream you can wake up from. It’s relentlessly and terrifyingly inescapable. Who the devil landed me in this body? They have a lot to answer for. And I can’t really imagine the devastating effect of complete and utter non-existence when this consciousness within my body finally vanishes. A paradox – that I hate being trapped in my body (hating whoever is responsible for trapping me in my body) while, at the same time, I’d give anything to stay trapped there forever, because I can’t face the outright blankness.
The only feasible avenue of escape is fiction.
Written today and published here as a new story.
Last sentence of story subsequently amended to the above version in accordance with a suggestion by Caroline on the Vault workshop.
Darkness and humour feed off each other. I often feel I’m darker the funnier I’ve been. The universe itself is a porridge-pot full of jokes and dreams – smudged or smeared with blood like jam upon its lumpy surface. An empty pot would leave me only with despair itself, a despair no more productive of darkness than anything else. Filling the pot – i.e. with a porridge of jokes and other bric-a-brac of life – brings out the concept of true despair, a deeper despair because you can’t reach deep enough into the pot to grab it and thus test out how truly it’s despair itself. An easily discovered despair which exists in the form of an obvious despair amid its own emptiness can be measured and contained and eventually dissipated. I shall have no truck with despair so easily measured or dissipated. I want my despair hidden or filled by jokes and dreameries of life – and thus it becomes a deeper, direr and more dreadful despair … forever.
Not even death can reach the despair. Or stop the jokes.