Here is an excerpt from my unpublished novella. I wrote it in a frenzied few weeks while in Art School and set the manuscript on a pedestal as part of an installation. I’m in the process of turning it into a novel, part of a psychological triptych. (Photo: Flickr/Bradley Huchteman, “Morrison Alley,” 2014)
I walk this Earth alone in search of cruel joy and divine terror. Silent winter burns my ears with razor teeth as I wander lonely paths to lonely hovels in lonely towns. Remember me as long as you breathe; remember me.
Rain falls. It bites, stinging relentless and dragging my dark crystal thoughts into this slimy street secreting little people languishing in little lives. They strive to unleash their fetters, and exchange freedom for that seductive snare called safety. But they cannot see that ‘free men’ such as I are eternally bound to our darkly cruel nature. I have no fetters, but am not free. What place does a mere ideal have in my life of flowing? There is no freedom in dancing; there is only dancing. You lose yourself – your mind – in the music’s tide and flow. The rhythm of life is far subtler, but it sings. Can you hear it? Can you hear its sweet voice dangerously singing beneath the ocean? A siren’s song of fondest memory, our bodies crave to dance – to our deaths.
Do you remember when we danced? How light we were? Blossoms floating upon the music, we floated, speaking our secret visceral language. How the ecstasy gripped my soul – to gently touch your naked shoulder, I shuddered.
What was the music? For the life of me, I don’t know. All I can remember is the softness of your skin and the fragrance of your hair. The briefest puff sends me into sweet delirium and I can no longer control myself. That night, that fateful night hangs like a jewel in my memory.
And it all dissolved into a drug-fuelled haze. I cannot remember beyond that dance. The harder I try to recall, the closer I get to – hell. Why can I not live my shattered life without relief? Why am I so weak?
Do you remember?
But who remembers anything these days? We’re all told that we’re the same, we’re all equal. And we pay lip service to it: that way we’re ensured a beautiful death – we die into the community, and so the community is made stronger. How could we be allowed to remember one person when so much is at stake? And so we’re all desperate but too afraid to break the rules: a singular life must be remembered; but do we live singular lives?
It’ll send you mad, but we still hold dear our hero myths. Mediocrity isn’t so rife that we can’t dream of a singular life. To dream, to dream. Mere snowflakes, dreams come and go, they melt before we grasp them. Better to be white hot and dissolve them in a flash than languish in their dying form. They say dreaming is a phenomenon of consciousness. So it’s abominable to ask: do androids dream of electric sheep? I’d say probably not. It’ll be ‘imachinations’ of threesomes and bizarre twisted perverse things, stuff they’d love to do to their human overlords.
It’s what the downtrodden have always longed for. Israel never defeated Canaan. They were goat herders working for the Canaanites who longed for self-rule and, inspired by that venerable race of Greeks, had to invent heroic stories – lies to lend a certain nobility to the birth of their people, no less. But it’s bad manners to delve into the sordid past of a people. Like looking into a man’s top drawer: you’ll find no bible there, just undies and porn. A people will sooner burn you than let you linger too long in their past. They’re afraid, and can take no responsibility for their actions. They can’t stand up and say “these are my deeds” because collective deeds are too small.
Great deeds come from singular people with different eyes.
What do they see?
I’ll tell you what I see.
Cold is my eye in mountain air, unable to see distant lands clouded by fetid soup brimming from muddy waters. And yet to look upon a land renewed burns me so, reflecting so cruelly my ravaged soul. Splintered and broken, my heart consumes itself, flowing through a life eternally asunder. I crunch my stony path in longing search for Chaos beneath the Earth. It resides within my soul, bringing forth an animated life of deeds, flowing with such anger and might to crush oppressive oughts with numinous vitality, creating wine from their succulent grapes.
And yet the chaos consumes so violently that I cannot sleep. There is no ephemeral rest nor peace for wicked men such as I, eyes burning with the cold light of the Sun. I rage against the world, for I must – lest I be consumed by the turmoil bubbling within. And that’s the way it is. Some say that life ought to be peaceful, at ease, relaxed, that one ought to just have fun. But these are decadent words spoken by fearful folk too afraid to live and play with life. Instead they’d rather just take it easy.
Play is nihilistic, but a nihilism never before considered by nihilists. They must suffer and seek an end to suffering. Thus – they are absurd.
We – are ironical.
They are too crude to sense the subtleties of my play; its irony is too deep, of the mountain folk. I play like a god.
My aggression is my play, a play too hard for soft souls. Yet I am weak – and so my play shatters me. Play. One can only write about such things from a position of impotence. There its value can be measured. And this flutters real power, unfolding like a sea shell.
One must look at the world with the deepest sense of irony or absurdity. Either way, we find caricatures of caricatures. Seriousness and flippancy are sure fire ways of losing both senses. Actually, it’s the other way round – when we lose our sense for the ironical or absurd, we become serious or flippant, which are moments of decadence. But irony can appear serious to the crude, and absurdity as flippant. Perhaps the taste for one over the other is a civilised taste developed in a civilised play. But the most civilised creatures would flick between the two. Appearing evil to most, to my eyes these creatures are good.
While all men are good in their own unique way, we – shall I say it? We are beyond good and evil. What lies here in our land of the sun bright deep? Come I have already told you between the lines.