Scorched wasteland to the horizon before me.
More featureless wasteland all around as far as the eye can see.
As above, so below. There is no life.
Once I sowed seeds of hope on barren ground to grow nothing.
I sowed hope on fertile ground for less.
No hope grows here. Nothing does.
All is flat and featureless. At least I have no pain here.
Even the rocks and stones have crumbled to dust.
I see a man in a long flowing robe hanging from his spare frame.
He sees me but does not approach, but he does not flee.
He watches me with sad but curious eyes.
There are unknowable depths to his eyes.
His hair hangs long but lankly from his skull.
He is not alone. I am not alone.
There is the other man. He is garbed in fashionable clothes.
He also sees me but does not approach nor flee.
He watches with an unknown fever in his bright eyes.
There is fear and hope in those eyes. There is also a darkness.
His hair is coifed elegantly, or is it a wig?
He is not alone. I am not alone.
It has been said that the greatest trick the lord of lies pulled in was convincing Us that he didn’t exist.
It has also been said that there are none so blind as those who do not wish to see.
Alone in a barren land and yet I am not alone.
I brought my demons to keep me company.
They say that the last thing remaining in Pandora’s box was “hope”.
That makes no sense.
If upon opening that cursed box she released all the ills of the world, that would mean it was a box of woe.
That means that “hope” is yet another “ill” that can beset the world.
What then is having hope but another lie?
The well-dressed man is smiling, as if to some wry humour.
The robed figure seems to be fading into some wraith.
Both beckon. Once only.
Choose, but choose wisely. There will be no second chances.
Choose I must, but how to choose.
All around the wastes extend.
Horizon to horizon.
Tis only now that the absence of the sun is noticed.
There is a permanent twilight as if seeing a poorly lit room through a veil.
And yet there is both heat and chill felt on the feint zephyrs that pass.
Now the sound is gone.
In this barren wasteland there was at least a sound of the crushing and grinding from some unknown origin as if the dust itself was still being ground down.
Now there is silence.
I open my mouth to speak. No sound comes forth.
The suited man appears to be speaking.
No sound is heard.
The robed man speaks.
Strangely I can hear him like a whisper carried on the wind.
Fragments of words that are more like a soliloquy spoken to the front row as I stand in the foyer.
There is a strangeness about this place.
There is familiarity too.
But how? Why? Whence do such feelings come?
I had thought I was past feeling anything.
Numbed by the Fates.
Numbed by my follies.
And yet, as the song goes, I still have tears to shed.
But none come forth.
Now the well-dressed man is fading too.
The robed man is as insubstantial as the shapes I once saw in clouds.
But there are no clouds here.
Even the air feels thinner now.
Is it darkening also?
Fading to a darker shade of colourless grey?
Beige may be a boring colour, but there is something malevolent in grey.
There is an urgency and yet no movement.
There is need, but no suggestion of what is lacking.
There is no sense of purpose to anything.
Now all is stilled.
Both men, my personal demons, have faded to be indistinguishable from the grey that surrounds.
Am I alone?
No and yet yes.
There are teeming masses beyond the veil of grey.
I cannot sense them other than by the certainty of inner knowledge.
Past. Present. Future. Everyone and everything.
All exist in this one stretched moment in time.
And yet I know I am alone.
No thoughts now but one.
Why must I choose?
Between what things must this choice be made?
Do I have the knowledge to make an informed decision?
And yet I know I must.
A single silver coin spins up from nothing into the space above me.
It hangs there flashing with light in this place of endless grey un-being.
Is this what it has come to?
My life to be chosen for me by a single toss of a coin?
Yes, but I will not be told what the choice was nor the outcome of the toss.
I am alone and not alone.
I am nowhere and nowhen.
I did not. Could not. Choose.
So it was chosen by my inaction. My fear of choosing poorly condemned me.
This is the grey, purposeless existence of a drifting lost soul.
This is my life.
This is subexistence.