Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Riddle

"Mr.White expected a seriousness of purpose in us which provided discipline and willpower in those early years; and we learned the electrical and ideological trades from the ground plug up; for there’s no substitute for brain conduction."
-William T. Vollmann, You Bright & Risen Angels

I open my mouth and the story pours out in white hot streams like geothermal spring water boiled down in the kettle of my belly an inch or so above my navel. What comes from here will be out of the hands of my brain, that is to say that my waking consciousness is being restrained so that the wily so called "sub" consciousness can come out and speak its piece, play its games, and in general, enjoy its witching hour. You never do know just what things do come out to play while your head lays sinking into your triple stuffed pillow and the clock ticks slowly from 11:30 to 12:30. I personally have seen the demons playing under the moonlight at my window sill. This fortunate glimpse was afforded me due to my unusual habit of staying awake in the dark so that I may pour the Serotonin which is being produced inside my head during the sun’s absence into little cups of digital delight. I use this substance as the central ingredient in recipes for disaster which invoke worlds of every kind shape and color.
Just last night, for example, I awoke disturbed by a rustling which sounded like some one going through my most prized and secret documents, the seeds from which the aforementioned worlds sprout. This was long after the witching hour had past, which goes to show that the devil has reign over more hours of the night than the lore tells us. I awakened myself by shouting,
"Who’s here?"
Sitting up I grappled for the flashlight kept near the head of my bed and hastily clicked it on, directing it towards a small shadow scurrying away from my head.
‘Ew, a mouse.’ I thought just before the palm sized creature was caught in the ellipse of yellow light beaming from my big black battery powered tool. At this point I had risen from my bed to scuttle after the evading intruder and get a good view. There, under the spotlight, I caught sight of the thing which plainly was not a mouse, but rather something like a tiny triceratops.
‘I am dreaming’. I thought. I even said it aloud, but I had goose pimples all up and down my arms and was in fact too cold to be snuggled warm in my bed merely imagining such a phantom. Clearly I was awake. More awake than usual in fact. I hurried to the kitchen and found a large jar and rushing back scooped the critter up so that I would have evidence against the supposition that I was hallucinating. It was then that I looked much closer at it and realized that it was not a dinosaur as I had originally assessed it to be, but rather a very small rhinoceros.
As this dawned on me, my spirit leaped from me, extending into a parallel world where I asked someone that seemed vaguely familiar what a Rhinoceros could stand for, what it could mean. That someone was a female with short dark hair and pale skin. I became her and began to suggest to myself that it was something male and strong.
Meanwhile, back in my bedroom, I startled awake for the second time that night, still hearing the suspicious rustling. Gone was the mouse turned triceratops turned rhino. This time I didn’t use the flashlight and switched on the lamp. Oh good heavens! It was just the cat. (Cat? I don’t have a cat.)
"My god," I thought to myself, "it’s the cat I brought in to feed a week ago before leaving to vacation in sunny southern California. (Is that true?) I left the poor thing alone in my apartment for more than a week. It must be starving." I think, (if this is true that I actually brought it cat food before I left.) "Come on Riddle, here kitty kitty." (I let the Riddle in and fed it?)
Together we went to the kitchen, and I opened the refrigerator slowly. If there was cat food in there then this was real. There was. An open bag of kitty kibble was spilling out on the white plastic of the bottom shelf. I noticed that Riddle had one distinguishing feature: a white star on his/her forehead.
I then woke up for the third time.
So you see these things do exist, they do come out to play, and you should be concerned. You should recognize that you too were visited last night by something OTHER. You convinced yourself that it was only a dream, or perhaps you shut it out entirely and imagined that you slept without dreaming. Both possibilities are a lie. Something real visited you last night, or perhaps more accurately, you visited it when one part of you, the watch dog, wasn’t looking. Even more accurately I would say that the wall came down, just as the antichrist has suggested that it should, and what you found outside the city’s keep was another form of yourself: The Riddle.

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