I might as well post this, even though it’s rubbish.
I wrote this before Halloween as an exercise (somewhat inspired by Nemo Duzsl’s Authorial Prelude. The Syndrome from Doom Brewer (Book One of the Cthellish Chronicles) and Nick Land’s appendixes to Phyl-Undhu and Chasm: “Abstract Horror” & “Manifesto for an Abstract Literature” (though I’m not sure I read the latter at that point already)). I didn’t really know what I was doing, these things just came up naturally to my mind over a total of about 2-3 hours, and I don’t like any of it either, it’s embarrassing really, definitely lazy, since obviously rushed. Eventually I’ll attempt better ones…
“True sleep is only reserved for the dead,” he heard somewhere at the back of his head. It’s true; he could imagine that the languish of absolute dormancy was only possible when everything ceases for an eternity among infinities, the hiatus of existence where time mends and spurs on, an aestivation so deep that it disables itself in unimaginable prolonged black depths. What people call sleep, is merely the temporary desaturation of the senses, when glistening particles still swirl around, and the mind starts grazing in faint reveries and weird realms. “I don’t sleep, I just dream.” he reminded Rust Cohle from a TV show saying, as the ever-mysterious, vibrant and evasive sound of the unlocatable train horn traversed the world.
Neural pathways decussated themselves in unplotable complexities, generating crude visions and ephemeral sensations registered by some shred of semi-perceptive cognition. Protuberances, seemingly emerging back and forth from nothing, hinting at a deeper level that forbids itself to be accessed, but rather permits a subtle self-contained assembly to emerge, a fragile nexus of excess energy that can never possibly trace back the variables, operations and maps that engendered it.
“Gimme a break.”
“No way, this is too much fun.”
At night this entity should gently hush itself into rest, passing from mobility to well-earned unwinding self-incubation. But that’s not what happens. The agitated tenor enters bizarre gratting. It’s a performative contradiction to pinpoint the exact moment when ones mind diffuses with the ather that makes sleep. Similarily with the present, it always creeps back behind. Time cannot be pre-empted, it’s the basal independent continuum that lurches on. The rays of intrusive thoughts start racing again.
Eventually they run into assuaging depletion, but those phases aren’t bequeath to memory. An indeterminate interval (characterised by the same involuntarity as any other action) must pass such that he can be enveloped by, now voiceless, black menaces. He didn’t arrive at doom, no, although one can never be too sure. After one had died, it’ll always be too late to make a note of it. But in its perfunctory state, one can still experience animated echoes, whose dynamic nature allowed them to seamlessly blend and advance forever.
I woke up as the sun glazed into my face, the room shaping into familiar dimensions, objects delineating their contours and reflecting the appropriate colours. I remembered little of what was happening for the past few hours. Jotted clues left by my past self aren’t helpful. My current state became a supplantion of somebody already very indistinct, howling his last japping thoughts in the snowy trail behind. I told myself to not care about him. The time spiral whirls on, but it’s still far from looping over the same path intersecting the past.
Something about those aging howls did bug me though. Is it perhaps possible that among all those sluicing data streams and sensations I missed something of value? I’m reminded to ask what value is in the first place. What purpose could anything actually have, what is anything for? Boastful reputable discovery? Captivation? Any practical usage? Maybe value as a concept already presupposes too much.
A shame though, if I have omitted something glaringly enticing, which would now be floating into the obscure unknown unknown. Nothing I can do about it, except hope for future invocations and exquisite profundities. On the other hand, perhaps it’s a major relief that I haven’t found anything darkly wonderful, capable of pelting my eyes and making my brain ooze. Routine tasks, duties, studies and goals of the most pragmatic nature can be pursued at leisure now. The day tolls on, undisturbed. “Memory sometimes makes merciful deletions,” as Lovecraft said. And the ordinary day isn’t wasted time, don’t colour me colourless. I do have a lots of appreciation. All experience in-itself can reward rich itchings and effusions. “Grey eminences of delight”. Matter, spores, fissures, differences and complexity beautifully overwhelm me in all spaces I traverse. Everything interconnects, all machines and sets participate in the flows of the changing universe, such that reality is unescapable and constantly self-producing. Ones dreams too are inmeshed with this process, recombining and reproducing information.
Halloween decorations were set up all across the town. In the evening one could see students in make-up, dressed in cheap costumes representing the classic monsters, heading to appropriately themed clubs and parties, as well as adult couples going to their favourite pubs. The town was hyped and fully prepared for the big day, the annual celebration of horror, cradled in painless fun.
The incentives were too great to ignore. Now that popular culture for an instance was configured to tangentially recall the horrorist motives (even if keeping it good-spirited), he has decided to pursue his desired venture. He viewed it as an experiment, so there wasn’t any concrete plan of action, and hence no easy way of describing it. But one could definitely feel an oddness resonating from his posture and supposed intentions. In a certain sense it was a lifelong experience, though only now was he equipped with the appropriate conceptual framework, and the necessary murky sensibilities.
On one of many restless nights, feeling mororse didn’t stop him from going outside. It was colder than usual – within a matter of minutes he felt the tips of his fingers going icily numb. He was no meteorologist, but knew that today was an exception in the midlands, an anticyclone must’ve hovered above the area, which is to say a gaping absence of clouds emanated in the celestial dome. Zero opened up. For the first time in a while, the nibbed light of far dead stars figured in the sky, estranged among the black immanence. This gladdened him lightly, although he wasn’t sure if the stars weren’t just random uncorrelated noise stemming in part from his jagged nerves. A muscle strain on his left shoulder annoyed him. Somewhere a distant siren drifted.
Refocusing unto his immediate surroundings, he thought he suddenly walked into a vague odourless mist, where solid masses lost concreteness. Was this just a contortion of his visual field, produced by an odd dispersion of the street light by the nearby tree’s black crumpled leaves-less branches? No other senses seemed to detect the phenomenon. And after a few paces in an unspecified direction, he was lead into obscure darkness.
After absent-minded strolling, layers and partitions of masses dimly appeared. He recognised the stroll lead him away from the popular sparkling centre, and increasingly into the more peripheral parts of the city. Poorly lit, labyrinthesque and eerily quiet to the point that any disparate movement could instill a fright. It seemed like each avenue winded and split itself apart, his horizon of vision was self-expanding, and at any position he felt neighbouring connectedness of the ghost part of town. Any semblance of cute Halloween decor drowned in actualised hollowness. He wasn’t sure if he trembled from the cold or from expectation.
A Halloween-themed rave pulsated the neighbourhood. Alice and Bob wanted to avert this club called “Celestica”. On their way to a more reserved spot, they passed a pale palsied kid strolling round on his own, and later a swearing woman grabbing her dog who was yapping frenetically at another one behind a fence, both fixing their red glaring eyes, spit drooling from their mouths, displaying impulsivity at its purest.
The couple eventually found a secluded bench on which they sat without hesitation, cuddling.
“So what do you think about this Halloween business?” asked Alice.
“Same as last year, I s’pose,” mumbled Bob.
“You don’t expect anything to happen?”
“Fetch me a blanket,” obliviously requested Bob. He clearly wasn’t in the mood to pursue this line of reasoning. “I’m starting to get cold.”
She wouldn’t press on, and started fumbling through her decades-old backpack, stuffed with unpredictable eccentricities. “You want the grey or squared one?”
“Don’t matter to me, just hurry up.”
After finding the shoddy reassurance of warmth, she wrapped them both in the grizzly wrinkled fabric. Ironically at this instance the wind started rushing in their direction, as if premeditating malicious harassment.
“Got a cigarette?”
Alice took a pack of Camels from her left shoulder pocket, and passed one to Bob. He lit it himself and inhaled deeply.
“Are we moving anywhere else tonight?”
“What?” croaked Bob, a question he followed by coarse coughs. It seemed like he tried to retain the smoke in his lungs for as long as possible, the reason for the embarrassing mouth hole sound.
“If we’re not, I think I’m gonna try to sleep,” whispered Alice, more to herself.
“On this occassion? Forget it.” remarked her companion, without spite.
“I thought you didn’t want to…” She didn’t know how to finish.
“I know. But at least we should try to stay awake,” he said as courteously as he could, “For example… the stars are up now.” he observed while tilting his head at the expense of a suddenly chilly neck.
“That’s rare indeed,” she agreed. “Can we do anything about it?”
“Dunno, I haven’t studied astronomy in ages.”
They both fell silent, as if ruminating on something, a deep loss perhaps. For a long time the only think that could be heard was the gradual puffing of the cigarette, with ash disintegrating on the slimy ground, softly evanescing. Then they suddenly realised the distant club music was a thing. And coincidently, a penetrating shrill resonated in the air.
“Can so much loneliness be abated?” he wondered. In every direction the same eerie alleys, rusty coloured bins, shop signs saying “Closed” and “Staff wanted”, neatly parked cars, and identically looking houses, with no lights in any windows. This periphery was almost empty, its only reverberations being his own movements and interactions. It felt like he was trapped in torus-shaped simulation, becoming increasingly more cheaper and simpler as he got used to the network arragement of streets, the subdued illuminations of the light, and the austere architecture of the buildings. Did this arbitrary sequence of events converge to any limit?
Maybe the point was of becoming crazy. Moreover, maybe that’s what exerted a definitive change. After drooling for hours, bizarrely scooping sensations, and paranoiacally looking for the presence of anything else, he noticed something in the distance, a novelty – a park. The roads now all seemed to tend towards it, as if this stange attractor had been erected in the middle of the plane. Following few hesitations, he compellingly marched on towards it, as if now pulled by a force beyond his will, be it an emotion or diety. Where habit was in his control, now the unusual proved to be a challenging beyondness.
The park wasn’t too large in geometric terms, but something about its psychological impact was massive. It was enclossed by an unregular curve of corroded steel fence, parts of it covered by some unknown moss-like species that also seemed to cover areas of the pavement and earth. There were no lanterns within the park, so the dozen old oaks and willows surrounding a small lake looked completely ominuous, its shadows concealing partitions of the uneven territory. Approaching this space could only induce anxiety.
He felt it. A fuss in his stomach, a fraility of the muscles, increased heartbeat, and arhythmic breath. He stepped on the pavement, 2 metters away from what he recognised was a gate in the corroded steel fence. He knew that either step to his side could save him, but the pounding curiosity was too great to be overpowered. And then, in a split-second the premonition of horror overwhelmed him, and then it did, turning into terror. As if continuously arising from mere silence itself, sounds, coming from the dark ahead, rippled his ears. Something, or someone, wriggled and splurted right in front of him, grappling the fence and sticking out its multiple disfigured limbs and tongues, stinking abominably. The misformed zombie flesh was temporarily living, excruciatingly, dug up from the mossy earth in ramshackled biological condition, with layers of shred tissues and perforated organs, as the apotheotic spectacle of decomposition, the feast of fungi, bacteria, maggots and other countless microscopic detritivores swarming on and consuming the body of a deteriorating consciousness exuding its last spasms, about to tear itself apart, to finally rest, truly, in inorganic deep sleep. Catching their last breaths, both he and the entity in front of him, screamed simultaneously.
Amorphous multitudes, swarming, like interactive energy. Currents of multi-coloured liquid, flowing, like intensive confusion. The flux of heterogeneous manifolds. The amalgam of sensations, multi-modal streams of information that can be grasped at different levels, all the way from purely abstract flat quantification, to aggregate properties. Making sense of anything wasn’t even the default a priori assumptive motivation. We twisted and drove growingly towards the caves, the subterranean obscurities and fictitious realities.
The eyes’ scenery opened like a curtain accompanied by artificial mist. I was already in the process of heading somewhere, legs exercising their motor function, tangled by some fibre of nerves connected to the commanding brain. The destination wasn’t too clear to me yet, I remembered the day went by as usual, but I wasn’t at all certain what would happen this evening. Suddenly common sense comprehension swept through me – I stood beside a bar. Was I invited here? It had an illegible name, so I wasn’t sure if I had visited it before, not to insinuate that memory ever had any authority. As I thought that I already was a few steps ahead, inside the pub, among unfamiliar faces.
I stumbled across towards the bar and quickly got to order. Not knowing why I was here, I might as well use the occassion to drink a cold pint. It wasn’t too crowded, so there were old wooden stools placed for the solitary bunch. Me and a stranger on my left were the only ones sitting. Without anything else to do, I started looking at the man, while sipping my beer. He was in his 50s, with a greying trimmed beard, wearing a black sweater and black muddy leather boots you couldn’t tell if were punk or military. He noticed my cursory glancing.
“First time in this place?” the man started.
“As far as I know,” I responded, cautiously. “What’s its name?”
“”Invocation”,” replied the man, and suddenly the air acquired a gloomy quality. All lights and background chatter seemed to dim down in such a way that I could listen to the man’s voice more clearly. “But you already knew that, didn’t you?”
“Have we met before?” I finally dared to ask.
“Certainly,” he said, smilingly, only to perplex me further. “Come on, finish your beer and follow me,” he added.
I obeyed unreluctantly, why would I swerve at this fascinating moment? We were crossing the whole length of the bar, feeling the fixated eyesight of everyone else creeping upon my back, until we arrived at the interior wall, with a wooden door upon which someone painted in purple the word “Haunted”. As soon as it opened, intense neurofunk music flooded on me. I saw a second bar on my left, a DJ and MC on the right, and modest dance space in the middle, with about a dozen people skanking on MD, bouncing like psychos. The walls in front were all covered by vibrant prints of faces of tentacle monsters, demons, Oriental dieties, and God knows what else. They seemed to be connected by a web of occult maps and numerical diagrams. The stage lighting was a mixture of blue, cyan, and purple, with some rare appearances of red, yellow and green.
The whole sight was an exhilarating unforseen recognition. Ensnared in the ecstatic world of frenetic virtuality and machinic sound, a tripping fire, quantities and rhythm progagating through our increasingly anorganic and electronic bodies, dissipation through dance. The honourable thing, to be stimulated so as to vibrate as strong as the atoms that make us, hectically jumbling the planet off its fixed orbit, and letting it spiral out into new, exciting territories. Cyberhype and renegade snares, exploring the most sorcerous hardcore and punk. I found the enclove to celebrate necromancy and escalation to post-humanity (even though “humanity” never was a thing).
I was invited over to the bar by a blonde girl about my height. She wore a white T-shirt, half-covered in UV paint, reflecting like a ghost. Her mouth was completely salivating and gurning, bitting her own cheeks and wriggling her tongue.
“Let’s do shots. Do you have any tequilla?” I heard her ask the female bartender who had a kind smile and flowers in her long brown hair, making her look like a elf that escaped her magic forest.
“No, I’m sorry, we’re out,” she replied politely. “Can I get you anything else?”
“What are you having?” the blonde asked me.
“Uhh, vodka?” I mumbled obliviously, still ecstatically infatuated by the kinetic music and stick insect dances.
“You wanna do vodka shots? Alright, two, then.”
Chin-chin, a fast gulp, a slight gnawn to the throat, glasses down. I wondered where the leather boots man was.
His whole field of vision pulsated periodically with red. The shock of vivid necrobiosis virulent twitched his own cells, whose organisational structure seemed to be tearing down. Compartimentalisation collapsed, his organs were in a painful state of disarray. How much longer did he have to live? He was dying, he thirsted death. But for the moment he was running in front of himself, screeching and feeling the throbbing red lights. The world was blurring in on itself and he was burning himself.
Stairs. Tripping and jumping over series of them, moving up with great effort. A garage. Two policemen shouted behind him with words he could only intercept deafly. On the parking. Continuing on his accursed high-speed path, he knocked over a group of kids pushing a trolley. The city was nearing in. But it wasn’t a pleasant sight. Subways were filled with vagrants’ skeletons wrapped in cheap rags, priests of unknown beliefs whisperred under dark long hoods, black graffiti spelling demonic incantations covered all walls, canniballistic rituals were enacted in parks, teetering skyscrapers emitted hellish flames, the sky turned into darkness itself, clouds into hurricanes and cyclones devastating millions in a purest strain of hate. Suffering was widespread. The growls and shrieks too.
He fell over a newspaper signalling the apocalypse, and knocked his nose and teeths unto the hard concrete pavement, unleashing a cranial pain he never could’ve imagined before. Thick blood spurted from his broken nose and the tips of his teeth, he could feel its warmth on his cheek. The policemen caught up with him, and in addiction to all that he felt — the dying cells, the porous structures, the bashed face — one of them kicked him in his stomach such that the river of blood was accompagnied by putrid vomit. Acid flowed through his perforated stomach into his other body parts, and he was puking the chicken he was chewing on the preceeding evening, his cancerous lungs, his tears, his intestines, his memories and larynx. No bodily reaction could match what he was feeling. The shame on the pavement, the laughing stock. The nauseous loathsome him.
I felt my mind going. I needed to catch a few breaths. Some doubt crept into me at once. Where is this going I wondered. The fear of scraggly madness pierced through me. But why would one hold on?
At one moment the music slowed down. People were raising their hands for ethereal synthesiser bittersweet magical sorrow. The atmosphere has definitely changed. But that’s also the point, traversing through different styles was part of the bid, short routines that oscillate in an infinite eternally repeating cycle, the ability to change, like a butterfly, was crucial.
I couldn’t sign along in the foreign lyrics, and I wasn’t in the mood to pretend to, so I decided to go outside for a smoke. The man in leather shoes stood there as well.
“Mind if I take one from you?”
I passed him the pack and looked up at the lustrously shining moon. The werewolves should be wide awake at this point, hunting their delicacies. Nature compelling such needs and desires, how crafty. The sinister war gods must be content with the sacrifices they receive over time. But how did time run anyway?
“I hope the party is tearing into you well. Peeling off those mind layers. Disturbing your own consciousness. Hoping to traverse limits you never thought you would break through,” I heard the man say.
“I appreciate what you’re doing for me,” I replied without hesitation. “In fact, I have been hoping to plunge into something comparably exquisite and harrowing.”
“I know you have, that’s why I have been summoned.”
“Summoned by whom?” I inquired.
“Them, it, whatever you want to call it.”
“I know what you mean, everything feels scripted here.”
“So what is going to happen now? Do we stay and produce thrilling hype indefinitely?
“No. you must realise this will not go on forever. One day everything perishes.”
“But surely on an infinite time scale everything recurs.”
“Suppose not even infinite time can cross over the bottomless chasm. There is an unfanthomable darkness out there, and we’re accelerating towards it.”
“But that would also mean we practically already nowhere. Yet somehow we’re experiencing multitudes. The mere act of thinking already happens within some independent time interval, taking up bytes of information,” I recalled my nightly thoughts.
“Time, yes. But when does it begin and what happened before it? This is not given in time, but it’s a question warranted by the mere fact time happens. Maybe it starts at the end we’re hurling towards. Can that vantage point not be ultimate? A converging wave towards nothingness.”
“I don’t know, now I feel nothing,” I said truthfully.
The stranger laughed, finished his cigarette and hastily said goodbye, as if what he just said was the punch line and what I said his committing task now resolved. I then continued smoking looking at the faint stars mixed with noise, with music behind my back.
The madman was convulsing for aeons. He was becoming more dispensable, no one was there to pity him anymore and life itself seemed to be on the brink of feverish obsolescence. No more security systems would work and there was no escape. The gates of geotrauma were closing in. Thought comprehended itself as a symptom of death, as nothingness, while instinctual action patterns continued to spasm in violent loops. Viral hackings ripped bodies apart, leaving a river of bloodshed and skulls. The existence of an emotional bedrock is merely an ironic bestowal, the ability to feel lamentable through ones own misguided fissures. Time on Earth was nearing its end, the last parties are due to close soon, the music would stop playing, the dancing would cease, the bouncers would throw everyone out, and tomorrow was to be left to some new superseding species, that can start its own agitated game of values, survival and death.
In the end there was only weirdness and xenocosmic hazard, extending for a bright moment until depletion. It wasn’t difficult to realise or imagine this, quite saddeningly we weren’t meant for pure immanent experience, but only its filtered, blocked and faintly explained truncated-down version. We still brush the teeth that would end up on a pavement. Who musters the courage to truly become mad? Merely screaming out of the window, with the assurance that others join in doesn’t count.
Communication: poor in description, destined to be failure, resulting in the loss of oneself, dying in the inaccessible tomb that is memory, suspended.
The heart was pounding. Some shivers of cold were felt.
It did it again, involuntarily.
And again. Will it ever stop? (Yes.)
The real courage would be tearing down the depressive mind shields and ripping that muscle out of the chest. Self-consummating agony, jutting the self, worthy of the expanses and intensities of existence. Let it thump and thrust on the jungle dancefloor. Or wire it up to a machine, accessing a next level. A daunting unknown opens up.
I woke up again, I always do, eventually. But I know that someday I won’t.