When I push open the front door of my office building to step into the night, the door leaf shoves away a bucketful of the shadowy, bunny-sized blobs that for about a week have thronged the sidewalk. I resent that through the course of my pointless existence I’ve come to hurt more living beings, until I remember that these blobby, gelatinous abominations have long spilled onto the parking lot and they’ve proven themselves impervious to being run over by a car, which would otherwise be the most efficient way of obliterating them. I wish I could witness the windshield and windows of some car crisscrossed with a trail of glimmering blobs, because this sidewalk has become an obstacle course that should encumber the workdays of every local office worker. However, these wobbly slugs only exist because I’m hallucinating.
As I trudge in the opposite direction of the row of multicolored garbage bins, that the blob creatures have climbed and turned into their abodes, I clutch my salami sandwich to my chest and huddle deeper into my corduroy jacket. The brisk wind, a vile and vengeful force of nature, is tearing at my clothes. It carries the scents of grass and soil, hints of freshness that the city can’t hold for long. Although I turn my head to one side then the other, the wind does its best to tousle my hair. It’s also cooling the layer of sweat and stale arousal produced by my recent masturbatory exertions, as well as my terror.
I’m about to shiver; I doubt that I’ll last more than five minutes outside. When will the temperatures improve? What’s going on with the weather in this cursed country? It’s been October for months!
I wish I could stand instead in front of a bonfire, with my eyes closed and my arms spread out so the blazing flames would lick at my skin. If it were for me, the entire province would become a festival of fire. I’d listen to the crackle of wood and the sizzle of flesh. I’d let the hot smoke enclose me in a foggy cloud that would slowly lift me into a private pocket world of peace and solitude. Wishing to become the tastiest, most succulent piece of meat on the planet, I would step forward onto the burning, baby-sized logs. I would savor the pleasure of a fire that would make my flesh glow like a feast of crisp bacon, and my face blaze like a beefsteak. As I cried out with abandon, and greasy fat dripped out of my pores, I would capitalize on the opportunity to chew on mouthfuls of my own charred skin and tendons.
Besides the wind and fire, another force intends to hurl me into oblivion; the dark, deep waters are calling to my blood and to the bones that rest within the hollow of my skin. Its salty liquid will enfold me, smothering me with its freezing embrace, while my hair swells towards the surface. I can almost feel the dark sea’s tentacles rushing into my lungs to rid me of all my fears. My eyes will grow so wide and my mouth so open that a giant squid will suck out my last breaths, and my executioner will be accompanied by a blue-green humpback whale. The more I’ve tried to fight the dark sea, the stronger its waves have become. The only escape would be to turn off my mind and let the glacial liquid flow through my veins.
However, I have to deal with reality, the nemesis of dreams. I’m a low-wage employee in an office building designed to block all the sunlight. The only sun I can bask in, I make it with my own hands.
My stomach gurgles. I remember that I’m holding the sandwich that I bought from the vending machine: bread of an unidentifiable origin, and salami that may have come from a cow. Wearily, I lower my sore body to the dirty sidewalk maculated with ancient chewing gum. I sit cross-legged, then lean back against the granular wall of the building. I rip open the casing of the salami sandwich. After I crumple up the plastic wrapping, likely made from the skin of some oceanic creature, I consider tossing it aside, but I end up shoving it into a pocket of my jacket; the world has already putrefied enough for me to contribute to its entropy.
As I chew on the soggy, blood-spotted meat, I focus on the details: the dry and fluffy white bread and the saltiness of the salami. I didn’t expect to be surprised by the flavor, because the meat has already rotted in my mind, but for a few seconds I feel like the most well-fed creature that has ever lived, which would have contributed to soothe my senses unceremoniously dredged by a wind of horror, until a recurrent intrusive vision visits me: I find myself gnawing on a giant, yellowish-white worm that will force my jaw apart.
A pig. The salami has come from a pig, one that was born of the flesh of another pig, and that was butchered by a third pig. All of them died or will die so I would taste their rotting flesh while I felt sorry for myself, but that’s alright, because I’m a pig as well. We remain united in an eternal circle of pigdom.
My breath steams in the cold wind, that tries to disperse my feeble satisfaction by fluttering at my hair and my jacket. If I had any control over the situation, I would turn into a human windmill. To prevent the wind from reaching my flesh, my arms would spin at an endless, ceaseless pace.
My fingers are getting numb. I’m waiting for a cold, nasty drop of rain to splat on my head. Soon enough I’ll have to endure another torrential storm and a clammy, bitter wind, like the ones that threatened to ruin my first date with Jacqueline. The rain will come down in a deluge so thick that it will dim the streetlamps. Nature rarely ceases to torture me, like a secret admirer that wants me to achieve my full potential as a miserable wretch.
The night is filled with reptilian hisses as the gusts torment the thicket on the opposite side of the road. The gibbous, pockmarked moon casts a faint glow on the sky. I gaze at its rough, cloud grey layer of dust, and at the polished, steel grey patches that reveal the metallic hull of the observation post built by aliens who got bored of us millennia ago.
A movement out of the corner of my eye makes me glance to my left. One of the bunny-sized blobs has disengaged from its gang, and it’s wobbling towards me on six legs as its feelers sway like the tentacles of an anemone. I dread that it might be looking for shelter in the shadow of my jacket.
I wipe the layer of salty grease off my lips with the palm of my free hand. As the gelatinous beast comes closer, I try to discern in its blurry frame any eyes or a slavering mouth, but I guess that it senses the world through its squiggly tentacles. Although I want to hold my breath, I continue with my meal; I need the nutrients to fuel the survival of my brain.
The blob bumps against my ankle. After a moment of awkward confusion, the creature stretches its front feelers to probe the bottom hem of my trousers. Maybe a stink of sweat, blood and salami pours out from the opening.
I wait to feel any teeth pierce the fabric and reach my skin, but the blob turns and jiggles along my side as if to circumvent the obstacle, except that in that direction it will hit the wall. I place my left hand palm-up on the creature’s path. As it edges closer, I scoop the blob up.
I had expected my hand to pass through this unholy hallucination, but instead my sense of touch reports its faint presence: the squidgy skin, the bottom and side feelers fluttering on my palm, how it shifts its weight as it shivers and squirms in apparent bewilderment. It’s oozing a mucous slime.
I sigh with relief.
“As hideous as you fuckers are, I bet you aren’t suffocating in depressive self-disdain, hounded constantly by the compulsive urge to release your existential terror through aggressive self-diddling. And that’s me at my current best! Before Jacqueline rescued me, I found this struggle meaningless. But who could take pleasure in the idea of living when there’s no one to love, or to love you? What can you do when your world is empty, when all you perceive is your shit and the shit of others?”
The blob’s feelers twitch as it listens to my words, and I know that it will come to love me, once it stops considering me a food source.
“I was condemned to endure as the empty, hollow shell of a human being, like my mother,” I continue. “I couldn’t feel my skin, I couldn’t taste my tongue, I couldn’t feel my stomach rumbling. I couldn’t smell, couldn’t hear, couldn’t think, couldn’t do anything at all. I had nothing but the hope that someone would come to my aid, maybe a sexy magical pixie. At times I considered getting on my hands and knees to worship some crack in the sidewalk. You understand, right? You were granted the gift of life, yet you have turned your back on the world and have given up, therefore becoming the perfect example of how we humans have degenerated. We have ceased to know who we are and who we were. We’ve transformed into gelatinous blobs that blunder around blindly, mindlessly.”
I pet the unholy abomination, and its tentacles respond with gentle wiggles.
“To be frank with you,” I continue, “I couldn’t wait to be dead. I was eager to find my way out of this prison of meat, to turn myself into a squishy, pink puddle of gore, and just rot away. But then this alien, this fucking alien, with her massive tits and her bubbly smile and her plump, soft lips and her twinkling cobalt blues, appeared for me. She stuck her hand down my throat and pulled me out. So in the end, my rescue came in the form of a giant spider-woman with the head of an ouroboros, and I’ve spent my current life exploring the insides of her belly. If she had come to me as a slug-like blob, I wouldn’t have wanted her. I would have dismissed her as an itchy nuisance to be crushed. But she held the power to change the game for me, to take me out of that sorry, loveless world. She’s a tender mother, a sexual mistress of the universe. I can’t fully comprehend her, but I can trust her to give my life meaning, to make me feel real again. As long as I have my mommy, I’ll keep on living, I’ll keep on fucking.”
The blob shudders. A large, slimy glop trickles out of an anus-like orifice, as if to symbolize its passage into my world, its transformation.
“I know all this might sound weird to you,” I continue, “but it feels like my skull has become a furnace in which only a white-hot light of thought remains. What I meant to say is that even a nauseating blob like you deserves to live free, without fearing that someone will snatch you and your pals up to turn you into exotic soap.”
My abominable companion shimmies off my palm and plops onto the sidewalk, then it scutters under the bridge of my crossed legs.
“Alright,” I say. “If you have any concerns, I’ll be more than happy to talk to you about my feelings.”
My nose is leaking brain fluid, my teeth are about to chatter. I heave myself to my feet. I intended to wolf down the rest of my sandwhich, but I’m only holding two half-eaten slices of bread. The salami has landed on the dirty sidewalk. The slimy blob has crawled over and it must be feasting; its feelers wriggle excitedly as the salami slides under its gelatinous body and disappears as if absorbed.
A glob of protoplasm is resting on my left palm. I wipe it on my trousers.
When the blob wobbles back towards its companions, the previous spot of the sidewalk has been cleared of salami, ready to accept cigarette butts and glass shards, ready for grass and weeds to grow through its cracks like mold or the long hair of homeless people, to better fit in with this overgrown, overpopulated garbage dump of a world.
I shove the slices of bread into my mouth, then I narrow my shoulders and eyes against the cold wind as I head to the front door.
What did my rotting brain intend by assembling such abominations? No, I should focus on my work. I’ll allow my unhinged subconscious to conjure up whatever symbols it requires to express its perverse delusions, to channel its homicidal urges.
What would the extent of my psychosis matter? There are no rules. We have no god to judge us, no heaven or hell to frighten us and make us suffer. Nothing will keep the world in a state of balance, no magic will prevent us from turning the earth into a smoldering cinder or the entire solar system into dead balls of ice. It’s just a matter of time.
I only needed a single person to accept me as I am. The rest of the planet may as well burn.