Soundtrack “Au Lait” by Pat Metheny
Dedicated to Poe and all other tortured souls.
Voices, a fucking chorus of voices. Calling me out, welcoming me in, whimpering, whispering, frightful laugher, eerie giggles, horrific moans, howling, sobbing,——tortured disembodied voices———Is this seething from within me?——- am I not alone in my room?
I call into the abyss, “Who’s out there?” An echo calls back “Who’s in there?” Have the demons once again breached my walls of sanity, have they escaped from that proverbial spook infested closet. Madness is not a nihilistic depression, but rather the absence of——— “The holiness of hope”…….
The night’s slithering in with its rueful dirge, the remnants of another dissolving day are ashes in my eyes, the warmth of the sun is fleeing, I’m being swallowed by forlorn shadows. The cold emptiness of night is closing in—— imposing itself on me, possessing me, imprisoning me——my sun is being slowly beheaded by the horizons guillotine……
Those with romantic notions of insanity know nothing of self loathing, insecurities or the feeling of being sequestered from the kindness of others. For the bullied, the damned and the abused, paranoia becomes the monster with whom they must do battle——with whom I must do battle.
This migraine is relentless. The voices are telling me to do unspeakable things. My forehead throbs with an unbearable pressure building at my temples. It’s as if my head is in a crushing vice. I swear that there’s barbed hooks shredding the nerve endings in my neck and jaw. There’s an ice pick being driven from the base of my skull into the depths of my brain. The back of my eyes are being used as pin cushions. It feels as though battery acid has been poured over my skull———Oh my god, how long must this go on?
Outside my starless window there’s a flock of ebony ravens gathered on a wire, chastising, shaming, scolding, rebuking, reprimanding, condemning, bemoaning, lamenting and mocking me. The feathered fiends take flight morphing into winged hell hounds. I mumble an incantation to silence their incessant baying and yelping. Oh lord, dear god, —- I need a way to extricate myself from this bottomless pit——-I must quell this erupting madness that’s exploding within me,——— Sinking ever deeper, I envision the gravedigger winking to the grim reaper, as the executioner waits with open arms.
From which side of this mirror comes my reflection?———From which side reflects reality? I can no longer tell——I’ve entered a netherworld? A demon stares back at me through the mirror. In a cold sweat my fist smashes the reflection. From a clenched fist there flows a stream of warm blood . …… Sad eyed gargoyles look on plaintively……..
I’ve staved off sleep for days in a fruitless struggle to flee the parade of macabre visions that trespass into my consciousness. I can smell death, that metallic scent of fresh blood. A swarm of flies bring with them a foul stench of rotting flesh. They joyfully buzz about landing on the rancid corpse, dutifully depositing their eggs, giving birth to a nursery of squirming maggots. I stare at my trembling hands and watch as scarlet droplets of blood trickle down the knife’s blade. They fall in slow motion to the ground. I run my finger across the blade and bring the digit to my lips. The substance possess an oily consistency with a salty flavor——-I suppose it’s an acquired taste.
There’s no merry halloween, no happy day of the dead. I feel the presence of someone or something staring in my window. I turn to catch the glimpse of a webbed winged bat peering in at me. There’s the scamper of rats feet dancing in the attic, the squeak of the straining gallows rope, the sound of footsteps on a hardwood floor in a vacant room. “Who’s in there?” Once again, the only response is the echo of a quivering voice “Who’s out there?”
What wicked desires turn men into carnal beasts? Is it the sting of the whip, the twist of the ligature, the terror conveyed by those bulging eyes, that shrillness in a final gasp——-the suffocating wheeze in their farewell song to this world. Fear causes the weak to give into the evil forces that prowl the moonless fringes of the soul. Ya see, there’s tidbits of hell germinating inside us all. And, at the darkest of hours you can hear its inhabitants rattle their chains, feel their god forsaken hands close around your neck———- see their red beady bloodshot eyes hold you in their hypnotic gaze.
A hunched and ragged demon stands by a gate with a lantern in one hand and a skeleton key in the other. He turns the key unlocking the gate and motions for me to follow. In a hoarse whisper he speaks” Come in, we’ve been expecting you.…Don’t worry about the lateness of the hour, we’re open all night.” On the gate hangs a sign “No shirt, no shoes, no soul, no salvation.”
The old Specter offers up an evil grin as he speaks “We’d be eternally grateful to have you as our”—- he pauses to lick his saliva stringed lips———-“To have you as our guest?”————His putrid sewer breath hangs in the air as he musters a sardonic laugh “Down here, there’s always a vacancy for another soulless one. But be advised, these rusty gates of hell don’t always swing both ways.”