By Simon Barget
Back when I was a mushroom I lived under the earth and used to have to speak in determined whispers. I didn’t want anyone to hear me, but I wanted people to take note. I always wondered why I was passed over, why no one paid me much attention. I lived about six leagues under the subsoil, that’s roughly about six stories down. Now that I am no longer a mushroom, now I am no longer a mycelial node, I can speak my mind and everyone perks up and listens. Back when I was a mushroom, there wasn’t much space and there wasn’t much air and my voice hardly carried. But I had so much to say I had a whole lot of stuff to express I always knew that. But I hated to acknowledge it. But then again, think of all the other mushrooms with so much to say and so much to express, all hankering after the limelight and then what you end up with underground is this mass confusion of voices and speech, all manner of blip and noise and screeches and persistent hums and sirens and sudden claps and thunderbolts and bangs one indistinguishable from the next so that it is a veritable cacophony and it is hardly worth opening one’s mouth up in the first place just to add to the mess. When I was a mushroom I could not understand why and how it could be so difficult to say something let alone get across my main message. We did not know there was a whole world out there, and I’m not even talking about the world over the sky, I’m talking about the closet twilight world between the sky and the earth. When I was a mushroom I was stifled, not only in the communication, in the actual getting of my point across, I was literally stifled by all the organic matter strewn all over and around me, stuff that I had hardly anything to do with, stuff that made no sense spouted nonsense, had no idea who and what I stood for, what my essential nature was, where my talents lay, and it felt futile being where I was to say the least. When I was a mushroom, I cannot imagine not being one as I am today. Today I am not a mushroom in the strict sense of the word. I may have come from one but I am not one anymore. Back when I was a mushroom the ground underneath is so jam-packed and busy and so damn full that you do not have a moment to yourself to think let alone listen to music. And then back when I was a mushroom I had to make a point when I spoke, I had to place emphasis, use rhetorical trickery just to be felt, to be heard, I spoke in determined whispers, because I was also worried that everyone and everything could hear me and I was self-conscious to a fault. Now I am in the air there’s no one around and I can chunter away to my heart’s content. I could not imagine what it was like being packed in like a sardine now that I’m free. I couldn’t possibly have conceived of my now benighted position. There are no strands leading off me left right and centre, my right arm isn’t your left leg, we are not intimately and inextricably connected and I am relatively free, I do not owe you my life and I do not have to come running over to do you small favours. Thank god I am no longer a mushroom.