From Jester To King LXXIV
By Simon Barget
Behind the machine are the pipes and you can go inside if you want. A great big network of pipes. But once you’re in, there’s no saying you won’t stay. Once you’re in you might never come out. I was in last night. I wasn’t looking to go in, but I wasn’t against it once I realised I was. I took my medicine. They have this gunk lining them, gunk like in the pipes below the kitchen sink, black gunk. The gunk is just on the side of the pipes so you won’t necessarily come into contact with it. You’ll just know it’s there and you’ll be constantly disgusted by it. And when you’re in the pipes you have a vague sense that you’re in the heart of something profound, that you’re privileged to be there, but this privilege is always overshadowed by the nagging discomfort you don’t know your way out. But then overriding this is a subtle sense you will always come out. You trust that gravity or something or some other force will push you the right way, but you don’t know where up is, you don’t know what’s down, all you know is that you’re in the pipes. You can’t tell your legs from your head. You can panic if you want but there’s probably no point. And then you should feel more claustrophobic than you do but somehow you just about feel ok. Why is it that you retain this remote sense of always being able to get free? How is it you know you won’t stay there forever? We play with fear but what if there isn’t any? What is it that convinces us we aren’t forever stuck? Well, there are these exit points but they’re difficult to find, they appear haphazardly, so if you’re lucky enough you can bridge across and then get out through them. But there’s no method to finding them, they’re just there or they aren’t. Someone reminded me about them yesterday. I am out now, but I could always find myself back in. And then that time might be my last, I might never come out.