Monday, June 12, 2006


Misery hangs. Its body swings slowly with the breeze, toes thumping on aged floorboards with each morbid sway. A fraying rope begs to be severed, whispering promises of sweet release which seem lost in the cool night air. Yes, Misery hangs, its eyes bulging amidst a bloated purple face, twisted, like the coils of the noose around its neck. Having kicked out the stool, it had only a split second of reservation - but by then it was too late. One second to fall, but falling forever, offering up an eternity of regret and the thought of but a single line: "I've fallen for you." This, perhaps, an extreme example of what the intelligentsia might call esprit de l'escalier.

—The above image, either wishful thinking, fraud, or outright fabrication.


It had been raining for days already when you called.

"Did you hear?" you asked.

My silence told you that indeed I had. Incapable of putting Grief into words, I could only stare out at the wind whipping the trees, the rain battering the window glass. Finally, a question came to mind.

"If Misery is truly gone, then what is this?"

You paused a moment while tailoring a response. "Perhaps Anguish or Heartache has been given a promotion."

"Perhaps," I agreed. "Or maybe Dolour - it really has been unappreciated in recent years."

"True, true."

"So, when's the service?"


"You going?"

"Of course.

"Then I'll see you there."

And with that I set down the phone, unwilling, unable to speak any longer. Although it may have appeared as though Misery had left this world, I knew this could not be the case.

—The above dialogue, either hallucination, delusion, and certainly fragmentation.


Misery hangs out. If not truly Misery, then its spirit, at the very least, has set up shop, made itself at home in my home. We're flatmates of a sort. It hangs out with me in the evening, sitting beside me on the sofa as we watch television. I want to watch sitcoms, while it insists on watching game shows. I bring home a case of Coke and it derides me for not choosing Pepsi. Yes, Misery hangs out and will not leave. It cooks elaborate meals, using every pot and pan in the kitchen, and does not clean up after itself. It wears its shoes in the house - a sore point between us. After a particularly nasty fight which saw us accusing one another of living fake lives and dying fake deaths, I fled the house and was arrested on the stairs by the sudden manifestation of a witty retort - a witty retort which had come just a moment too late. At once, I felt a chill across my shoulders in the shape of a ghostly arm, and we walked down the stairs together, me smiling, alone with my thoughts. L'esprit de l'escalier. My old friend.

—The above scene, personification, a play on words, and abstraction.

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