27: Something Awful – Happening

I endure this anguished anticipation whose source is an utter mystery to me. Some awful dread is ever upon me, not a dread of some particular matter – though, that too may sometimes call – just a dread, a deep, disturbing, unfathomable dread. I have no power against it, and it rules with such might that no matter what book, what writing, what music from my lyre I might marshal in desperate hope of distraction, it always catches up, brings me down, turns me out of the little tran­quillity I might have chanced upon, and this hateful thing has dogged me all my years, and I am too old now to ever grow out of it.

Something awful must have happened. Some­thing awful that I cannot now remember, but it is happening still, will keep happening forever, and my response to all else that happens, things that are not this thing, ends up being my response to that forgotten thing. It is as if I lie broken and bloodied in some torture cell, and the rest of my life is a thin hallucination that veils my suffering with such pitiful inadequacy. I would like to experience things as they really are, and that yearn­ing joins with my anguish and makes it swell larger.

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