That night, so long ago, he came to me. He’d dispensed with the usual horns of Christian myth. He wasn’t rude, nor was he threatening. Quite to the contrary, actually: he was rather sad, withdrawn and charming.
Did I know who he was, back then? I don’t know really, but I suspect I did. You get a feeling for these things after so many years of practicing the deeper types of magick. Would I have rejected him, had I been sure of his identity, chased him away? Certainly not! My mother taught me never to be rude to strangers (or anyone else for that matter), and I would in any case defer to both his age and his beauty.
Every time I think back to that night, my mind dissolves into a sea of red velvet, blotting out words and thoughts, leaving me only with feelings: feelings of longing and regret, like drowning in a bottomless well of icy sorrow and loneliness. I think that was his message – not that he actually spoke. He’s very human in many ways, you see, and probably felt the urge to unburden himself – one damned soul to another, so to speak.
Aha! I definitely piqued your interest with that little revelation, didn’t I? Me…? Damned…? Ooh! Serves me right – right? Long spoons and all that. Sorry to disappoint you, but I’m afraid my idea of damnation is quite other than yours. You see, I gave up on God (with a capital G), an awfully long time ago. I think Robert Nye put it best in his rather fabulous version of Faust, where his anti-hero wants to test the devil, to see if he’s as evil as God (with a capital G). Personally, I think the poor old sod was more than a bit confused when he wrote that. Either that, or he was stuck into his character’s head a little too deeply. Or maybe it was the most brilliant illumination?
Now you think I’m confused!
The thing is, I’ve always harboured a soft spot for the darkness rather than the light. I love the shifting shadows between the trees at midnight, and the fatal susurration of the ocean after sunset. I love contemplating the death agonies of the day as the sun sinks in a sea of phantasmagorical, bloody putrescence, bruising the sky with streaks of livid agony. Now there’s an interpretation of sunset you’ve never heard before.
Was it my idea? Or was it his? Do we see the world through the thoughts of the others who invaded our minds with their ideas in our formative years? That would certainly explain why you lot uniformly see sunset as something pretty from the Sound of Music. Me, I see the glory of death and the inevitable triumph of nothingness. You really fucking irritate me, actually. I can actually hear you – yes, you, going on about salvation and sacrifice and your dear, sweet Lord. I see you, whimpering in self pity over some imagined sin you’ve committed by default – condemned and rescued in one miracle act by the one loving father who holds the fires of hell in one hand and an ocean of salvation in the other. Give me Jimmy Swaggart any day: at least the bastard was amusing.
Anyway, as I was saying, I drift into these visions, you see…
To be continued.