There is a beast, a great, sweltering, bubbling, heaving mass of a thing.
No. Un-focus your eyes. You can’t see it if you try to look right at it.
All that is seen, the beast sees. It has 7 billion pairs of eyes, and 7 billion pairs of ears, and a confused and crowded imagination. But still it watches.
Imagine it’s seeing everything on a television screen. Hey, that’s your house. There’s that park you like to visit but never do. There’s the back of your eyelids.
I think I’m on a different channel of the TV. A channel that remains dark until the beast flips to it, which it never will.
There’s comfort and terror in this. Trudging alone through the darkness, feeling so certain that there is no world narrative into which I contribute a line. My story isn’t a story, because there is no one to tell it and no one to hear it.
Why is that comforting?
Simply because I can’t play my part wrong. I can’t miss a cue or fumble a line. I can’t be weak or cowardly or cruel or stupid.
But it’s also terrifying. Because, well, it means I don’t really exist. I tremble and quake, at one with a howling horrified hollowness: the void of the unwatched.
Or maybe the darkness is just getting to me.
I keep walking. I turn around, see the light of my apartment building and try walking ten more steps with it directly behind me. This is my flimsy tactic to help me walk in a straight line.
Soon I’ll find the thing that caused the echo.
Either that, or my lack of a story will come to its untellable end.