When people gather at tables and in living rooms and at counters to order the food to make the others ill to eat in the way like beaten dogs, when they slurp and snort and suck and scrape to take it all in before they die, when their faces stretch into greasy rubber of fat and age to smile and hold pleasant conversations, when everyone around makes them weep or scream or clench their fists until they strike blood–
Am I mad when I make myself a ghost? Where is the madness in slipping unnoticed past these bloated, desperate parasites? All of their virulent, fleshy tendrils grope to find my soul and plant some cancerous root. I can find peace, I can live, I can make love and happiness without feeding on theirs. I do not need to steal the tiny flame of elation they kindle until death.
They hammer at my own.
How is it that I am the mad one, for all of this?
I am Christ among Romans. I am a Wolf among Fleas. Each day I run a gauntlet of these predators, I sail without destination in a sea of leeches. Is it madness that I retain strength, that I defy them–deny them their lust to drag me into their wretchedness?
Or is it madness that I think I am capable of any of this? Clairvoyantly I might see myself among them. I might see myself beneath–a lower thing than any of them. It might be my madness to be blind, to presume that I am fateless, to assume that I make myself and my destiny without them. I call myself “alone”. I try to be that. Given the power, though, to make that a permanent truth, would I choose to go without them?
Could I destroy them?
They would remember me as mad if I did.
Am I the scion of Attila and Alexander, of Napoleon and Cortez, of countless Pharoahs and Caesars and Kings? Do I continue the legacies of Ghandi or Moses or Lennon? Give peace a chance, or get rid of anyone in peace’s way. Am I any of these madmen? Can I adopt their madness without losing my own?
(c) I dunno, 2007 or something