Drugs can ruin you, like a castle visited by lost tourists, and yet, when you come out of the horror fog into the regular world, it’s a new kind of horror. -Intellectual Shaman
My mind was clearing, or so I thought. It was a fall day—magical. As the years progress, I get stiffer, harder, less pliable. All the searching for who I am gets set in stone, like an immovable sword. I love my destiny, but strangeness gives me second chances.
I’m lying in my bed, looking at the bathroom door. The mirror shows me a face that looks like mine, but it’s different. I rush into the bathroom to confront the stranger, but he’s gone. I go out, onto the street, and buy an apple. It’s a Honeycrisp, full of nectar that will last me half the day.
The weekly crowd reminds me of ants, and I’m a yellow butterfly among the red heads and black bodies. They make a low shrieking sound, brought on by their work. In traffic, there’s a guy following me—he’s tailgating, honking his horn. If I was working, the rage would’ve already overtaken my mild constitution. I let him freak-out on the road. Strangely, he looks like me, but he’s definitely not going where I’m going. I’m headed to my favorite bookstore, in the middle of the work week, when nobody is there. Professionals don’t know that the best thing about not working is being places that are normally crowded.
I go to the philosophy section and start reading. Two minutes later, the bell rings, and a fatter version of myself gets in my face.
“You are supposed to be at work.”
“You’re not my boss.”
“You need a boss—otherwise you’ll get arrogant.”
“Too late—now, leave me alone.”
He speaks like he knows me, but he doesn’t. The old self is frustrated, angry, playing by someone else’s rules, and trying to fit in. The new self has no future. He goes to places, existing in limbo—it’s better than heaven or hell.
The horror castle is a prime piece of real estate for professionals with a 30-year plan.