What do you think I am? (Breaking the Fourth Wall )

“Sometimes I rest in the stillness — far out there, on the way back.
I stop and I am held without the weight of my life.
Listening to the cacophony of noise rise from that little circle.
Into my inky blackness, and I look back to their home.
It took me a long time to realize I was different from them.
That I was not the clothes I was wearing.”



It was quiet, dark…the yellow gaslight from the streetlamps leaked into the room. The unbearable silence within that tiny room. I could hear spiders spinning webs. Children hate that kind of quiet, gives way to an imagination. But imagination is not what I speak about…


Artist: Michael Burns Oil Painting 16 X 20 inches May/2015

The day had been one of those that would be lost in time, never really remembered, ordinary, except occasions like this one. And it would turn out to be the most important, but least remembered period of my young life. I am sixty-eight years old now and after a lifetime of searching, a lifetime of acting a life, I am beginning to break through, and understand what created me.

I had been a tough day at school — looking back then, and there I lay on my little bed, in the front room of the house I was born in, facing Madrid street, that row housing in Catholic Belfast of the early 1960’s.

She, my grandmother, had gotten dressed up, wearing her special clothes, and she did not have many of those, and told me to care for my young sister, and not get out of bed. I was anxious and a bit afraid. I was being left alone again. A latch-key kid. And I was showing signs of coming down with a fever. I was needing a mother’s touch, I was confused and a bit haggled from fighting with the priests at school that day, and medical authorities that held sway of my young life, in those dirty days so long ago.

I was one of those young bastards who was an outsider — and afflicted by the prejudice of those who were given authority over me. Mothers out of wedlock. And the gutter snipes, they mad for those Irish streets. But today was worse than normal. It was more than hell, it was hell in a bad thunder storm.

I didn’t want the injection; my body was my own and belonged to me. They had violated the very heart of me, they had forced something on me. It was like a punch in the gut and something was injected by those needles in a circle.

She locked us in as she had done before and left us in our beds in the dark of that old row house. My sister was asleep, a dull child with not much intelligence, someone I was always having to protect and I was wide awake in my contemplation of the dark and my terrible little life…

A fever came on suddenly, and the heat caused an ache and delirium, I heard a droning sound and smelt the ozone of what smelled like an electrical plug that is burned out; that electrical smell. I felt a presence in the room and felt someone very close to my face, I could see eyes, and I have been lucid enough on occasions and seen them many times since.

My thoughts began to race. Faster and faster they were flitting through my young mind like something was being downloaded into me at a vast pace. A knowledge of things, a knowledge of experiences, that I had not ever had.

Words don’t make out this far. The frequency of the voice, just…the amplification is not there. It losses its vibration across such vast distances. Sound becomes a whisper and eventually fades.  But, I could, hear his young voice. It was small and calling. But it was powerful, not from desperation or a last hope throwing one’s voice out the void. It was dauntless, it was brave. It was bravely determined, and that is rare. Coming from such a small thing. It was very rare.

And for him to know that he was speaking to someone. I mean they all do it, speaking to God, but most down deep inside don’t understand why they do it, and doubt it highly. They watch themselves fake it. They know inside, deep inside.

And I wasn’t affected in that sense…in the way that I believe your thinking. I wasn’t impressed. I was astonished, if anything, I had not seen this before. The power of this untrained entity to face the projected reality, interested me. And so I walked in and began walking on this road of understanding. Trying to understand how he was made this way. We bring a lot with us when we walk in like that, and it can be a powerful experience.

He changed me immediately, his empathy which has always been an observation for us in them — and I pity them for it, was heightened in my natural understanding. And I realized they where more than just food. More than a way to entertain ourselves, they were…he was enriching. And served like a filter to purify the process. And I was able to see them for the first time away from my own instincts. I never told my own, they would have found humor in it…disdain.

I am one of the ones who has been here many, many times. There isn’t much that I have not seen and witnessed. I was there in that cruel beginning when we took them and made them servants, made them slaves to build out things.

We use them up in the 100’s of thousand. And it was then that many got that taste of shear terror and racking pain in them. Qualified it and consumed. It not enough to nourish oneself, I acquired a taste for the ones that fight back, that refuse to obey, the rebels. A taste for the rebellious.

But he was different, he didn’t wear his courage, he was it, and at first I believed it would be a rare taste; small and limited. But it was more than that, it was…

The awkwardness of walking around in here looking and feeling through their limited scope of senses. The inability of them to reach out with minds like we do, their disbelief that this is possible. Their strange religions that keep them down, aided us immensely, more than any other place that we have been. Our amusement is sitting back here watching them interact with that unknown reality.

This was only meant as a colony and now has turned into a, manufacturing station of importance just off the trade route. Their essence is valued like a rare perfume. And it is highly paid for, the markets vary and in some place they will give up a great prize for what we manufacture here.

The thing took on a shape of its own, we started with the ones who guard the rest and keep them in line, and that, became a system of it own and developed it own politics and it breed a specific type that had its own taste. And it spurred other industries that feed into the whole thing; and sub-industries. The whole business became so complex and that was the force behind it becoming a center; a major interest of investment.

We are a species made of power, and the older we get the more of that, is accumulated and it changed us through our transitions and we become what they have named us…

They worship us now and in so, so many cases they erect large places on their own and take their best and waste them as religious offerings. It was a joke for a long while with us and now its just strange. We watch it and some have even encouraged it to see if they would increase output. It created some strange communities of them, that all day long they offered up to us the best and youngest and the most fragile; the most valiant, the strongest and the most beautiful.

It is a perversion with our kind, it is like an addiction in a way, as we process it so slowly, that to keep up, there is this waste, but it is a bad waste of the resource and is now frowned on by our tradition. It still goes on and some follow just that with the system we have created. It is an craved taste by some of us, when they become such vague imitations of what we are…

He was different.

We take our time and the course of their short lives that feed us and we motivate them in specific ways to modulate the frequency which affect the taste and the density of the substance. The aromas change and the color modulates the intensity of the sustenance, and so one can gain in short periods the right quality, owing to the particular, taste. After a while, one adjusts to a…specific, a favored flavor and that informs the ability to rest within and not have to work so hard at it, it a symbiosis and becomes commensal after some decades. The whole trick is to ease in without them knowing and keep them alive as long as possible. But the whole process, is debilitating to their biology and in the end their lives are always shorten and they never really wake to what we are doing until we are ready to leave.

But he was different. He knew that I was there, and sometimes I wondered who was in control. I think he was trying to change me, in way.

I had done this some three or four thousand  times, I was ancient by their standards. I had been around when all had been what those long ago writers who told their tales, had said. I acquired this ability to write these things back then. I’m sure you have read what I thought back then.

It was the system that developed all this, we were a horde in the beginning that landed here and and they protected the shape that we are allowed for a excursion of happenings. One to next, playing the different roles and the self imposed amnesia it so easily allowed for, like a sleep and a dreaming, its easier for them, as we watch it all unfold with our lucid encouragements one way or the other.

I know you are confused by my language. It is difficult for you understand how, what I say sounds like, I am eating…

There is always the shock in the end as we leave, as they finally wake when their lives are over. It is terrible for them, the great realization, but it is only a short period, a few breathes or a few hours at most that is, if a newer joining is quite near, and seems tempting, then it could be hours. And its done in such a way that, they think it is part of them who is leaving. We don’t, say anything, we are not obliged too…this is our natural state. This is our biology, there is no malice anymore than a bird of prey and its supper. We have always been this, and we evolve through this, I personally have changed since I began it. Because, I think about it  too much…

And then there is him.