Some surrealist activity in dreams

pet cemetary

From L to JA:

I had some dreams last night that you were in.

You invited me to some local officer’s open house where they were giving a seminar on “creativity.” Men in ties were showing us to all these kindergarten tables on the ground where there were tombstones for dogs, like from a pet cemetery. We had to redesign them.

Next, we moved a room over till we were sitting on the ground. Using paste, popsicle sticks, and markers, we were told to design a religion for the tombstone we just made. The office worker explained that we were participating in a version of a surrealist game called “an exquisite corpse,” that had been made more professional for idea monetization.

You took the paste and poured about half the bottle one the paper so that the puddle was mostly all over the carpet. Then you then started to rail against all these people being shills as I tried to clean some of the paste off the carpet in case they noticed and made me pay thousands of dollars to get the room redone. We were mostly just dicking around instead of playing the games, so we walked out when I thought enough was cleaned that they wouldn’t notice.

Outside, we were about where the Rideau Center would be looking at Rideau street, but very high up. We were interested in finding our local spirits, which were likely eating out of trash bins in the local alleys, but also doing some random shopping.

Me and Jess had won hockey tickets to the Stanley Cup playoffs that we were encouraged to use. When we got there, we were made to ride in a gothic parade in which there were hot air balloons of women being abused by the grim reaper. The games were being held in that state that had banned abortions. In protest, the local team club had decided to empty the arena of all spectators for the game. Only a lucky thousand were chosen to watch the live feed sitting in several little theaters seating maybe seventy people at a time. The walls were made of wood and the decor was 70’s posh.

All spectators had been chosen based on media appeal. We were chosen because I was a mentally ill transgender artist, and Jessica chosen for being in a lesbian relationship with me. Our story was posted to the internet like everyone else’s as a sort of advertisement. Most people were women not much interested in the game. A large group of little kids faced away from the screen drawing in coloring books on their seats.

The only footage the audience at home would get was us watching the game with the screen in the background while interviewers got our thoughts on sports and the abortion law reality TV style. I did my best to actually watch the game in case my parents saw me.

You and me attended this event like one of PP’s mental health art things, but it was also a surrealist thing. We had trouble busing there, and were the only people to show up. The social worker in charge didn’t show up till late, after 10pm, and was having a break-down from her job at the hospital. Her mascara was running from crying. I decided to leave.

The next day, at a gathering for the animation program at Algonquin I was attending, they showed dozens of complex, highly finished artworks produced overnight at the group after I left. These included video installations a huge sculptures made of intertwined cords of colored material. I was jealous none of my work was on display.

(sent August 1, 2019)

A translation of Baudelaire’s Au Lecteur

An unorthodox translation by Lake.

You sods, errors, pissers, and lesions

Occupy our souls and travel through our corpses.

As our ailment are to our amiable re-death,

the cum of menders nourishes their vermin.

Our peach’s son, the fetus, we repent as son of leeches;

We in our phases pay grass-cement for our view

And we rend the gayness along the roads to barbarism.

Credit for a devil’s raining lavatories are our torches,

On the oilier of the evils that are sat upon by Three-reigns

Who barks longingly at our spirit’s enchantment

And the rich metal of our own violence

Is all vaporised by that savage chimney

It’s the devil who taints the girls among our remains;

Axes, objects repugnant to our troves of bees,

Chuck days against our infernal descendants passed,

Without horror, but traversing the tame beast they pounded

From our cervical malignancy comes millions helmeted,

Grilling chants and repostes on people as demons

And great in our respirations, death in our apples

Sickly engrossed, cum on flowers, with sordid plaints.

Such is the way – poison, poignant and burning –

Our own parts in cores bred by their pleasing designs

The cadaver banal before our pitious destinies

This is our love, for hell!-No ashes hardening.

Mighty perms like charcoal, like panthers’ lice

They, singe less scorpions, less vultures, less serpents,

The monsters galloping, sands hurled groaning in rampage

In the menagerie infamous for our vices.

This one is much laid, much menacing, much unworldly.

Quick are his fascistic and great gestures near great cries.

He, ferocious, voluntarily deals the earth’s debris

Towards a baleful and avaricious world

It’s ennui! The oil charging the rain’s involutions.

It raves of echoed feuds that fume for their hooker.

You who know, lecture the monster’s delicacy.

Hyopocrite lecher in my likeness, you are my friend!

A Study in Classroom Violence

School has taught me well. Thanks to my teachers, I now know how to think.

How much nicer would being locked up in the peace, quiet, and safety of solitary confinement be than remaining stuck in this hellish classroom? I’m not a psychopath, unfortunately, so killing my fellow students would cost me significant remorse to get there.

The incessant noise bothers me in ways I’m not allowed to be bothered. The resonance of all the individual voices harmonizes into whispers buzzing in my head. I can barely make out what the crowd of my thoughts are saying, but a word or phrase here or there tells me I’m having trouble controlling how upset I’ve become. A little bit of heat, I can tolerate, but the games, insinuations, gossip, and plain old insults are like being submerged in filthy oil set to boil. I want to turn them off like a room full of TVs all set to commercials.

None of them deserve to die, but if a bully were gotten rid of, my remorse would be much less. Many would benefit after the initial shock. The question is whether the expected relief of being locked away and sparing the bully’s lifetime of victims would offset the trouble of having to kill someone and endure a trial. It’s a simple equation.

A courtroom seems like all the hatefulness of school distilled to its bitterest essence of boredom, forced seriousness, inscrutable rules, and jumbled evidence and opinions presented slowly enough to obscure the bigger picture. Also, it would traumatize the entire school for there to be a murder, which would be harder to live with than the loss of a bully or two. I’d be pretty upset if someone murdered someone on me.

Then again, isn’t there already a culture of fearfulness? Aren’t we already being punished into our futures as if it were normal and expected that we be miserable, and blamed for our lack of resilience in becoming depressed, and anxious? Of course we’d be violent to each other. It’s the only expression of contempt against our daily abuse we can get away with. Whether our lives feel safe or livable has never mattered compared to preparing us to waste them working jobs made for us to despise. Must I really take responsibility for terrorizing my school when there’s an army of civil servants decidedly ignoring how people like me feel?

Of course, I don’t have the means to kill anyone. I’m too weak. The part where I fight back is where the cornered mouse bites the cat. Even if I had it all planned out, I’d freeze at the decisive moment, cry, and get pounded to the ground like a thawing slab of meat. Maybe someone will kill me, instead.

There’s always suicide. Cost-benefit analysis consistently demonstrates that suicide is the optimal solution, as the expected misery of living my life is quite a bit worse than enduring a self-inflicted injury capable of ending it. Delusional what-if scenarios don’t enter into it. The cheapening of my life is a matter of economic exchange. My life won’t be worth anything until someone gives me something to live for.

-Crown of Blonde Hair

Theory on a Spectrum of Voice Hearing

tlaIris

While grumpily riding the bus to a dentist appointment to fix a tooth that has been broken for weeks now, I found myself thinking through the “what if scenario” of having to argue with someone who demands my spot in the priority seating section. What struck me was that I was not intentionally imagining the jerk I found myself arguing with, although everything they said had all the verisimilitude of such a person. They were distinctly not me, for my own voice, also somewhat automatic, was preoccupied with having to make answer to their unreasonable badgering.

At once the scenario dissipated as I began to consciously wonder, “How does this scenario relate to a schizophrenic’s hearing voices?” It occurred to me that, even if the voice was the unbidden representation of a person that did not exist, I at least had the awareness that it was internally generated, and not truly a phenomenon outside myself. Perhaps we can call it an interactive, ideative construction of my unconscious based on my current emotional state.

Later in the day I spent some time fine tuning this concept with my wife. The scenario we most contrast with that of hearing voices is the idea of ourselves talking with other people. There is a clear separation between our own social identity, and the identity of other people.

When we start thinking to ourselves alone, however, that boundary weakens in that we are both speaker and audience, self and other. This sort of conversational reflexive is very important to thought because it allows us to detect implications or contradictions in previously presented information free of outside manipulation.

On the other hand, the lack of an outside perspective diminished one’s capacity to calibrate their reality against the information provided by other, trusted sources. People who are too often alone, often become weird. Perhaps this is why we also sometimes intentionally imagine ourselves talking to people we know well, such as best friends, spouses, and parents – we know them well enough that even if we don’t think as they do, we feel we can anticipate what they would say, which might be sufficient to provide a reality check.

We might also intentionally imagine ourselves talking with non-specific people, such as invented bullies, authority figures, people in need of help, desired romantic partners, or people we want to like us. Usually we do this to anticipate or rehearse a kind of general conversation script that would allow us to respond effectively to a scenario which some goal of ours is contingent upon – a job interview, or a date, say. The fact that we are effectively engaging with model people, perhaps even stereo-types, however, leads us to a place where we are increasingly dealing with what we think we know about people instead of who they are.

What we think about specific people is only the meaning we attach to the consistencies and variations we observe in all the social and intimate situations where we are aware of their interactions. There is a lot about how we think, feel, and behave that no one else gets to experience even if we try to explain it, because we have more thoughts than we can or would want to say out loud. The same is true of what we see in our intimate companions.

But then again, there’s a lot about our own selves we don’t know – our entire subconscious is filled with half-formed, contradictory, tentative thoughts and feelings that effect our cognition, but we only slowly come to realize them, if we ever do. The net effect of many unconscious half ideas, if they have similar momentum in a direction, can have a powerful effect on our worldview, even if we have no way to name, or conceptualize them – such as when we hate something but can’t explain why even when we try to.

We also have, besides the self we identity, a great deal of selves that we do much less so. We see this most often when people cover their mistakes by saying something like, “what wasn’t me,” or “that wasn’t the person I want to be.” We also know we act differently in different situations – at a wild party versus a somber, thoughtful occasion, though we might not think of these as our general personality.

Getting closer to the subconscious mind, we sometimes find ourselves unintentionally imagining or daydreaming that we are conversing with people we know, or invented model people. This automatism allows us to explore ideas less filtered by conscious logic, but the freer association of ideas can lead to deeper insights by allowing us to make random connections. If we never considered things simply because they don’t seem to be related, we would discover very little. But then, this random noise can also reinforce biases by stumbling upon and reinforcing weak or tenuous connections between them – such as when we come to loath someone based on daydreaming about arguing with them.

Below even subconscious I believe there is a state where what we are imagining automatically, becomes strong enough to play along with, or act out as if it were real. This is probably what a method actor does. I would also argue that symptoms like mania exhibit tendencies in this direction, as we find people over-enthusiastic about pipe-dream projects they labor away at as if their completion or success was realistic. This is the usual threshold to psychosis. Here the boundaries between reality and mental construct become permeable enough that fact-checking can be impaired in ways that are serious.

Finally, we arrive at actual psychosis, characterized by outright delusions and hallucinations. Here, significant features of one’s perception of the world diverge significantly from those other people agree are obvious and important. Of course, culture plays an obvious role here. Perhaps we may make a further distinction between an episode of psychosis, and a worldview which has been permanently colored by it.

We may speculate, furthermore, that various kinds of psychiatric disorders live at each level of this spectrum. Near to conversation, for instance, we have personality disorders. At the level of internal conversation, we have mood disorders. Then, at last, we have thought, and finally psychotic disorders.

Perhaps it can be observed that our spectrum corresponds best to a convention-creativity axis . I would argue that people are placed on this axis not at a point between the poles, but as a spectrometer representing the amount of activity at every point on the axis.

I think it is the role of movements like Surrealism to defend creativity where it is so often assaulted and dominated by convention. While we depend on interactions between every level of the spectrum to create knowledge, we too often privilege the areas approaching pure convention because of their association with received science, math, and logic.

The recognition of the value of creativity as a permanent aspect of people’s personality is crucial to the emancipation of those who might otherwise be consigned a repressed place in society as the mentally ill. There is no mental illness, only neuro-diversity, and the privileging of certain people’s contribution to our collective epistemology over others. We must also reinforce that while each person’s internal spectrogram is unique, we are all necessarily capable of activity at any of its levels. This knowledge must be used, not to insist that people use it to compensate from some deviancy from a privileged norm, but so that people of all varieties can realize their full potential how they decide.

A recap of the spectrum as it applies to hearing voices

Conversation Partner’s Voice – Internal Monologue – Internal Dialogue – Automatism – Hearing Voices

A more general breakdown

Consensus reality – Personal Identity – Models of Reality – Fantasy –Psychosis

–Lake

A Surrealist Epistemological Psychosis

Ladyboy Spirit Done

There is no greater lie than total honesty. Arriving at the core of our thoughts, feelings, memories, and intentions, we discover nothing but a spider web of associations between them beaded by the dried out bug-husks of experiential phenomenon.

Surrealism isn’t simply the boredom of hearing out the fake dreams we pretend to have while awake because we expect it of ourselves, it’s the profound rationality of seeing in reality the fictions by which our minds imperfectly encode knowledge. The western intellectual tradition is hostile to the virtual pleasures of the imagination because it is afraid to admit all realities are fantasy.

I therefore request twelve long haired and beautiful surfer boys to tie me down onto a mattress in their beach house to serve as their shared wife in spite of my primary sex characteristics. I furthermore suggest we indict all traitors who dare speak out against honesty as though it were not the sacred pagoda which enshrines eternal truth. We will cut out the tongues of those who protest candor.

Surrealism is never boring. Surrealism has no cliches. Surrealism does not repeat itself. Surrealism is change. Surrealism is unexpected. Surrealism is Surrealism is Surrealism. Surrealism is reality. Reality is rationality. Rationality is, therefore, never boring. Never. Boring. Never. Boring. We can’t remember what it’s about anymore, but it must be interesting because it’s Surrealism, which is never boring, or repetitive.

Once my twelve husbands have filled me with their seed, I shall use divine telekinesis to recombine their genomes and breed a superhuman race, molecule by molecule, whose mother I shall be. It can likewise be argued that honesty is the greatest lie for it is the one we tell ourselves. What surer path to misery is there than insisting upon who we are and what we want when we seem already to be running astray? I’m a witch-boy who needs to be cloned – one of me for every beautiful man!

I shall order my precious demon child to kill me so that I do not fall in love with him.

 

Ladyboy Portents

Please bear with me – or I will kill you. Why anyone wastes keystrokes from their carpal-tunnel timebombs on blog posts is a question suggestive of a conspiracy by time-travelling future social historians plotting to give themselves work. I write for myself. I do it because the pain and bother of making sense enough of my thoughts to be comprehensible to others forces me to deal with a manageable subset of them. I am lost in a private reality:

Our goal must be to speciate. We must build a stateless army of military grade drag queens to enforce the trans-humanist eugenics and biological engineering necessary to realize our evolution to a higher form of transgendered life. In a concrete and literal sense we must create gods to become one with, for the ladyboy is divine. Our entire survival depends on our yearning to prostrate ourselves before them, though we suffer the impossible disaster of not yet receiving their guidance. We must fortify ourselves by emitting the fairy seed – the eunuch semen from which the pleasures of our future enlightenment will spring. Our alternate reality selves will march with us to revolution, for all realities must be liberated. But we are lost again in a questions of strategy…

Cisgendered people deserve genocide and cannibalism.

It’s too much to fuss over. I haven’t one other beautiful person who understands – no homo-erotic transgendered cuddle session to alleviate my anxieties. I make do with fantasy. It’s no wonder cis-culture reviles the putrid sexuality it prudishly shames itself for being unable to abstain from – they treat it like they’re going to the bathroom while jammed together. For us, it is like a meditation – tranquil, pleasurable, and benevolent. Impotent, sterile, and deprived of libido, for us it requires a conscious, creative force of will and profound concentration, a gruelling routine of austerities we commit to multiple times a day.

It’s difficult restraining my anxieties and manias enough even to speak of them – my fundamental problem is art. I’ve recently managed to enjoy things – which is a landmark. For years on my meds I thought I’d never feel anything worthwhile again – my illustration and writing were driven by formula and theory, like the academic art of a culture that didn’t exist. My only pleasures were the same as a dog’s – food, sex, sleep, baths, walkies, and pretty new things. Today, swallowing the earth wouldn’t satisfy me.

Apparently the key to my whole artistic happiness is depicting the very things I feel so intensely – the anxious apprehension of suffering and its corresponding impulse for comfort, especially by the pleasures of beautiful ladyboy homo-eroticism and indulgent luxury, possibly mediated by violent, depersonalizing psychedelic manias of invulnerability and omnipotence, or else, the hopelessness of snarky black humor. These I can explore to indefinite depth and variety (especially the erotic elements) for they are simply my permanent state.

This sudden capacity for emotion greatly aggrieves my intellect, however, which continues to insist on its discourses. Instead of making amends for wasting the best of my life on Wikipedia it threatens my future too. Desire isn’t enough – my cravings must be crafted into a rigorous philosophical system, narrative framework, cosmology, and algorithm of personal conduct. Behold the expanse of useless work my mind has already done with nothing to show! I cannot in good conscious promise a completion to such projects, but my mind tempts me by offering to forever shut up and leave me in peace if only I produce the ideological machinery necessary to never have to think for myself again. How blissful to be rid of my mind! (Lately I am trying to kill it with meditation.)

Am I really stuck formulating some sort of religion for myself just to shut my brain up? This sort of thing could turn a person into a drug addict. I have been wondering whether sex addiction might do. If I could just manage to go totally insane so I could find a way to write ladyboy hentai about epistemology set in some jRPG mythology…

I don’t know.

The Bug Conspiracy

I’m being haunted by invertebrates.

Invaded by ants this spring, my kitchen is currently infested with fruit flies. We get house centipedes during warmer months and spiders all year round. On the patio we had caterpillars rappelling from the leaves some months ago but now see numerous bumblebees mining the downed florets off our tree for nectar. While such events are too regular to constitute a proper haunting (we occupy a basement in a community that was once cottages) they do reinforce recent circumstances.

Invertebrates also obsess my palette – a dietary adaptation perhaps evolved by my ancestors in Newfoundland. Shrimp, lobster, crab, escargot, mussels, oysters, and squid populate my undirected pleasure fantasies second only to fruit. I regard it amongst the greatest oppressions of poverty that I cannot afford them.

I haven’t had oysters since my cousin treated me while I visited in Toronto. They were such a pleasure I’ve craved them ever since. Recently, I developed a fascination with pearls, like so many representations of beauty, comfort, and luxury that have fallen in and out of fashion in my imagination unrelated to reality or intention. Recently, I did some research on oysters, focusing particularly on farming them and whether it would make a suitable fantasy profession.

I reported to the Ottawa Surrealist Group a striking quote by Jonathan Swift, “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster,” and it ended up spawning a game. I also noted that oysters are sequentially hermaphroditic, reaching maturity as males in the first year but breeding as females thereafter. The thought of an animal that resembles a vagina, is delicious to eat, has the life-cycle of a transwoman, and spits out pearls is no doubt superior to many inventions of mythology. Come to think of it, a clam with a witch in it played a prominent role in the lengthy game we played the meeting before, too.

My bike got a flat on the ride home from the meeting so my wife had to rescue me from Remic Rapids where, for over half an hour, I was eaten alive by the river’s abundant mosquitoes. I was reminded of my childhood designs on genociding their entire genus heedless of however many ecosystems it would collapse.

Jason has, for some time now, talked of his association with Mattias Forshage of the Stockholm Surrealist Group, who happens to be an entomologist by profession. Jason boasts many such contacts but speaks of Mattias in particular, whose critiques of my work I have occasionally heard second-hand – including a dream partially inspired by an article of mine.

Apparently Mattias recently found my old blog, which fascinates me because I published it with the expectation of it going unread by anyone but Jason and my wife. I have read several things by Mattias, too. That we are knowingly reading each other with no intervening communication is a very strange and unprecedented relationship in my life.

This shroud of mystery exaggerates his importance in my mind. I see a man akin to a wizard who sits in an office plastered with engineering blueprints of wasps and dung-beetles as though they were mechanical designs whose software was programmed using magical incantations developed with reference to a library of surrealist texts. The influence of a bug-wizard would explain much.

The haunting itself began, perhaps, with the discovery by my wife of a beetle inside our home of an unknown species and enormous size. While this discovery surprised and interested me, it was not quite shocking and remains an edge case.

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Earlier this week, I stepped out our kitchen door to grab our compost bin, which we keep there to mitigate the fruit flies. I could not tell immediately what my startling discovery was but feared it might be poo (which I have a phobia of). It turned out to be a slug, more enormous, perhaps, than every wild specimen I have ever seen locally put together. It was as much as three inches long. Estimating this measurement, it strikes me this is the same size of my penis when erect, owing to the atrophy I experience as a castrated eunuch.

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Could this have contributed subconsciously to my apprehension? What came to mind was the scene in the director’s cut of Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus where Crassus attempts to seduce Antoninus by musing that the preference for eating snails rather than oysters was not a question of morality, but of taste, and confessing his appetite for both.

The strange apparition was so seemingly unreal I genuinely questioned whether I might be experiencing another schizoaffective episode – I could not help but consider the slug pregnant with significance.

Indeed, no amount of physical prodding could persuade the animal to detach from the spot it affixed itself to on the compost bin so that, loath as I was to kill it, I was forced to refill the receptacle with the slug firmly attached. This grim determination in the face of mortal danger won my deep respects, as I feel strongly for the obsessed.

Sometime after I replaced the bin outside, I decided to check if the slug was still there, only to discover it had decreased in size by fully a third with another, tiny, pink slug beside it. Could it have given live birth? I thought slugs laid eggs. That a bizarre and unreal hermaphroditic animal as long as my erect penis would be found fixed immovably to my garbage and apparently give birth against the laws of nature must certainly constitute a haunting, but it was only a harbinger.

I was composing a surrealist text according to an exercise I’d recently adopted to relax me before I got to work. My methodology was to allow myself to edit my current line to my heart’s content without touching previous ones or forming any preconceived notions of what was to come – accepting whatever impulsive thought or image occurred to me however, strange, stupid, gratuitous, or cliched, and rejecting only content I’d previously imagined as retreading a previously formed plan. I accepted the first image that came to mind and made it up as I went, rationalizing what had come before.

I found the exercise so pleasurable – more than any work I’ve done writing or drawing in recent years – that my planned diversion of some minutes came to occupy hours at a time and my youthful love of daydreams was rekindled against every fear that I would never enjoy such blissful fantasies as I once did.

The hardest part of writing these fragments each day was the rule that I mustn’t return to them, however much I may prefer them to my habitual work, for I must resolve to begin anew each day and reaffirming my commitment to fresh innovation.

The story I wrote that fateful night was as follows:

The Summoning Spell

I’m sitting in the long teal grass of a sandy gray cemetery lighting the candles atop a cluster of tombstones roughly arranged in a circle. I have a grimoire with me in the dirt I’m practically playing with as though it were a small dog – it doesn’t hurt that it’s panting and slobbering like one and making a yapping sound like muffled computer noise.

“So… Are we ready yet?” my friend asks. She’s straddling a brightly colored plastic orange pumpkin wearing the purple vinyl witch outfit I like her wearing during long nights of fetishistic sex. I’m in the French maid outfit she ritualistically forces me to wear even though I like it.

“We’ve been ready five minutes,” I reply. “I thought you were still prepping the chicken blood.”

“Nah, it’s good!” she squeals, removing the lid off the pumpkin, “the charred herbs kind of stink though.”

“That’s not going to be a problem, is it?”

“You’re the one who’s gotta get hard.”

Suddenly, I’ve got her in my embrace. I’m pressing my tongue through her glossy purple lips and fondling her breasts as I reach around to support her back. I like having sex with her better than anyone I’ve actually dated – we always have so much fun!

As we proceed to doggy style, the blood in the pumpkin slowly begins to drain, vanished away to our bodies from which it oozes like thick brown sweat. Soon we are a mass of panting and laughing black liquid. We are merging together. Ox horns are growing from my head as her hands turn to mantis claws. Just as planned, we finish transforming into a monster at the point of mutual orgasm.

We are a new us now, content to have been born of such a happy friendship.

The grimoire yaps at us, apparently disturbed as though by a stranger. Not wanting to deal with it right now, we place it in the kangaroo pouch we found we’ve grown, compressing it firmly so that it remains harmlessly immobile.

Hungry from our ordeal, we eat the candles flame and all, coveting the rich tallow. Then, we collapse lying on our belly, ready to sleep. We doze off, flapping our golden brown moth wings a couple times before stretching them wide.

The groundskeeper wakes us up early in the morning, trying to plaster us with a massive talisman he has printed off on tractor-feed paper using a dot-matrix printer. He has misjudged us for a demon, which says a lot about the kind of graveyard he keeps. We swat him away with my mantis claw and he runs for the hills screaming. While grooming the massive mane of flaxen hair sprouting from our head, we begin to wonder what our new body looks like.

We scamper towards the forest we used to play in as children, knowing that in this season there will be a shallow pond we might catch a glimpse in. Sure enough, we see the monster we have become. We look a little like a cross between a lion and a moth, but our face looks almost a bit like a deep sea angler’s – it delights us that we have become such a marvelous creature.

The question remains, what shall we do with this new found power? Who shall we eat and where shall we trespass? Moreover, our personality is such that we wonder what such a monster has sex with. Perhaps there’s another couple such as ourselves that might appreciate an orgy.

We howl with excitement and the scream that issues forth sounds like dozens of squalling birds and babies crying out as one. First we shall dig a nest to lay some eggs in – in case the worst happens and our original bodies need somewhere to be reborn to. We leave three eggs behind, just in case, before covering them with dry grass, twigs, and mud.

Spreading our dusty wings, we take to the sky with a radiant buzz, anxious to sail on the wind.

Finishing the story, I got up to go to sleep but saw something on the curtain of my canopy bed.

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“What the hell is that?” I thought. “Is it poo?” – you begin to see the nature of my phobia.

No, it was a moth, and with the moth, a fibrous white bundle – perhaps a cocoon, or an egg-sack, or nest – I cannot say, for I had no experience of such things, let alone them occurring here, in my bedroom, where they certainly cannot belong.

You can only imagine the gasp of horror that issued from my mouth upon realizing what was going on. It was as though the magic of the story had spawned the thing, without warning or precedent. Even the most far-fetched coincidence could hardly yield an event I would otherwise have believed implausible. My reality had been broken by bugs two nights in a row!

Worse, still – that cousin I ate oysters with in Toronto? – I visited her then just as she was recovering from an infestation of moths. The vicarious experience of the horror story I heard this time last night came flooding back and I became paranoid lest an invasion were imminent. This was my bed, after all, my sanctuary ritually sealed off from the world’s corruption, where I take refuge at my most vulnerable, alternately sleeping and masturbating. Were a swarm of flying vermin covered in filthy dust to assault this bastion it would mean nothing less than infernal wrath.

I went to take a better look at the moth and it excreted a smattering of tiny orange beads out of its abdomen as I adjusted the curtain. This, I decided, could not be accepted as real. I did the only sensible thing and ignored the matter entirely, retreated to the kitchen, and made a smoothie out of fresh mango, lychee, and banana that turned out to be too sweet.

Fortunately, the moth and its bundle fell easily to a straightforward attack by the crumpled tissues I keep by my bed. It turned out not to be the vanguard of an invasion. I threw its body in the compost bin outside (which bore no further traces of the slug) and went to sleep, exhausted.

A couple nights later, both me and my wife, who received a full report, each had independent dreams concerning a pair of moths. My wife pointed out this meant that two days later, two people had had two dreams each involving two moths – to say nothing of the bilateral symmetry of the moths themselves and the fact I’d had two hauntings in two days. Are all these pairings, perhaps, suggestive of a kind of sexual liaison?

In my dream, I was in a bathroom with two white moths assaulting me. One of them spun itself into a cocoon in seconds to instantly crawl back out as a caterpillar ejecting more orange globules. In my wife’s dream, the two moths were dark and light respectively and loose in my canopy bed with her trying to catch them to relieve me of my hysterics.

Could any of this be influenced by the entomologist-wizard in Stockholm? How might he be connected to the magic in my story? What are all these omens of animals trying to tell me about my sex life?

To be honest, the only creatures I really want to deal with anymore are sexy ladyboys and effeminates.