A beast lives in me.
It is a monstrous entity. Disguised, camouflaged, it lies undetected and unannounced, this monster that lives in me.
He is ghastly and inhuman but because of this dark spiritual void, he is also very human. He is blood and bones and sinew and there is nothing lofty about him. He lives in me and I keep him wrapped tightly but his strength is formidable and he bellows forth when least expected. His strength is will and persistence but most of all, it is surprise. He lurks within my soul like a demon lying in wait.
He is a dark and morbid force. He has lived since man first walked the earth.
He is primitive and elemental and he has not been carried in lightly by the graceful winds of evolution; this is a kinder, gentler civilization but he is not kind, he is not gentle, and his intrinsic being is at odds with everything this quaint world stands for.
He is furtive and feasts on light. He steals light and joy from my life. He is a thief. I can never counter him for long because he wants to boast his wretched vision which he does in spite of my protests. He steals my light and consumes my happiness and peace. His sustenance is my deflated joy…he leaves a trail of sorrowful crumbs in his wake.
Without him, I am weak.
With him, I am evil.
I welcome him but I despise him. He kills all the pleasantly nice things in this life but leaves my battered bones laying in a heap while he runs off and cowers in the shadows while he plans his next devastating return. He confuses my soul. He blurs the vision of what I hold dear and shields my eyes when depravity shows itself.
The beast tells me I am happy when I am sad, and that I’m empty when I’m happy.
He’s a cold-hearted beast who mimics my life and draws down the blinds of despair and leaves me to stew in my own acidic regrets. The beast cannot live in polite society, because society isn’t. The beast is everywhere. The civilized imprison him, and the debauched make room for him.
He springs into my life, fashions a nice dose of self-inflicted torment, and laughs as I try to make sense of things and right the ship again. My life is an endless cycle of hungering for the beast’s usurpation of my existence followed once again as I spend time wiping the soiled slate clean after he disappears.
I wish the beast looked like a beast. I wish he had horns and webbed hands and scaly skin. If this were the case, I might find solace in the physical disconnect, his otherness. But he looks like me. He is me. I am indistinguishable from him. This is the tragedy.
To shun the beast is to shun myself, but to embrace the beast is to embrace myself.
The beast is timeless.