Friday, October 29, 2010

Fighting Monsters

Halloween's a fitting time to talk about monsters.  I'm not thinking about the ghosts and goblins that emerge from the darkness in October.  Nor am I referring to serial killers, sexual sadists, and perpetrators of genocide, even if, truth be told, these evils have preoccupied my mind all too often.  I'm not addressing a monster of one's own making, like, say, Frankenstein or alcoholism.  I alluded to Friedrich Nietzsche in the last blog.  The full quote is as follows: Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster.  And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.  I used to think that Nietzsche went crazy and wasted away at a relatively young age because he had spent his life fighting monsters like one of the epic Greek heroes he often wrote so much about.  The truth is more prosaic and, well, ignominious.  He quite possibly died from syphilis.

There are more fiendish creatures that haunt the caverns of my disturbed mind.  I cannot slay them with my Ka-bar combat knife.  Bullets, silver or otherwise, have no effect on them.  Gathering a mob of torch-wielding villagers and chasing them down will do no good. No. Wherever my mind roams, they're already there.  They come out mostly at night like the monsters of books and movies, I suppose, but they're lurking about throughout the day too.  They whisper such horrific things into my ears, messages that would sap the life out of me if I were to dwell on them long enough.  I dare not give voice to their words, though I have already done so in this blog here and there.  I will not infect you with their poison like the carrier of a demon seed.  I've fought them all my life, but I think they've finally won.  Now I stand here diminished, teetering on the brink of despair.  That frickin' abyss is gazing into me.  Oh well.  I need to take time out from this struggle with my demons and see the glass half full.  At least I don't have syphilis!