The Mud

As you extricate yourself from the muddy mind of infancy, you find yourself at the foot of a path that extends far out before you. There is still mud in your head, and you feel confident the journey will be easy for one as strong as you. As you wipe the mud- the sodden flesh of the Earth- from your eyes, you see that the path ahead splinters into infinitessimal tributaries.

One path leads to a louche lizard Leonard Cohen life of lust and lies. Another leads to a million copies of a billion pages holding a trillion words, a place in the pantheon. Another, to the blessed relief of insanity; or the agonised organised tedium of clubs, pubs and parties; or voyages across deserts and lakes, atop mountains, below the ground in vast cathedral caves. One path leads to the dominion of the monster who would devour you; another, to the bliss of blistering summer sun soothed by a subtle breeze; or disaster, dishonour, death. 

You freeze, paralysed by the fear that you will make the wrong decision, as you did so often in the mud. Aeons pass by, and the world keeps on hurtling around in the void. 

You freeze, and watch helplessly as the paths are systematically destroyed around you. You freeze, held in the grip of the cold realisation that you were wrong all along, you are wrong now, and wrong is all you can ever be. A path is burnt, another flooded, another crushed to agonising death under a glacier. One path becomes a sinkhole and collapses, a cascade of mud and exhausted hope; another is strangled by a lifetime of brambles and twisted vines; and still you stand, frozen; and still you cannot choose a path, until all the paths are gone. 

And you find yourself, lost and bitterly cold, and all alone. Alone because the world kept on hurtling around in the void, and left you behind. So you do the only thing you can do. You try to claw your way back into the mud, back into the memory of what you once thought you were. Hard mud, softened only by pathetic sobbed tears, clings to the quicks of your nails, and earthy grit floats like Loki in your spit, mocking you as you claw at the earth with bleeding fingers. You bury yourself in that bitter, odorous soil, only to find yourself suffocating in loss, and regret, and thick thick mud.