When entering the Gorge, leave behind all preconceptions. Let yourself be carried off on a stream of consciousness that tickles the heavens as readily as it grinds down stone.

The Slough: Dead For A Long Time

[Cont’d from Part 1] … A slough oh so green and inviting when observed from a bird’s-eye view, but be foolish enough to approach it and the phrase ‘land in trouble’ assumes real meaning.

The smell should tip you off, it reaches up high to the heavens, so yes, you’d expect no one of sound mind to get close.

But the mind is a curious thing, our spirit exploratory, and the makeup of the bog tempting. One cannot help oneself, has to check for oneself. Get a little closer. Observe and learn.

Meanwhile, outside of the metaphor, in real time, the weed-and-vector insists that the damage cannot be undone, and he seems to know what he’s talking about. He looks clean, has an effortless way about him, terribly convincing, his smile a sign of goodwill, his outstretched hand a gesture of friendship. He wants to buy you dinner, or a drink, or time for your time. He wants to save you the effort and resources, if not your own skin, he says. No need to go fixing what is likely to cause more damage. Better stay put and enjoy today’s privileges, make plans based on today, and look after your own. He nods his head and points to a bar, a restaurant, a sports game, shaking his head in disapproval when you hesitate.

‘Leave the damage be,’ he insists, ‘what’s done is done. Focus on the future and the future will come to you. Don’t go chasing after the past and miss your chance at seizing tomorrow.’ He speaks well, he knows how to turn a phrase and swing you to his side. His eyes shine, but if you observe closely they’re greedy and damp, beholden to pain. Artificially enlarged to carry out conversations, they now convey trust, or try to, and they’re effective for the most part (he knows how desperate we are to be shielded from harm, made to feel special), but his hands are sweaty, his heart cold, dead for a long time. If you lean close you’ll hear a hiss under his breath, the fizzle of his rotting constitution. He’s processing life, feeding off it as he speaks, sniffing out more, his snout the slough that swallows all. He needs lively people, preferably young, feeds on them, can’t get enough of them, their energy sustains him like blood a vampire. The fresher the better.

Adults will do, too, of course, in fact, whatever moves. Anything will do. Fueled by the destruction of others, by the submission of everything he embraces, he seeks out livelihoods, life to crush and nibble, substrate through which to fester. He is the slough himself, and the slough is he, they are one, they and those who declaim ‘no, don’t go looking for trouble in places you shouldn’t.’

The rot that eats through the living fabric of this world has an agenda, and it relies on lulling us into contentment …

Part 3 to follow

NB: This is an experimental postmodernist neogothic abstract piece — draft 1