The Only

I’ve come to think of the source of the impulses I feel from Iaon as The Only. I cannot tell if The Only is a person, or something else. It feels like it could be a person.  The thoughts, if that’s what they are, aren’t clear clear enough. They’re more like…impressions. Intimations. Intuitions. I’ll be minding my own business, perhaps stirring a pot of pasta sauce, when, how do I put this, it’s like my consciousness gets nudged over a bit. I’m still aware of stirring the pot. My senses don’t appear to be dulled. But it’s at though there were a pressure, as against the most ephemeral of bubbles, a presence to the mind as a phosphene is to vision. It’s nothing at all like daydreaming, where I slip away from the moment to moment with the impressions appearing to unfold from the inside.

This is definitely external to any self of which I have sense.

And I’m starting to feel mad.

It’s been months now. I don’t know if I could pinpoint exactly when and how it started any more than I could get exactly when I started noticing the symptoms of the last cold I had. Like stuffiness in a nose, there was no pressure on my awareness, then there was, subtle, gradual, like the growth of a child before your very eyes.

I’ll confess, I’m the cautious sort. Some might call it paranoid. Or maybe, more generously, that I have a tendency to hypochondria, except I never come down with the things I come to fear. I first blamed the pressure on a cold that always felt like it was just coming on but wouldn’t quite start showing signs. The pressure does wear on one after bit, so maybe that was just weariness, that bone-tiredness right before the flu. Nary a sniffle.

And there weren’t thoughts, at first. Just presence, pressure. “Could it be…?” I occasionally wondered, but no. It’s best not to speculate about that.

But how does one know when one is going mad? I feel like Horton, except there are no Whos writ small. The pressure is a cosmos writ large. A whole other where and when.  That’s one thing.

This is another thing entirely.

Have you ever sat in a room with someone that was so angry that even if your back were turned, you could still feel that anger radiating like waves across the room? Or their anxiety or fear or alarm? I could as well ask about joy and love and appreciation, or even sorrow or remorse, but those are beside the point. There’s something comforting about those those good perceptions, something sympathetic about the sorrowful, however it is we feel them. There’s nothing comforting or sympathetic about this sensation at all. It’s edgy and jangly and uncomfortable. It puts me on edge, always feeling like the other shoe is about to drop, except there’s nothing in my humdrum life that’s up in the air. I think.

Maybe I shouldn’t jinx myself.

It’s gotten to the point where I couldn’t always tell if the pressure/presence had abated and gone away, or if there’s periods now where I’ve become inured to it and it has to push harder to register. It was just a few weeks ago that I realized for certain this was no cold, no tumor. I was reaching down to straighten up a stack of Skinny Puppy CD’s that had toppled over when the pressure/presence registered, and suddenly. It was…loud, but not in a way that I could hear. It was alarming. Alarming. Alarm. Alarmed. It was alarmed. No. It’s so weird trying to put words to this now. It was needful. Urgently, immediately needful, the way a buzzing doorbell is needful when some jackass leans on it to hurry you to the door, in the way of a crying baby, or a toilet on the verge of overflowing.

It was urgent. It was needful. But it didn’t feel afraid.

What it did feel was…alone.

Image credit:

Derived from digital artwork uploaded by user funwithyarn at under license CC0 Public Domain.


Author: Rocky Mountain Bog Monster

Lifelong student with interests a mile wide and an inch deep. Autodidact. Pedant, hopefully of the slightly more pleasant sort. Sharer of things learned along the way. Lately of a creative bent.

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