It occurred to Neena there and thenabouts that she was traversing the neural byways of a diseased mind. If not her own mind, then the mind of someone she’d somehow stumbled into. Someone whose brooding fantasies formed a kind of Sadean paradise of horrors, a metropolis malignant whose avenues multiplied at a rate beyond the craft of any cartographer to manipulate, novelist to organize, or law enforcement agency to control—a fabulated, unbalanced city of a sick and, perhaps, even hallucinating brain. Here ultra-violent sexual nightmares proliferated in a medusan tangle of blind alleys and at the end of each twisted thoroughfare awaited a sacrificial slaying.
Perhaps, she was trapped inside the mind of a serial killer, cast in the role of idealized victim, the “star” of two dozen or so compulsively elaborated fantasies whose orgasmic climax was always the mathematical equivalent of murder. There were times, it seemed, as if a certain half-familiar scenario would abruptly dead-end, as if construction in that direction had suddenly encountered some unsatisfactory and unforeseen condition, some impossible obstacle to completion that not even dream-logic could overcome, and this deflating failure of the imagination, this mental coital interruptus had dictated that another, more promising detour be chosen instead.
Or, perhaps, he’d simply cum.
She began to seriously consider that there was, in fact, no minotaur at the center of this festering maze, no ultimate bristling horror to confront or escape, but, perhaps, something even worse, an endless series of penultimate horrors, as if the aggregate, the entire wormy-squirmy and multiplying mass, taken whole, without conclusion or destination, yes, as if the non-act, the very limbo of being hopelessly lost minus map or clue were in itself the minotaur to which barefoot and bedecked with flowers like a bride she’d been bequeathed to be devoured by uncertainty from within forever.
At this point, let us note, Neena felt a paralyzing dread of turning her anointed head, of looking back at the old woman who, up to now, was pushing her wheelchair through this infernal hospice of the damned, for it seemed to her that something even worse were propelling her through these ice-cold corridors than a cackling, mad, undead and cancer-ridden crone and the fact that she couldn’t imagine what that might be not only functioned “as if it were” a paralyzing agent but, literally, in actual fact, was the cause of a catastrophic trauma of the relevant vertebrae that made turning her head impossible, that rendered such paralysis a reality. You might say it was an injury such as one might suffer by hurtling through the windscreen that normally separated us from the surrounding landscape, serving as a necessary barrier between the so-called imaginary and the so-called real.
Perhaps, and, indeed, we might as well consider all the possibilities inasmuch as we still have the time (and, ironically, while awaiting the execution of a death-sentence, one seems to have all the time in the world, close to an eternity, the mind moves so fast; certainly, one has all the time necessary, which is much the same thing as eternity, relatively speaking, when all is said and done; but is it ever? Done, we mean.), that there is no one pushing the wheelchair at all; perhaps it is self-propelled or remote-controlled; perhaps it is fueled by Neena’s own fear and apprehension, her panic and hysteria, which properly harnessed, provide an alternate source of energy, inexhaustible as the fear of death. Entire nations running on the terror of its citizenry…think about it, is it really so far-fetched, after what we’ve seen, considering what we know already?
But we digress, and yet, if truth be told (the truth? We chuckle, shake our heads, and wash our hands. Send in the next prisoner, please…), we will continue to digress, for what else is there but digressions and, all the moreso, when there’s nothing properly to digress from?
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