The Roots of My Fiction


I write. I write dark fiction. It portrays a world (whatever one may say about its quality) where humans are at the mercy of mysterious, largely malevolent forces that operate throughout human existence. It portrays a world in which humans are trapped – conscious beings forced to engage in repetitive tasks in order to stay alive and forced to live in consciousness of their ultimate demise. It portrays a world in which the fully aware human being is fully alone in this malevolent, murderous existence. The cosmos is mostly cold, dark, and empty. This small pocket of life we know of will one day succumb to the cold, the darkness, the emptiness that characterizes the vast majority of our universe. The fully conscious human being searches in vain for explanations, for any ultimate meaning or purpose. The fully conscious human being, if he does not succumb to the temptation to turn away, experiences a world where the concept of a spiritual realm reveals itself to be a cheaply made defense against the reality of our experience. It is a world where god (and all of the comforts that go along with that myth) is dead and those of us raised with such a belief are left anchorless and reeling in a topsy-turvy universe.
My dreams, driven by the suppressed anxieties of the day and revealed to me with full force at night, take me to such places. Loss is permanent. The past and all that seemed good in it is irretrievable. I am left waiting in a darkened parking lot at 3:00 a.m. It is cold. I am alone and know I shall always be alone. This becomes my reality, a reality that at one time I did not know. Now, I do. You cannot unknow what you have come to know. Connection with another has become an impossibility. The world is a distorted place, an existential prison from which I shall never escape – perhaps even in death. There are no adequate explanations for anything of real importance. I go through the motions and see all around me going through the motions – soulless, hopeless. Isolated. Yearning for the old illusions.
The forces that govern our lives – the really important ones . . . The ones that send us in this direction rather than that. The ones that make us this kind of person rather than another. The ones that shatter our world, that come out of nowhere like a lightning bolt, that force us to confront the predicament of conscious survival in a world that will murder us. These are unfathomable. For these, there is no explanation. These forces are arbitrary and capricious, laughing in the face of our reasoning consciousness – like the gods of yore. Except that people once believed those gods could be propitiated. They can’t. We can only endure their tortures. And even the delights we experience torture us for we know that we will lose them. Like Kafka’s hapless protagonist in The Trial, we are being judged, accused of a crime that has not been revealed to us, found guilty based on standards that are completely hidden from us. Existence is not characterized by anything that humans would recognize as justice. Despite science’s talk of “laws.”
We are flies buzzing around the heads of annoyed gods who are out to smash us.
The best that can be said about human existence is that it is strange, and therefore sometimes interesting – when the terror of its strangeness is not completely overwhelming.


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