The Eternal War

By Nick Williams, Ireland

 They call me a hobo and a wino and a wet-brain and they laugh at me. They say that I’m loser, a freak. A mental case. They make fun of me. They mock me in my weakness; they pour scorn upon my head. Men in suits sneer at me; they smirk at me – secure in their unassailable superiority. Smartly-dressed women look at me with contempt, if they look at all. I am less than nothing to them. Shit on the pavement means more to them than me. Small children pelt me with filth taken from the over-flowing rubbish bins in the city park. Bits of left-over kebabs, fag packets, dirty tissues, subway wrappers, bits of ice-berg lettuce. Bits of the filth get lodged in my beard and I barely have the strength left in me to brush it out. I barely have the strength left in me to get to my feet and stagger off down the street again. To find somewhere where I will be left in peace. The taunts and insults ringing in my ears. To keep on walking until I find the next place of refuge. Not for the first time it occurs to me – this is no life…

They don’t understand. No one understands. I am no wino, no drooling wet-brain. Or if I am it is because of what I have had to endure. Because of the unimaginable psychic traumas I have suffered. I am one of humanity’s ancient heros – destined to live on from age to age, in some form or other, whether men know me or not. I am a Veteran of the Psychic Wars. Like in the song. Destined to play my part in the Eternal Battle. Destined to contend again and again with the Forces of Darkness that rule this screwed-up world of ours. And remind them that they have not won yet, despite the immense advantage they have gained. Despite their unassailable authority. Despite their absolute dominion of this sorry world.

The last thousand years have not gone well for me. The truth is that the last thousand years have gone very badly for me. Particularly badly. But my time will come, I tell myself. I must be patient and endure the ridicule and humiliation that so often comes my way. I must wait out the weary years. Wait out the weary ages as they creep past. Particularly this one which is a stinker. Particularly this one which I would say is a real low point. The bottom of the barrel. The age of the Machine man.The age of the Micro-man, the age of the Termite-man. The age of the Grey Bureaucrat. Now is not a good time for me. I must keep my head down. Put up with the insults. Await my chance. Await the changing of my fortunes. Wait patiently until my time comes again. Until an ungrateful, uncaring and terminally forgetful humanity needs me once more…

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