unwavering sadism. A man, a creature, a twisting of the two. At other times, it became a contest between two entities, as I felt the pain clearly in two different regions; I was merely a battleground, an unfortunate and innocent bystander as forces of evil fought each other beneath the contours of my face. And then they would join forces, conspire, like two miners picking away at the soil, looking for the same gem that they will never find though I desperately want them to find it.
At times, the demon in my ear was clearly a masculine force, brutal, muscular, sadistic. In a feverous delirium the pain suddenly erupted into a feminine goddess, a Kali or Medusa; vengeful, furious, beautiful, horrible – the pain became feminine when it approached its zenith. Why this should I happen I cannot say; only that it was unmistakable and totally real, arising from some place other than my conscious mind, some place other, it felt, than myself.
Later the pain turned mechanistic, singular, like a clock ticking, a fixed point in space, an eternally and perfectly regular pulse of pain. There was no reason, no passion, no enemy. It was like a law of nature, like time itself, and I began to accept it with resignation, which, had I been coherent, I might have realized indicated the pain was beginning – with agonizing caution – its slow descent.
Late in the afternoon, as every single of the over 60 days I spent on Arambol beach, the sun began its slow and perfect assent through clear skies towards the unbroken ocean horizon. Most days the haze turned the sun into an awe inspiring and fierce orange globe, which you could stare it in wonder when it was still far from setting.
I went for walks along the beach at all hours of the night, screaming at the ocean and pounding my fists into the sand, clutching and throwing, burying my face, sand in my hair and in my mouth, writhing like an animal, crying and begging for the dam to release inside my ear, angry, despairing, humbled, pleading, confrontational, utterly pathetic. Weak.
The pain took on many terrible forms. At times these appeared simply as turnings of my imagination, ways to pass the tortuous minutes where no thought outside the pain was possible. They also took on the weight of drugged induced hallucinations; they seemed real, they still do. You can look at an apple on a table and think confidently “That is real.” I think about the pain and the personalities that it manifested, and I think somehow it is more real than the apple on the table because it lived inside of me, enslaving me, becoming me.
Much of the time it was a malignant force, a simple demon eating at he inside of my skull, digging its teeth with