|Seeing the Werewolf
The roots of shrubs and small trees clutched the sand like petrified bird talons and beast claws. Broken trees, branches and driftwood were scattered before me and a field of dunes stretched out to the lake. A crust of dirty snow made the crest of the first dune and I saw some wisps of dead grass and seagull feathers.
Picking up a feather, I noticed that I was naked, but it was such a natural nudity that it failed to perturb me. I was more interested in feeling the wind. It slid across the rippled waters of Lake Ontario in brush-stroke sweeps of white and sent hail rattling along the stony shore. My nose was so unnaturally keen the air felt like a rank exhalation from a monstrous ice whale, and in the breath of the ice whale I could smell another warm creature approaching.
It was a man and he was naked. I watched him emerge by an ice-sculptured dune at the shore - a terrible, unexplainable fear rising in me with every step he took. He tossed his shaggy head back, and then he turned and locked eyes with me. His were eyes of blue ice backlit by fire, strange plasma that forced me to lower my gaze to his genitals, which were swollen, blue and frost-crusted. The humiliation felt worse than fear. It was a horrible ape-like thing, being dominated by the power of another man's genitals.
He exploded, his erection and the throbbing of it like a fuse that set off the rest of his body … pulsing lumps, scabs, flowering wounds of open red flesh, his face twisting and graying, eyes shooting fire … the hideous shrinkage and contortion of everything. Yet while the rest of him shrank, his patch of shaggy hair lifted and crawled round every part, and of course he became a wolf.
Or should I say werewolf? – as he was much bigger than your usual wolf, his coat a bright gray, and his eyes full of human intelligence. He loped away along the shore and disappeared in a line of pines that showed darkly in the hail.
Then I awoke, and it was on that day, after the dream, that I went completely mad.
I had a good job in the office of a big pulp and paper firm, but that seemed unimportant. I decided I would never go to work again. My werewolf claw would never again touch a computer and virtual paper.
Instead, I sat on my bed naked and meditated, when never before had I wasted time on things like meditation. Hard blue ice formed in my mind. I realized that God was an icy thing, like Lake Ontario in the dream. You could be a simple thing like ice, just as the gurus said. But even when you're ice, thoughts get in the way, and I found myself looking out the window and wondering why all those people were going to work when they could stay home and be ice.
A man who has vision today will probably be owned by a mega corporation tomorrow. Someone had said that. I saw a world where virtually everyone was wired by computers into corporations; even brain-dead anarchists reborn as zombie intellectual property and aging protesters living in the comfy retirement digs provided by the master online connection. No rebel or radical remained, except perhaps the werewolf. Everyone was scrambling to get big on-line, and to the top of the net. It was a society composed of two classes - celebrities and non-entities, with the non-entities fighting fiercely for publicity. The web was everyone in the word screaming, “look at me, and buy me!” when nobody really had the time to care. I thought about dropping out of it. I thought about swearing never to play the game. Never would I do a song and dance for a crazy world. I thought about it then I thought it was better not to care at all. Now I see and I just don't care at all.
Lenin to Bakunin, all has been erased by the glossy blandness of advertising. I think the werewolf spoke in my mind saying, “This is an announcement. The devil is dead. He no longer has a voice. Yet we can't live without him so we reinvent him as the junk in our back yards.”
It was interesting that a werewolf had come to make such an announcement, and to make it to someone who neither cared about it nor would spread the word. I pondered it as I went out and looked at the many bucksters and panhandlers on Yonge Street. I tried to guess what it would mean to them. If it wasn't rock -'n'- roll renamed, what could it mean to them? If it wasn't rock -'n'- roll blasting what could it mean to me? I sincerely hoped that it wasn't the answer, because I didn't want to be another one of those guys with the answer. I didn't want to beg people to believe in my new commercial truth and me.
I didn't get far before my musing ended. Rounding a corner, I came upon a man with very wolfish features. He was dirty, clothes like rags, eyes with cold fire and yellow fanglike teeth. One look told me he wouldn't let me pass. Disgust was on his face, that and contempt, and he took a swing at me.
He took a swing at the wrong guy. I don't believe in violence and I just don't care. I fought him all the way up the block before the police rushed in. I told them he worked for the werewolf, that the werewolf had a message about the devil, who was maybe trying to get some publicity in order to launch a comeback. Yet the same look of disgust was on the faces of the police, and they arrested me. Seems I hadn't put any clothes on, and it was sort of a cold Halloween for being naked.
I really don't want to bore you with my personal history, not when you can switch to five million web and device channels to get bored by everyone else. In a way I'm hiding behind the werewolf so you won't see me and hate me. Let's just say I've done a lot of stuff since my arrest. Sometimes I run naked in the streets with the werewolf at my side. I've climbed power pylons, buildings and towers while fleeing the police. I lost my girlfriend after I tore her dress off in a shopping mall. Sometimes I meet were people in the street who'll look me in the eye and have sex there and then, without saying a word. Isn't it amazing how words spoil everything? Mostly though, I'm locked up and in isolation.
I have a psychiatrist named Danny. He's a homosexual and somewhat old fashioned and Freudian. Danny likes to tell me I'm gay, too - according to Freud male exhibitionism is a release of suppressed homosexual wishes. A mere technicality I say, since it's women I have sex with mostly, or think I have sex with. The werewolf? - well, it seems that many people have dark dreams and visions just before the onset of schizophrenia.
There is no werewolf, Danny likes to say. The first time he said it he pounded a book on the table for emphasis. An old book by Freud, written back when he was coked out of his mind. Sometimes Danny yells, but he's not really angry - it's only theatrics meant to crack me. I tell him it would be better if he really were angry. Then sometimes he weeps and tells me there really isn't much wrong with me. “Goddamn werewolf!” he says to himself as a lonely and abandoned look comes into his eyes.
Sometimes Danny brings Jimmy in - this is to scare me I figure because Jimmy is permanently locked up. Jimmy used to cover himself with blue and white powders and lay naked, pretending he was dead. He had a mirror on his ceiling. It wasn't really a problem before he started bringing other people in to be dead with him. I tell him to watch it or he'll feel the claws of the werewolf. He does watch it; he calls me one crazy son of a bitch. Jimmy and Danny have both killed their emotions, only Jimmy is more clinically perfect.
Lately I've been seeing the werewolf in alleyways, and he's wild, tearing and worrying at corpses. I've told Danny and now he thinks I'm going to be in alleyways killing people. But I'm not interested in killing people, and what the werewolf does is his own business. It could be that the devil sent him there for failing to bring him publicity. It could be that he's dropped out, or maybe that's where you end up when you can't get on stage or TV or the social net big time. I can't say that I really know.
It is true that I'm different because of the werewolf, but I've never been saner. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the werewolf is for you. I'm just telling you he's there. So don't get scared if you see him, but don't dine with him either. Just remember that tomorrow there will be a perfect world - we'll all be famous and plastic surgery will be a human right. If you were there now, you'd want to be a werewolf . . . or maybe ugly and covered with warts. But hey! Why wait until then when you can do it now?
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