Painted the house, fixed the switch in the upstairs bathroom, and made a tiny fountain. Weekend accomplished!
Friday, July 17, 2020
From the last chapter. The narrator has returned to London.
My trouble took the strangest form. I could not persuade myself that the men and women I met were not also another Beast People, animals half wrought into the outward image of human souls, and that they would presently begin to revert,—to show first this bestial mark and then that. But I have confided my case to a strangely able man,—a man who had known Moreau, and seemed half to credit my story; a mental specialist,—and he has helped me mightily, though I do not expect that the terror of that island will ever altogether leave me. At most times it lies far in the back of my mind, a mere distant cloud, a memory, and a faint distrust; but there are times when the little cloud spreads until it obscures the whole sky. Then I look about me at my fellow-men; and I go in fear. I see faces, keen and bright; others dull or dangerous; others, unsteady, insincere,—none that have the calm authority of a reasonable soul. I feel as though the animal was surging up through them; that presently the degradation of the Islanders will be played over again on a larger scale. I know this is an illusion; that these seeming men and women about me are indeed men and women,—men and women for ever, perfectly reasonable creatures, full of human desires and tender solicitude, emancipated from instinct and the slaves of no fantastic Law,—beings altogether different from the Beast Folk. Yet I shrink from them, from their curious glances, their inquiries and assistance, and long to be away from them and alone. For that reason I live near the broad free downland, and can escape thither when this shadow is over my soul; and very sweet is the empty downland then, under the wind-swept sky.
When I lived in London the horror was well-nigh insupportable. I could not get away from men: their voices came through windows; locked doors were flimsy safeguards. I would go out into the streets to fight with my delusion, and prowling women would mew after me; furtive, craving men glance jealously at me; weary, pale workers go coughing by me with tired eyes and eager paces, like wounded deer dripping blood; old people, bent and dull, pass murmuring to themselves; and, all unheeding, a ragged tail of gibing children. Then I would turn aside into some chapel,—and even there, such was my disturbance, it seemed that the preacher gibbered “Big Thinks,” even as the Ape-man had done; or into some library, and there the intent faces over the books seemed but patient creatures waiting for prey. Particularly nauseous were the blank, expressionless faces of people in trains and omnibuses; they seemed no more my fellow-creatures than dead bodies would be, so that I did not dare to travel unless I was assured of being alone. And even it seemed that I too was not a reasonable creature, but only an animal tormented with some strange disorder in its brain which sent it to wander alone, like a sheep stricken with gid.
Saturday, July 11, 2020
I have learned of [maledicite oliva tortam,] the curse of the Olive Loaf, but only too late. My sleep at night is banished, and my waking sleep day everlasting. Woe is the day I chose Olive Loaf. What hubris was there, that I would choose this accursed deli-meat, challenging the gods that I too was worthy of such ambrosia.
A malignant gloom lurks over all my proceedings. Dark figures peer at me at every corner. The commute is darker, the trucks and cars more threatening, swerving in my lane and riding my bumper, they are like an army of well-coordinated enemies, seeking my life by their bad driving.
Or is it my imagination? Perhaps I am only sick in the mind, but are those little green worms wriggling about up there? Those olive loaf green circles, excreting paranoia into my brain noodles? What difference, fancy or reality? To me they are the same! O cursed deli-meat! I cast thee out!
Oh Olive Loaf! Why did I not shun thee as I have in the past. Oh deli-meats! Why didn’t I choose a less exotic foodstuff? My life is in the balance. I must return to the market and choose a less offensive meat-stuff to appease the gods! Woe! Woe is me!