Adam and the Ants

by John Murphy

"What is this shit we've created/ I've never felt so sedated!" cries the man emanating violently from my stereo speakers like projectile vomit; delivering this savage rhyming couplet and tearing down the proverbial walls of deceit with such fiery dissonance and unbridled conviction. The metaphorical vomit being a pleasant burst of anger, compelling me to tear down the murky walls surrounding my lifeless, physical form. Lying motionless on top of my bed in a crucifix stance, I see the four walls as a limit of my imagination, a whole lexicon memory filled with shades of gray, not to mention the fragmentations of vivid nightmares I have experienced while awake. Dream and reality blend almost seamlessly when one has had no sleep for approximately sixty days. It could be more; I haven't kept count for a while! The mere thought of leaving my room to enter the outside world has become increasingly impossible. Not only have my visions been a contributing benefactor to my escalating reluctance to leave my house, but also the window view greeting me every morning with a perpetually reliable presence of giant piss clouds hanging ominously over us all. They effortlessly blend in like one big pulped mass amongst the grey buildings, dead trees and bedraggled streets, where I used to walk wilt fully, feeling so broken and defeated. Day after agonising day I would witness the puppet strings from the sky leading into each terraced house which line the street, controlling every single unaware inhabitant as they simultaneously perform the dance of death. The sixteen shades of grey do very little for self esteem, ego, mood or imagination. Escapism into the colourful and stimulating aesthetics of the where seem like a long, forgotten dream, banished from my mind and forever languishing in the distant past; or perhaps decomposing in a part of my brain full of dust and cobwebs! My piss yellow ceiling (I'm sure that was probably specified on the paint can) provides a more fascinating view where there is movement and life, courtesy of the ants that subsist beneath the surface, appearing one by one from the cracks that lead beyond the boundaries of my mind, all vibrating in unison to the music. They have been my only companions during my extended confinement.

In my formative years I walked with my eyes to the ground, and now I stare the world in the face; but I never know what is staring back at me. All I see is the first signs of decomposition readily apparent in the drones that populate the urine soaked streets. Faces spontaneously morph into swollen, beaten up, blood soaked cabbages with the look of death in their eyes. Staring straight at me, they sneer belligerently and invade my personal space with their unpredictable and menacing behaviour, sometimes even following me with a look of murderous intention. Usually, I would panic and start to run, pushing myself through human obstacles while disregarding any general insults expressed. How they walk aimlessly and expressionless, consuming all they can in the name of acceptance. They hide from the outside world by gazing into phone screens in a trance like state while the manufactured formulaic sounds of the musical master race invade their ears through branded earphones. The underage, painted dolls, who stroll in the cold winter weather scantily clad, mould together in groups like a modernized Hitler Youth " the tacky sexuality successfully sold to them and forced into their disillusioned heads by the puppet sluts of MTV who suck on the infested cock of the vacuous fame game. How brainwashed and clueless they all are, especially if their life's unattainable goal is to eternally struggle for aesthetic perfection just to please the passing strangers! Burning, stinking mounds of flesh force their way through the pours of their skin like an extreme and contagious STD, exposing the ugliness on the inside only for me to see. These are some of the horrific visions I was forced to encounter daily on the busy city streets on my way to work.

In time, I eventually learned to control my erratic reactions in front of people, to mask my true feelings in public. I have observed that most people are too heartless and image-conscious to give a fuck! The only reaction you are likely to rouse out of a passing stranger while you are freaking out over a woman with what looks like diseased cunt for a face munching ravenously on her fast food burger which is pissing with blood, is a hateful eyeball of utter contempt before promptly walking away in disgust to continue his/her daily routine. All you can do is look away from these haunting visual contortions, but it is so hard to avert your eyes from something that is all around you to the point of suffocation. What is worse is that I'm at my loneliest and most vulnerable when I am in a crowded street. After a while, I became impervious to this visual decadence and accepted it as the norm. Ignorance was certainly bliss until one fateful day I learned that familiarity sure does breed so much more than indifference.

It started the day before my prolonged indoor hiatus with my delicate, ugly headset droning a woeful monotone of irritating white noise, akin to that of a squawking ape raping a dying walrus. It dominated my ears and rattled around in that pregnant head of mine. How I wanted to crush the source of this scathing irritation with my hands and jam them violently up my boss's fucking prostate, along with the sales targets, bonus incentives, phony, repetitive phone spiel, pedantic regulations and intrusive product up selling. How I wanted to put my fist through the blurry kaleidoscope of numbers and figures as the dull glow from the monitor created a shit storm behind my eyes. The numbers danced around the screen and had no connection as to what they were about or what they meant. Verbal diarrhoea continued to spill out of my headset. It was hot in here despite the air conditioning. My mouth was like a desert. I was sweating profusely and hyper-ventilating. No matter how much I loosened my tie, it continued to asphyxiate me. The surrounding disingenuous phone voices and general artificial chatter accompanied with a chorus of incessant keyboard tapping were not helping. I finished dealing with another halfwit customer and hung up.

"You cunt, you fucking"..cunt!" I said in a slightly raised and hesitant voice audible enough for a few of my work colleagues in close proximity to hear. Hence hear, not listen. How pale and lifeless they look, like the glowing colour of desire and passion had been sucked out of them, leaving them looking diseased and pallid. Having had enough of this prosaic charade, I threw my headset on the desk in defiance and stormed out while I ignored the questions and comments of the surrounding whores and sycophants. All of a sudden, I felt much better.

A cleansing, crisp sensation washed over and through me, obliterating the shit storm behind my eyes, the anxiety and the rage. I opened the door which contained the stale, artificial air, leading towards the fresh, open atmosphere of the external landscape. The previous numbing sense of barriers and limitations instantly gave way to infinite possibilities of excitement and wonder, a whole other world, a gateway to other galaxies and dimensions with no possible end; the life that exists there and beyond, possibly even another world like ours. Ha, perish the thought! Another giant, malignant testicle poisoning the atmosphere with its toxic jizz is just what we all need.

Colour and life returned to my skin and the textures and hues of the trees that line the entrance of the nearby park were made more prominent by the partially diffused preternatural light from the sky. It was as though I stepped into a masterpiece which had just come to life. The day was warm and bright, uncharacteristic to the dark and bitter winter afternoons, but a welcome change. The green leaves somehow survived the autumn and still hung on to the branches, possessing an omnipotent glow and flourish that was directly in contrast to the usual blank nakedness one sees at this time of year. The warm air passed gently through my head like tranquil waves of vapour, caressing and soothing the contours of my brain. The further I walked away from the institutionalised hell I sentenced myself to, the less I felt like I was hung by the neck until dead. Somehow the rope snapped, and I felt more alive and purified than ever before.

I strolled across the road devoid of cars, arrived at the opposite side and stumbled over a large clump of grass which grew between the cracks of the pavement. The cracks were bursting with moss, weeds, and ravenous plants. Moving between the cracks were lines of ants everywhere, appearing from all directions. This was something I had never observed before. Maybe the repetition and routine had made me so unaware and now this is the first time my clouded mind has been fully intact, and at this moment, I now saw and observed more clearly. How the ants formed thin black lines like overgrown vines all over the pavement with military precision, forming colonies and possibly rebuilding a world that was once taken away from them. Treading carefully, I walked through the entrance of the park in a pathetic attempt to spare the life of the ants, but it was impossible. The path that went through the centre of the open grassy landscape was also covered with vast swarms. Endless lines of them crossed the path horizontally, backwards and forwards, like the whole path was moving. I had no idea where they came from and where they were going. As I continued walking, I started thinking how I was selfishly and unconsciously crushing the ants effortlessly beneath the soles of my shoes. How I was destroying lives and societies so much smaller than I without any remorse. No matter how deeply I went into it, I continued to walk carelessly, gazing at the simple beauty bestowed upon me, trying my best to ignore the severed ear that rested on the backs of what was making the ground move.

The soft glare provided by the sun, minutely obscured by the clouds, stroked the many thousands of subtle shades of green which dominated the park all the way up to the horizon, giving life and tone to the leaves on the trees and vibrancy and shine to the grass and the distant hills. I saw the park sparsely populated with couples; hand in plastic hand, taking a scenic stroll with their painted smiles, enjoying each others company. I saw skinny jeaned students sitting in groups with their acrimonious fashion sense and their unkempt hair enjoying lunchtime cigarettes and sporadic chatter. I saw white collar company oligarchs, talking to their mobile phones whilst adopting a hurried walk. I saw the elderly sat on a bench to pause and reflect on their long history past and a brief remainder of their life yet to come. I saw single mothers taking their toddlers away from brain addling daytime television to put their eyes to more stimulating use, as well as attempting to encourage immobile activity. I saw people from most walks of life, scattershot around the park, sharing this wonderful view and bathing in the seldom seen sunlight, just passing the time. And here I was, floating through the middle of it all, absorbing the perfection in life's little imperfections. I felt cured and soothed after I completed the transition from the drab and murky hues of black and white into the world of colour. Flourishing images appeared in my mind like a collection of beautifully executed photographs, ascending and descending one at a time. Images including flowers blossoming, trees growing, bright aura's forming, male ejaculation and creation of the human form. Interspersed with the pictures of creation were all the negative aspects of flourishing thoughts more in common with death. Volcanoes erupting, bombs exploding, heads blown apart; they possessed a strange beauty I could not fathom. Although the images were visually opposed, they still somehow merged together to create a flourishing oneness of subliminal complexity. The union of the light and the dark formed a pool of disorder combined with purity, which in turn, tugged mercilessly at my thought processes causing a swing motion like a mental pendulum.

Whilst swinging from one extreme to the next, I started to witness someone who surpassed the backdrop I had been admiring. A possibility of connection and shared happiness that would enhance what already amazed me. My keen photographer's eye followed her every move as she walked in my direction, her facial features progressively became more defined with her every timid step. A ray of golden light, courtesy of the sun, kissed the side of her face and gently caressed the end of her nose. Her long, black hair flowed freely in the calm wind and her countenance was slightly wilted, but at peace. Despite the fact she was dressed in black tights, a black short skirt and a black strappy top, she still appeared angelic and innocent. Her eyes appeared to stare somewhere distant, as if she was looking straight through what was in front of her. Slowly, she continued to walk, taking her time and deep in thought like she was leaving the whole world behind her. Combined with the backdrop, this was the most beauteous scene I had ever gazed upon and I had to remember this forever. If only I could grasp her general perception of things. If only I could crawl inside her skin and become a part of her. With that, I got out my camera and discreetly took some pictures of her as though it was some kind of unorthodox procedure of reading her thoughts. Most likely she would not notice my obsessive actions as I was standing at an ample enough distance away from her. I tried to get her and as much of the background within the frame as possible. Scrolling through the pictures they all looked wonderful. I often liked to photograph people without their knowledge. When people know that there is a camera on them, they tend to change their whole body language and simulate an act, turning real life into a tacky performance. This instinctive dishonesty never did interest me. I feel a face paints a picture of truth when they are completely unaware of your close scrutiny.

I started to zoom in and take a few more shots, with emphasis on her facial expression. Such a caring and kind face she had. She looked like a dreamer, a mysterious visionary. I continued to take numerous pictures of her with as much variation of composition I could think of. Zoom in, zoom out, portrait, landscape, a few slanted angles for good measure, and long shots with trees as a background and the suns glare providing a natural, bright aura around her head which accentuated the sheen of her hair. It was all going so well until my camera started making random high pitched buzzing sounds like something was getting chewed up inside. This was a minor cause for alarm as my camera was usually very reliable, but once it began heating up, I was completely bewildered as a sudden and drastic temperature change was utterly unfeasible. I kept tight hold despite the heat as I could not take my tired eyes away from the images that flashed across the screen. I tried punching the menu button, but it proved ineffective. I tapped all the other buttons incessantly but it continued its spontaneous malfunction. The images just kept flashing up on the screen without the required manual prompts. The buzzing sound suddenly shifted from a high pitch to a sound akin to a dying beast, then accelerated to all kinds of pitches and tones as if it was ranting indistinctly at me in some fucked up Morse code. My hands continued to burn due to the camera's continuing, unexplained temperature change; but I sustained my tight hold of the camera as it started to trawl through the pictures I had just taken. Each carefully taken picture automatically appeared on the screen, the sky and the colour of the trees became increasingly more sharp and prominent with each passing photograph. The burning increased to the point of excruciating pain, but I was so entranced by the beauty that was somehow being enhanced by my camera".my camera, which at the time appeared to be alive. What I eventually realised was the fact that I had not been concentrating on the main subject which was the mysterious girl. Momentarily, I had taken my eyes off her to stare at the brightening nature and failed to notice her skin becoming increasingly murky in direct contrast to the escalating omnipotence of the surroundings. Brown vines began to appear on her skin and her expression became more vacant and sinister. My palms still burned, but fear held me in such a vice grip that my eyes could not tear themselves away from the terrifying metamorphosis that was beginning to take place. The next photo showed a face full of lacerations dripping with blood, her sinister glare remained constant. Click"next photo"some skin disappeared, a pulsating bloody wound on her cheek. I could see some of her teeth. Click"next photo"her lips decomposed, her rotted gums on show. Click"brown gunk dripped from her dead eyes. Click"red wound spewing with yellow mucus replaced the eyes. Click"huge ravenous ants appeared all over her face, crawling from inside the eye wound. Click"ants ate exposed flesh quick as a flash. Click"face completely engulfed with ants. I see parts of the bone, some hair had fallen out. Clickclickclickclickclickclick".. Its going so fast it's like an animation"of the future! Bottom jaw fell off; her tongue like a black, shrivelled wank sock hung there with green cists dotted indiscriminately, her brains oozed through the pours of her now balding head, puss and gunk of all colours and consistencies discharged from her fucked mouth.

FUUUUUCK! Ants are on my hands and all over the camera. They crawled from the inside in such massive quantities and forced my camera to split open. My palms, bleeding and burnt to shit, let go of the camera. I screamed in pain as the camera shattered from the impact. I proceeded to stamp it with my right foot to end this ordeal, to kill the flesh eating ants that have engulfed my camera. I stamp and I stamp and I stamp until my camera was beyond recognition, until every unusually large ant was dead, never to return to life. I ran as fast as I could away from the scene, leaving the awful event which took place. The fear never left and continued it's vice grip on me. The images continued to flash through my eroding mind. At least the ants disappeared, along with the burn marks on my hands.

My thoughts of this dreadful episode fade away and I now find myself back in my bedroom, back in my comfort zone, back to the sweet, sweet music; the only thing that slightly stabilises my anxiety and my visions. My condition has rapidly worsened during my extended confinement. I have been lying in my bed for days, sweating like a backward, inbred hick at a family reunion, listening to the same record over and over again. There is nothing like a bit of unsettling, dark but vibrant tones, combining raw anger and introspective tranquillity for comfort and guidance. It is one of the only things I can relate to. It's my best friend and companion, save for the growing cracks on my piss yellow ceiling expanding in thickness and length. The ants are slowly occupying this acrid choice of colour, eventually replacing it with animated black. I watch for hours these tiny insects moving in harmony and perfection and noticing the slight yellow glow which seems to be surrounding each individual. How fast they move and how they are multiplying at an exhilarating rate. As long as they leave me alone, then I'm fine. Ignorance is certainly bliss when texture, noises and sounds flow like a trickling waterfall and connecting to my brain creating a beautifully vivid and dark pantheon of brilliance, sending shivers throughout my whole body. Faint, indistinctive whispers spill out, forming broken sentences made up of unrelated words and phrases which seem to speak to me directly as a listener and somehow making perfect sense. Natural creation being denied claiming everything back, cultures of mass distraction, fear that is not real".ladies and gentlemen, consider yourselves whores, the MTV army of clones, the soulless, imperceptive puppets, obedient droids for the musical master race. May it all be blasted out of our relentlessly vacuous culture. It was all there, but more muddled. My subconscious seemed to automatically re-arrange the words like a lyrical jigsaw puzzle to make more sense" or at least that is what I imagined.

A weak, silent belch churns out a sickening taste of a raw potato and half a shoe I ate days ago. My mouth is dry and cracked and my stomach is in pain from the hunger. There is nothing edible left in the house. I can't leave my room, let alone the house. My eyes are wide open, but my brain feels like it is asleep. Faces of the mysterious girl at the park keep peering out of my wall and tormenting me further to the point of madness. Each inanimate object possesses some kind of movement or disturbing contortion, it seems like I destroy everything in my line of sight. Relying on my sense of hearing always provides much comfort.

"It won't take a flag to hide the dead/ it won't take a flag to absorb all the blood.' chants the man in my stereo so abrasively. The one thing that I can relate to, the only thing that pulls me back from the fearful paralysis of insanity's monstrous embrace. The drums pound indiscriminately like bricks smashing on concrete from a great height. The throbbing bass, the wild distortion and choppy discords emanating from the guitar to create a glorifying oneness of textured white noise, accelerating in tempo towards an intense, destructive crescendo capable of tearing down the walls! As the drums pound faster and louder and the guitar chords become more undefined, my heart accelerates at such an alarming rate, it feels like I have a staple gun going off in my chest. I want to destroy this surrounding prison and reduce it to ashes. I want to completely dismantle the grey buildings, bedraggled streets and dead trees and start again from scratch. I want to see leaders fall; I want to see superficial morons die, I want to burn the hair of every metro sexual and pseudo scenester and put a bullet through the empty hearts of the lawyers and company men that frequent these awful "trendy' cafes. You have all destroyed what is beautiful and I want it all back. The musical orgasm has finally climaxed. I feel so indestructible and so wired I don't know where to start. There is so much to claim back, but I'm going to need some help. I'll have to round up the numbers and bring this stupid, disillusioned and banal country to its fucking knees! Unfortunately, these feelings are only in my head as my body fails to respond to my newfound insatiable mentality.

Fuck me dead, there appears to be purple mist flowing uniformly out of my speakers along to the textured layers of noise that palpates my senses. Dense clusters of black dots each circled with a golden halo taint this pure purple mist. It glides along mystically like the hands of a vampire in a 1930's film, over-acting his lamented soliloquy. How it is dancing along to the music, gradually filling my room. The clusters of black dots, which turn out to be ants, grow more and more dense, eventually replacing the mist. They are the visual representation of my music, slowly drowning me in their strange beauty. They start to cover my walls; they cover my stereo, my cluttered desk which suggests my cluttered mind, my chest of drawers, my lonely cactus sitting there peering at the night sky, my radiator which doesn't work anymore, my beer stained faecal coloured carpet and everything else that is contained within this featureless, stale box. My whole room is moving. It is alive and breathing with a mass copulation of tiny six legged bodies. A golden light has formed due to the combination of hundreds and thousands, possibly millions of halos. So bright, my eyes can't close. Menacingly, they sit static like millions of little statues, watching me and my every move, waiting to pounce if I show any sign of animosity. They must be bored as I am so weak and on the brink of starvation that I have great difficulty moving a muscle. My head is pounding, my stomach aches, my whole body aches in fact and I'm finding it difficult to breathe. Obstruction and pain lurk in every movement, not to mention fear"fear for what the ants might do. With no other choice in sight, I Adam Anthony, the malignant tumour growing on the fringe of society have decided to join them, to be part of their revolutionary quest and help their cause to claim back what is theirs, but what could they possibly want from me? How the hell did they manage to all fit inside my stereo? I wouldn't know what to do, especially in the mobile state I'm in but I will try anyway.

Something starts to appear in my window. What is revealed, after a delayed focus of my vision, is an entangled cluster fuck of growing vines pressing against the thin sheet of glass, with buds like glassy eyes gleaming with voyeuristic pleasure. They continue to move and grow, manifesting themselves into something gnarled and grotesque. I am sure that is blood jetting out of the vines and decorating my window, altering it from bird shit motif to a dark crimson red. The music continues to hurtle along violently towards an orgy of insanity, pleasure and excruciating pain. Remaining still and inexplicably hostile, the ants shine like an infinite mass of phosphorescence while a large proportion of them continue to pour out of my speakers. To accommodate this ever mounting ensemble, my room starts to expand to twice the size".three times the size and so on. My window moves further away from me and I am now unable to see past the vines and through the blood. The music vastly increases its head fuck volume and the golden light grows ever brighter to the point of the now blinding and intense luminance of genuine beauty overpowering the incandescence of artificiality. My eyes shut tightly and I yell out in pain. An explosion occurs, coming from the stereo. The music stops".and silence! In comparison to this growing omnipotence, I feel so powerless and the deathly silence makes it more unbearable. For a second, I thought if I take away my sight, the ants would disappear, but I felt them all over my body quick as a flash devouring me like ravenous piranhas. They enter into every orifice possible, including my ears, nostrils anus and cock hole. I am far too numb with pain already to feel even more. The added discomfort of them crawling around inside of me feels even worse. The gnawing of the skin all feels like millions of tiny knives viciously stabbing me all over my body, not one area excluded. I am truly one"in union with the ants.

The silence suddenly breaks with what sounds like glass being shattered violently. I open my eyes and look to my right in the direction of my window. The vines had broken in and are quickly hurtling towards me with painful intentions. They lunge into my chest and I can hear my ribs crack under the forceful pressure the vines are inflicting on me. Aaaaah fuck, what the fuck is going on. I cannot describe this feeling, this numbing sensation. I am floating, bereft of the laws of physics and biology. I can't feel a thing; I am just slowly floating, feeling free and without pain. Looking down, I can see my corpse being torn to shreds by the vines, while the ants frantically eat my remains. Thud, my back hits the ceiling. I am unable to go any further, instead being forced to watch myself disappearing at the hands of nature. Turning around, I start to rein down blows with my fists, desperately trying to break open this final obstacle and make a swift escape. Each time I made contact with the ceiling, it seemed to have little to no effect. My fists seemed to bounce off the wall with no sound. I attempt to scream, mouthing the words "GETMETHEFUCKOUTTAHERE", but again, inaudible. A dragging sensation becomes apparent as I start to move away from the ceiling. Some unknown, indefinable force is pulling me downward rapidly, rendering me powerless to stop it. My silent scream continues as I descend into what looks like an eternal darkness, a bottomless black hole sucking everything that exists. My furniture, my room, the ants".everything is disappearing before my very eyes. I keep my gaze fixed on the window as it gets smaller and smaller to the size of a dot".

The last exterior view through the window I managed to catch a glimpse of as I was in the unpleasant process of being snatched out of existence was the piss yellow street light illuminating the moving ground"and other monotonous objects that mark the many shades of grey that is civilisation, a constant reminder of what I am surrounded by and what should be kept in the darkness forever.

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