Published on September 20th, 2012 | by The Alchemist21
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Alchemist’s corner. The theme for today is - Discontent.
This story was originally written by a fellow with a fascinating imagination and previous ‘The Writer’ contender, @Haemlett_, for his blog. I liked the premise of the story when I first read it, and so I quickly edited it and now present my ‘editors cut’ of it here, for you.
Have you ever experienced discontent? That fundamental dissatisfaction with the state of things? Did you then wish for a different life? Perhaps the life of another?
How do you think that would have turned out?
Share your thoughts. See you on the other side.
Back when I proclaimed myself an atheist and openly rejected the existence of a higher being because I didn’t believe in the supernatural, I was branded a blasphemer. Out of an insatiable urge to make idiots of my accusers, I pointed out a few of the obvious holes in the stories and doctrines their holy scripts offered them. But when a plausible explanation could not be offered in their defense, they simply claimed that my problem was that I had read too many books, absorbed too many foreign ideas. But I laughed at them in derision and told them that they were the ones with the problem because they had not read enough books and were too limited in their thinking.
But now that the very fiber of the existence which I thought was mine has been shaken, I am not sure that I can stand firm on my beliefs anymore. I know not what to believe in now but all I know is this: reading, which had always given me insight and understanding of the mysteries and elusive nature of life has now failed me.
Several years ago I detested my job, my life and craved for another because my boss had physically and psychologically bullied me at every opportunity.
For as long as I can remember I have always been a bully magnet. In kindergarten, nursery, elementary school, high school, college, even in church, bullies found me. I guess being slightly overweight, possessing cherubic looks and a low self esteem have all contributed to this. My boss was a sleazy, well-built ex-jock that popped steroids like multi vitamins. He had a peanut for a brain and a pencil for a penis but was fortunate enough to have a wealthy father who put him in charge of his company. On my worst days, I consoled myself by believing that he tormented me because he was no match for me intellectually, but I also mentally slapped myself awake from my delusions and wondered again if he just enjoyed it because I could never muster the courage to stand up to him.
My boss wasn’t married then and still isn’t because he is now locked up in a mental home. But back then I used to think it was probably for the best because any lady who was unfortunate enough to get caught up in his sticky, deceitful and egoistical net would definitely end up his slave. Now, I’m not so sure.
On the other hand, my overactive mind sometimes entertained the unpalatable notion that he was queer and I was the main protagonist in his twisted sexual fantasies. It would explain why he kept bugging me. You see, some people have strange and uncomfortable ways of expressing feelings and the bugging ploy was usually aimed to annoy those whom they feel affection for in some convoluted plan to snare them. Back then I hadn’t known whether to cry or laugh at my suspicions because my boss epitomized the word “Rattler”, and the mere thought of him fancying me in any form gave me penny sized goose bumps.
My job as an accountant in his father’s fashion house didn’t warrant much excitement. Filling up payment ledgers and nodding to the models that came by was as much excitement as I got. I hated the models as well because I was perceived to be inconsequential and therefore never greeted with more than a cursory wave. As tempting as it was back then to just quit my job and move away, I stayed because it was financially secure and economically supportive. Moreover, jobs were hard to come by those days because of the recession. So I remained in my uncomfortable ‘comfort zone’ with a bullying boss, a forever nagging wife and ever-chirping two year old twins that never shut up.
I bore it all until a chance encounter with “Doctor Horowitz’s Imaginarium” forever transformed my life.
The rotund and mystical Dr Horowitz claimed he combined a blend of an induced dream state, the manipulation of one’s imagination and mastery of astral projection to enable his subject temporary live any life they have imagined for themselves. On my first visit, Dr Horowitz apprised me of the rules of the Imaginarium before warning me of the dependencies and dangers.
He stressed that one should be calm and devoid of strong emotions before entering the Imaginarium because the Imaginarium also reacted to and fed off feelings and emotions. He claimed that even he couldn’t tell what fate awaited whoever unfortunately didn’t comply with the rules, for the mysteries of the Imaginarium outweighed any mans capacity for assimilation.
I must admit that the beauties of my experiences in the Imaginarium were quite overwhelming and against the warnings of the mystical Dr Horowitz, I soon became dependent upon and attached to my imagined escapes.
My pathetic existence continued as usual but the thought of Dr Horowitz’s visits enabled me survive with little felt misery until my boss crossed that proverbial line and subjected me to a cruel public humiliation.
It was almost closing time on that fateful day and I had been rushing towards the loo to ease myself when suddenly I tripped and fell on the floor to the amusement of everyone who was present to witness my inglorious downfall. I got up to realize that my boss had placed his foot in my path but I had been too preoccupied with keeping my pee in check to notice. I was filled with so much anger that there and then I decided that I had had enough of his disgraces. So I turned around and menacingly approached him in an attempt to physically confront him for the first time. His face initially showed surprise and a little fear as I approached him, then his eyes drifted a little downward and his expression was turned to disgust before he pointed and everyone started laughing, this laughter was louder and more spiteful than the previous.
I was still seething in anger several hours later as I sat staring into the dreamy and hypnotic eyes of Dr Horowitz’s. I still did not know if shame would ever allow me return to work. I remembered how all the courage I had managed to muster to confront him had evaporated in a whiff after I realized I had soiled my pants when I tripped. I was horrified and ran out of the office, without knowing where I was going until I found myself in front of Dr Horowitz’s wagon.
Even as I sat in Dr Horowitz’s chambers, I could still hear the torturous echoes of my boss’s laughter in my head and just before I was finally surrounded by the beautiful embrace of my trance, I bitterly wished that we could switch places so that I could give him a dose of his own medicine.
In my trance, I briefly saw my boss scrutinizing my every action with intensity before that mental image faded away to be replaced with the image of people whom my mind eye couldn’t identify. They were gathered around and laughing at me while I lay crying in a puddle of my urine and excrement. Finally the warm and comfortable grip of sleep pitifully enclosed my consciousness and carried me away to blissful oblivion, but still the faint echoes of their bitter laughter followed me on.
I entered Dr Horowitz’s induced dream state but this time it was different, very different.
I was floating in the night sky with celestial bodies speeding past me in a blur. The stars were scattered around but I couldn’t notice or recognize any pattern in their arrangements and for some strange reason it nagged at my consciousness. A little distance ahead from where I floated was a whirling mass of nothingness, a vortex swinging dangerously towards me. In a panic, I began to desperately float in the opposite direction. I feared for my safety even though I knew it was a dream - Dr Horowitz had warned me that the rules of everyday reality and physics did not apply here are and that despite appearances, it was relatively safe.
While in flight, I noticed a blur coming my way, a figure floating towards me in the distance, so I frantically waved for him or her to go back. When I drew closer I was astounded to see that it was my boss. He was wearing a curious and perplexed look as I passed him by. We swiveled in unison to look at each other as the distance between us grew. I, silently appealing for him to come back, while he just stared until we eventually drifted out of each other’s sight. All of a sudden, I began to gather momentum like I was being sucked in by something.
Then I realized to my dismay that my boss had actually been fleeing from a similar vortex but it was too late to turn around as I was sucked violently into the vortex where everything melded into a painless grey fog. The fog wrapped around me tightly like a blanket and a tingly sensation assaulted my body before the grey became muted, then red tinted in its shade and finally, it became black.
All this I experienced within seconds as unconsciousness returned me into a dreamless void.
I woke up with a scream locked in my throat and tumbled from a bed to the floor with a thud. I struggled to get up and stumbled towards the unfamiliar bathroom door to wash my face. But something clicked in my head and I stopped in my tracks as it became apparent that something was horribly wrong. I slowly realized that I didn’t recognize my surroundings and that my body also felt alien. So I rushed into the bathroom to take a look at the mirror and the horrifying face of my boss stared back at me.
I have since been living his life, while he, in my body, was sequestrated in a mental house after he came back raving and ranting and claiming he was I and I was him. I have since been living a life that I, in my weakest moments, thought was better than mine, a life I assumed would free me of my inadequacies, a life I presumed would be better, but alas, I was wrong.
I have come to realize that we all have our place and purpose in life and if you force your way into a place where you do not belong, you will be faced with dire consequences.
There is a constant battle for supremacy between my soul and this body I have taken. For example, I constantly have to fight the body’s attraction to the same sex [my suspicions were on the mark, he was gay]. The body’s great dependencies on steroids have left me fighting a losing battle. Worst of all, the mental and psychological torture I am forced to endure from his father leave me feeling even more inadequate and impotent than before and I now find myself beginning to transfer the aggression and pent up frustration to others around me.
I now understand the reasons for his former actions. I feel sorry for him because it seems that in some sense, he even had it worse off than I did. I desperately crave my former life but I know I cannot have it back for Dr. Horowitz has vanished from his former place. So now every morning when I wake up, I look in the mirror and weep pitifully because I have now become the thing I hate.