Tuesday 16 May 2000


Pic of the day: That's me in the spotlight, I guess. I took this picture without flash, expecting it to be as dark as I felt. But somehow the light of the reading lamp - a gift from some wellmeaning friends - was enough to portray me clearly. I don't look nearly as bad as I feel ...

Anguished unto death

I have been anguished unto death, this night. Apart from that, my starting point could barely have been more different from the more famous person who was that, almost two millenia ago.

It was around 10 in the evening. I had become sexually aroused, as sometimes happens even to a single man like me. It's not like I'm proud of it, even though I'm 41. Anyway, it is an essential fact in this story and so must be recorded, however much I wish I could avoid it.

Suddenly the blood flow to the genitals stopped, which is OK. Then my haemorrhoids started to grow, which is not OK. This disgusting feature is not normally a big part of my life, thankfully! But now the pressure was clearly rising. I nearly said before my eyes, though I am not nearly that elastic. Somehow it seemed that the blood was diverted from my genitals to my haemorrhoids. I don't even know if that is possible. What struck me was that a major blood vessel was probably broken and I was bleeding to death internally. I was thoroughly scared.

This is now 3.5 hours ago, so presumably the internal damage was not quite as dramatic as I imagined it. Still, I am feeling terrible, though possibly for other reasons.


The fear escalated to a full blown panic attack, in which eventually the fear increasingly is of fear itself, and the physical effects of the panic feeds back into the panic, making it stronger. And through it all, I felt very alone and very afraid. For that matter, I still do, as of writing this at 01:40.

The irony is that earlier in the evening, I had written on an e-mail to an e-penfriend. Keyboard friend? Whatever. A reasonably lighthearted mail, it also as usual contained more serious thoughts. Among other things I reflected on the almost inhuman stability that my soul had while standing on its own. While most souls seem to be designed to be stable together with others, mine seemed to be designed to stand alone. I credited my religion with this. I wrote that losing my religion would be like being torn asunder in my soul.

Tonight I wonder. I seem to have proven myself a liar, not only in that mail but in much that I have written, and my own thoughts. For when my soul was anguished unto death, I wished that I had someone who could wake with me and pray. I am not, after all, stronger than Jesus who we call the Christ. Quite the opposite.

I considered calling one of my old friends from "Smith's Friends". I do not live among them now, though except for the occasional failure I guess I could have. Oh, and except for baring my soul on the Internet. I am a bit surprised that they don't, since I honestly believe that some of them have better souls than I. "Those who do good, come to the light, that their deeds may be revealed" as the gospel says. But that is not my call to make. I know some of these folks are truly honest and God-fearing people, and I really missed that kind of company this night.

But by then, midnight was fast approaching. The night before our national day. To wake up someone would be, I felt, adding another sin of egotism to the many who weighed on my conscience. And so I huddled alone, shaking in fear of death and of the damnation that I know I deserve, for being such a through and through egotist. Even in my suffering, my thoughts revolved around myself, unheeding of the many who have suffered and died while I have been trying to have fun.


I eventually fell asleep, and woke up to new fear and new trembling. I shook as if from frost while I was sweating from the heat. This has stopped for now; the insides of my hands are still burning, I have no idea what that is supposed to mean. My digestion is upset, but then again so am I. The clock is nearing two. My self-pity is tempered with the knowledge that I at worst get what I deserve. Hopefully not. I have been sorely lacking in reaching out to other people. I will never die for anyone's sins, except possibly my own. Hopefully not even that.

IF I wake up tomorrow, will it all seem strange and remote and not really me? Will I push it all away and try to proceed as usual? Will I do this until I eventually actually die? Time, if any, will show.

May you all have a good conscience and good friends.

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