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The Mists of Oblivion

The Carnal Train

By Insinq DatumPublished 2 years ago 5 min read
The Mists of Oblivion
Photo by Devon Rogers on Unsplash

There is a haunted merry-go-round in the carnal carnival, a seeming pick-me-up amidst the other relatively intimidating attractions. It's actually a miniature steam engine that circles the entire park, allowing easy access to any area of the carnival (and therefore any vendor you desire), but it's called the Merry-Go-Round because there is cheap yet tasty food on board and the fumes from the coal fire up front tend to make everyone a little light-headed. The thing is, the service staff on the train are ghosts, insubstantial spirits who seem to fade away day by day. The train never stops running though, fed inexorably as it is by the life force of everyone on board - but there's free food after all, and, they reason, they can get off any time they desire!

In fact, the fumes from the 'coal' fire are far more to blame for the faulty reasoning of the passengers than they are themselves, as something very peculiar happens as the train goes round and round and round on its fixed track, tracing out the bounded perimeter beyond which the souls aboard will never dare to stray, so comfortable are they in their endlessly repeating circles here on the mortal coil. The 'smoke' from all that burnt time, the vapours of life allowed to diffuse, cling to the train and follow it around the carnal carnival, cloaking it from anyone who might want to find and destroy this nest of vipers once and for all. But these mists do not only cloak the carnal carnival to outside eyes; they conceal also the location of the exit, which always manifests itself nearby to the farthest station from the place at which our main character chooses to disembark - if he has the sense to do so, that is. This means that, upon leaving the carnal train, one has to pass by a great many of the carnival's 'attractions' before they might come upon the gate which leads out of this confusing lower world, which provides ample opportunity for some well-placed gratification to ensnare one's attention for long enough to disorient them, thereby sucking them back into the vampiric atmosphere.

The smoke clinging to the train makes it impossible to see where you are, and indeed it has the most curious effect of a supreme forgetfulness, an absent-mindedness that is almost inexplicable even when one has managed to create some objective distance between themselves and the phenomenon. When in the midst of the mists, one cannot see further than the carriage in front of him where, although the pleasures offered to his palette might differ, his destination most certainly will not. He does not know what station the train is at, despite its just having been announced on the loudspeaker, and rarely can he recall the station just passed or the one next to come. On the odd occasion that he manages to hold onto all this information, he finds he has stuffed himself too full to move or that he has become too sleepy, and concludes that he will simply get off at his stop once he wakes up - he will make a change tomorrow, in other words.

Unfortunately, this sequence continues ad infinitum with tomorrow retreating into the distance in a way that a train on a circular track never could, and sooner rather than later our hero has lost his way, and can no longer even remember what it was like not to be on the train, much less believe that it could be better that way. The train, after all, offered an easy and efficient means of transportation to good times, not to mention an opportunity to fill his belly and enjoy some well-earned rest. Or at least, we must assume it is well earned, because neither we nor our hero can remember any more, so befuddled are we by the eau-de-forgetfulness. Sooner, rather than later, he has lost his spirit as well as his way, and he finds that he no longer wishes to leave the train, and that he no longer dreams of a future where he escapes this endless loop to explore the horizons of human potential. This is when he begins to die, when his soul begins to petrify and he becomes, like the other staff, part of the train. His physical body becomes the fuel which is burnt, the coal which had the possibility of becoming a diamond but which refused to put itself under the requisite pressure, while his spirit serves to draw in other unfortunates like himself, to entrap them too in the web of lies which will eventually consume them. After all, even a spider has to live, right?

So let's talk about the spider for a moment, that subtle spinner of the womb-like web which is both the train and the carnal carnival it encircles. My spider bears an ancient name and a very particular deal which is the condition for those who enter his domain; he is Oblivion and his offer is that he will take away your fears and anxieties, for as long as you want. In other words, enter of your own free will and leave whenever you are ready, if you so wish, and until then while away a while without having to be concerned about the hopes and fears which populate daily life. Leave them to Oblivion, and he will do away with them, until you no longer have problems with which to concern yourself - instead, your domain is self-perpetuating bliss, burning the candle low tonight to maximize your experience in the moment with no regard for who might need light tomorrow. The Mists of Oblivion, therefore, are the buffer that persists between an individual and their worries and anxieties due to their utilization of substances and other addictive behaviours to approximate a state of burdenless immersion in the moment that blocks out any notion of the future. These obfuscatory mists are your reward for feeding the demon Oblivion, for signing his pact and assenting to the provision to him of your life-force in exchange for his devouring your fears and worries.

Every day that you spend on the train is a day where you have chosen to feed your fears to Oblivion instead of experiencing them, and although you can leave anytime you want, the bigger Oblivion gets, the less you have the capacity to want. This is because the bigger he gets, the more of you that he occupies, and so his strength of will is proportionately stronger than your little ego. You feed him without ever thinking about how big he is getting: all you focus on is how small you feel, and how much you need him. So you feed him anyway, and put it out of your mind, and of course he helps you to do so with his authentic anaesthetic effect.

But never forget: what you're feeding him is your soul - it is not just your fears, but your hopes too - and you signed that pact in blood. At some point, the blood will dry, and it will be too late: your fate will be irrevocably sealed.

social commentarysurreal poetryslam poetryperformance poetry

About the Creator

Insinq Datum

I'm an aspiring poet, author and philosopher. I run a 5000+ debating community on Discord and a couple of Youtube channels, one related to the Discord server and one related to my work as a philosopher. I am also the author of DMTheory.

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Comments (1)

  • Babs Iverson2 years ago

    Super surreal!!!💕💖😊

Insinq DatumWritten by Insinq Datum

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