I will tell you things which are not the truth.
Would you like to hear a tale? It is about a girl.
She stands in a kitchen in a project in Detroit, a cage that purports itself to be a home, a container for people that no one wants to see but can't be gotten rid of, much like a funeral urn that holds the ashes of an ancestor upon the mantle, to be remembered when it is convenient, and dusted around when it is necessitated. The window is open, and the air from Lake Michigan taints the breeze, salient and salinous, topped up with the broken fragments of mollusk shells, the detritus of humanity, and the shit of a hundred thousand seagulls. They are the rats of the shores, but no one calls them out on it because they are white.
In the distance, the carousel at Silver Beach turns away the hours, caged just as the people, taken away from the shore and placed into a building for preservation, and as such now no one wants to see it at all. It attracts domineering grandmothers who insist their descendants make much of its glory, though in this digital age of new attractions it is as faded as the grandmothers, which is why, perhaps, they cling so tightly to the notion that it might still have relevance.
In the kitchen, she stirs a pot upon the stove, and stares at nothing, and believes that color still exists, though she has no way to confirm this. Perhaps none of us do, and it has never existed at all, and all these words are unseen and you are only imagining that you can discern them from the background upon which they lie.
And with that, the smart ones among you have recalled that you noticed that there was something amiss in the words that have appeared before you. The smarter ones will recall, of course, that this is what I told you at the beginning. Some of you are wondering how many lies there are, and whether you have counted them all. I will tell you. There are seven.
Some of you will accept this as truth. Others will think that this is another lie. But there will be a few, a select few, who will wonder: What if there were six? Then the lie of the number makes seven, which makes it a truth, but in making it a truth I have made it a lie again, and so we go, around and around in circles. Perhaps something good will come of all these circles, or perhaps we will occidentally summon a demon.
Or perhaps the demon was here all along. The question which we must now ask, of course, is whether it is me or whether it is you? It is a question of belief, which much like religion, but with more conviction and less panoply. It is the glorification of an edification, that which eddies with the turning of the tides, and like the lies that I have told you, there is always one wave that slips by unseen to leave its mark upon the shore. One of the lies will resonate, and you will choose for it to be true, and by that, the blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere the ceremony of innocence is drowned.
The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity - and you have been the demon all along, and in the ceremony of your darkness you recall that perhaps there might, once, have been light and color, but like the girl in my story, you cannot confirm it. You build your cage around you, and tell yourself you are as Faraday, to keep out the charged nuances of the outer world, but from the outside you are merely a caged beast, complacent in your beliefs. You gild the cage, and you have created religion.
I bow to you, and now you have acquired a following.
Perhaps I have always been following you, watching your exploits, your triumphs, your failures, your deaths. You are the heroes of the world - not one hero, alone, but one of many. You are the Persian Immortals, powerful and terrifying, the scourge of the world, or its savior - and as the Immortals, you are eminently replaceable. One of you may fall, or drop from existence, never to be heard from again, but it does not matter in the slightest, because there is always another to take his place. Aqueous and slippery, you cast yourselves upon the shore with gravity, tumultuous and disseminating, and you rake away a thousand grains of sand and the inevitable seagull shit.
You realize that you have soiled yourself and draw back into the great unformed waters of creation, and someone else will take your place, and your mark upon the world will fade, if it was ever truly there at all.
I will tell your story, but it will not be true.
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