What is it to have an authentic personality? To live with a sparkling vitality? To be the real deal? Some might say it means acting on your immediate thoughts and feelings, or following your impulses, while others might say it’s coming through for your friends and loved ones and being someone they trust and respect. Or is it being someone who lives up to the norms and ideals of society, and who fights for the common good? Though most of us want a good life, it often drowns in facade and empty outer form. And behind the pretty facade lurks chaos and dissolution.
Last time the story ended when our great and noble hero met a woman with a seductive smile and the sweetest eyes who called herself the Illuminating Girl. He had been searching for a greater meaning in life and his path led him to the bar where he dug up this wonderful woman from a hole deep down under the floor, who told him that her task was to light the way for people who were lost in life.
But behind her seductive smile and sweet eyes the Great Dane sensed a woman trapped in her own great paradox. A lethal struggle of contradictions he had walked right into, and that would tear him apart if he were not careful. He had, however, as a man of his great kind, only one thing in mind: a woman desperately needed his help. It was of the utmost importance that he used his great strength, courage and intellect to free her from the imprisonment within herself, so that she could bloom at last and be lifted from her miserable life in the dark hole in which she dwelled. In other words: she needed a real man to show her the greatness of life. She just didn’t know it consciously yet.
So simple it sounded in his head, and yet so complicated it turned out to be – even for such a superior being as the Great Dane. This time he had really set himself an almost impossible task. His chosen path would lead him straight into the great emptiness of life.
How could that be, you probably wonder. Such a sweet woman as the Illuminating Girl and such a great hero as the Great Dane. Shouldn’t they know better than to lose themselves in outer form and become trapped in the darkness which lies behind? Yes, you are completely right. It is a story that needs to be told, in the hope that it will thereby save, if not all, then at least a couple of lost souls.
What happened in the hole, however, consists of such intangible matters that the truth is best suited to be exposed in the light of an epic poem of grandiose dimensions. Fortunately, the Great Dane himself has composed such a poem to enlighten the many readers in these delicate matters. An epic poem which he has called … The Great Day Dream Scheme.
Shades of Darkness and Facets of Light
Once in a hole black as coal, deep deep down, a girl lived alone. Once in a while when a guy came nearby, she would smile and wink with her eyes, so the night turned bright in the glorious light of thousands of disco stars.
And once there was light, she would dance through the night, setting every boy’s heart on fire. And once in a while when a boy kissed her smile, she would show him her legs from behind, so he stayed all night until her hole got too tight, and she whispered: Please, be so kind as to leave me alone.
And once he was gone and the day came along the impressions of the night fell off her skin. And once it was gone and another night came along, she was ready to let a new dance begin. But once in a while when she went outside in the light of the sun her smile would dry up and her eyes would turn hard and thin.
And once in a while when a guy saw her smile in the sun, he would wonder: Where is the girl I met in the night? Was she real or only a reflection of light? And once in a while when he looked into her eyes, he would see her cry deep deep down inside where the tears turned bright as she danced through the night in the glorious light of thousands of disco stars.
The Darkest of Nights
Then one night this great great guy came by, and he asked her straight away: Does your light shine as bright at the bottom of your heart, or is your deepest desire kept away from rigorous eyes behind the light in the darkest of nights?
What to answer she did not know. Never before had a guy spoken to her with such daring words and never before had she dared to turn on the light in the dark at the bottom of her heart. All her life she had been told to light up other people’s night, never had she known that there could be light deep deep down in her own.
While the question made her wonder, she closed her eyes and held back her smile, and tried to look deep deep down inside. And so, it happened that the light in the night around them disappeared in a blink of an eye and there arose in the darkness at the bottom of her heart a tiny tiny glow of light.
And when the day now came along, she did not want to be left alone as she had done with all the other guys. She feared that the glow of light that had arisen in the dark at the bottom of her heart would turn cold if this great great guy left her alone. So, to calm the great anxiety tearing up her poor soul, she asked him to stay for a while, which she had never asked any guy before.
The Lie of an Evil Spirit
Then one night something old and evil that lived deep deep down in the dark at the bottom of her heart came forth and cast a shadow over the light. This evil spirit had once been young and innocent, and had endowed her with a heartfelt and wondrous world, until one day when it turned stiff and cold, and its only pleasure would be to haunt her with blame and anger, eating up her every hope and her frail soul.
The story goes, that the spirit was abandoned in the dark at the bottom of her heart when she began to take all the guys with her down in the hole. Here it lived alone and made the darkness its safe and beloved home, dreaming of greatness and sweet revenge while feeding off her wounded pride when she saw how all the boys grew into real men, while she herself did not feel any redemption within.
Some time passed where night turned to night and day after day slipped by without any hope of change, until this great great guy suddenly came and made her turn on the light in the darkest of nights. Once again, the spirit was driven away, this time from the dark at the bottom of her heart where it had dwelled so long that it feared the light more than anything else in the night.
It tried to scare her to put out the light by telling dark tales and wicked lies about this great great guy. At first, she could not make up her mind whether she should believe the spirit and get rid of this guy or whether she should instead let him stay by her side. Then she felt as if an earthquake opened a great rift right in the very centre of her heart whereby her hole was shaken and the light was taken filling her up with a terrible fear of being lost and alone forever deep deep down in the dark.
The Way We Scheme
In a dream the evil spirit showed her how it had saved the light from being swallowed by the rift when doubt tore apart her heart. And with great rage it warned her, that every guy she let down in her hole would only make her vulnerable and weak. Only if she got rid of this deceitful guy standing by her side as she had done with all the other guys in the night the spirit would once again entrust to her the light.
So, while she made her face as hard and as cold as the superficial world outside her hole, she hid her tears deep deep down in the rift that divided her doubtful heart, and said in a voice cleansed of all feelings and joy: Don’t be sad when I tell you this, but a future with a boy such as you is no future at all for a woman such as I dream to be.
This was indeed bad news for the great great guy who thought that down in her hole he had at last found a meaning of life, which was greater than just his own alone. Yet he was not scared away by her hollow and insensitive soul, his great intellect told him that she was possessed by an evil spirit who controlled her from a dark place deep deep down in her hole.
Instead he grabbed his spade and began to dig his way down through the darkest of nights in search of her lost light. He hoped to bring back the wonderful woman he had once seen in the night when for the first time there appeared light deep deep down in the dark at the bottom of her heart.
An Epic Journey to the Bottom of Her Heart
There were no more stars in the sky on the darkest of nights so he dug with great anxiety and haste down in her darkness. He dug through thick layers of delusions, repressions and lies, and had a very tough time getting below her pride. But regardless of his great strain and the unbearable pain he found only the emptiness of life where there should have been light.
He then came to a great subterranean cave and saw there what must once have been the rift that ripped apart her heart. In the middle of the cave there ran a furious stream, and in that furious stream there was a small boat, and in that small boat sat a young and innocent girl who stared at him with such condemning eyes that they by an incredible force almost squeezed out his very potency of life.
What is a disobedient boy such as you doing down here in my cave of dreams, she asked. The great great guy had to use all his courage to withstand the firm grip of her eyes, and answered: I’m looking for the light that was taken by an evil spirit of some kind, and since you claim that this is your cave of dreams, perhaps you’d know such a spirit here to find.
She laughed astonished: I know nothing of such a childish scheme. In my dream there is no good, no evil, no truth, no lie. Only me and my small boat floating along the great tide of life. She awaited his reaction with an innocent and yet obscure smile. He, however, had no doubt at all. Inside this young girl lived the evil spirit who took the light when the great rift appeared and tore apart his beloved’s heart.
The Dream of a Lost Soul
Believing that if he found his way to the girl’s true dream, he would free his beloved from the evil spirit so she at last could become the woman she in her heart so long had wished to be. But what her true dream was made of he could not see without the light which the evil spirit had hidden away somewhere in the dark. Only if he deceived the evil spirit to lead him to the light, would he be able to reveal her greatest dream and save her from the darkest of nights.
You seem like a strong and fearless girl, he said, while your boat is fragile and weak. I wonder if it will be strong enough to withstand the great tide of life or it will be as a leaf caught on a troubled sea. We are no such things, she answered in a daring voice. We sail with no fear on this furious stream where ever it takes us in my dream. Then I wonder, he asked, who of you are fragile and who of you are strong?
We are no such things, she replied once again. My boat and I are one, and being one makes us only strong, even when a respectless guy such as you sail along. He said no more. There was no need for further words. She made a sign for him to board, then threw the moorings and set sail, when a fresh breeze caught her long blond hair, and off they went with the furious stream in search of her dream.
As they glided through the dark and furious water, he felt how the tide of life embraced the boat, how it reached up at him and spread into his veins, into every drop of blood. Soon all his troubles and fears were gone, he felt greater than ever before, he felt like being reborn. There was only him, the girl and the boat. The feeling of growing, becoming almighty and strong. They were all together, they were all in one.
Everything Will Be Revealed
He was overwhelmed by all the wonders he saw in the cave of dreams. There was everything one could wish for by the sense of a pure heart, everything one could imagine by the will of pure thoughts, everything one could hope for by the present of a pure soul. The absolute seemed within reach. The tide of life would lead him to the fulfilment of all his needs, and he saw now his own greatest dream: to be ruler of this dark world, no more doubt, no more fear, never again should she feel vulnerable and weak.
With the feeling of endless might and glory he demanded the evil spirit to release the girl so she could choose her own path in life. He was, however, struck by surprise when the young girl in front of him changed to a sick and desiccated impression of the girl he once had praised at the beginning of the night. Your pretty little girl is now free to become whatever she dreams to be, laughed the evil spirit from high above the furious stream. But as you will see, without me inside she contains nothing more than an endless fear covered by a morbid smile.
With what seemed to be her last strength of will she bent over the rail of the boat and stared resignedly down into the water at her own face, racked with pain. In great despair the great great guy begged the evil spirit to spare her and give her back the light, since she did not deserve such a cruel fate as being trapped down here in the darkest of nights. As you wish, the evil spirit said, and vanished into the water leaving them adrift and alone in the dark.
A troubling sea as dark as her empty heart threw them high up on the crest of waves and deep down in the trough of waves, taking them further into the cave of dreams and far far away from the path of might and glory. On their way, he watched how dream after dream faded around them, leaving only vague and distorted shadows on the walls, until these also dissolved completely in an intensifying darkness without any sign of hope.
The Pond of Tears
Neither his great strength, courage or intellect was enough to master this dark and raging tide of life. He counted their misery in one thousand two hundred and twenty-six breathtaking waves, yet the boat kept dry and strong while her face only withered further away in pain. Then an innocent tear fell from her eye and ripples spread across the furious stream, carrying the boat away from all her lost dreams and gently into a pond, where there in the midst was a tremendous pile of human bones.
Strange it is, she wept without a sound, wherever I go with the tide of life I always end fleeing from a dark and heartfelt fear into this pond filled with my own tears. I feel helpless against the furious stream when there seem to be such endless possibilities in my cave of dreams. All the wonders that could be mine distract the very will of my mind, so every dream and every thought endlessly revolves around what I did not dare to do, even though I wanted to.
Oh, my dear, you’re such a hopeless lost little girl, I always tell myself in my dream. You know very well that you only dare to do what’s right in front of you, no more, no less, what there is in front of you is what suits you best. So, either you drown yourself in your own pond of tears to forget or you stand up with a straight and stubborn back and fight your way to the very top of this tremendous pile of human bones and herby claim your rightful throne.
Please, tell me what I can do to help a lost and innocent girl calm down the furious stream running through her veins. I only know, she cried, that I despise the pond of tears while the pile of bones whenever I’m near both attract my greatest pride and my darkest fear. And either way, all the guys I have had down in my hole come once again alive, and either way they will form an endless row that separates you and I.
The Greatest Fear
How could it be, he asked silently, that cold and useless bones will become guys you never truly loved, while I’m not even allowed to be at your side. Don’t ask me why, she said lowering her eyes, I only know that they are awaken by my pride. All these bones are trophies from guys I have seduced and brought down on my very own, and on this glorious throne of mine I enjoy my only passion, my only joy in life that comforts me when I feel most fragile and alone.
You talk about pride, when I sense that you also fear all these guys. I do not fear these bodies and bones, she yelled in an infuriated tone. They had their chance with me but failed, their bodies were so easily used and thrown into this pile of bones. You, however, made me turn on the light at the bottom of my heart and forced me to see what so long had been concealed in the dark, and for that I fear, and for that I awake my legions of guys to keep you from wounding my pride.
With a terrifying scream, she threw herself out of the boat and began to climb the pile of bones filled with fear of being lost and alone. Growling like an insane woman she wet the bones with the tears from her eyes and rubbed each of them between her thighs while she repulsively scratched them with her nails, making a cursed and ghastly whining sound that almost made him lose his mind.
And when the guys one by one raised up towards her from the pile of bones she blushed as a flower touched by the break of dawn, becoming a beautiful woman which sat with great pride on her mighty throne. Then the legions of guys tore off her cloth with their rotten teeth and bony fingers, devouring her pale white skin with their hollow eyes while she, covered by the darkness of night, moaned with deep and heartfelt delight.
The Choice by Heart or Mind
For an instant, she bloomed in her utter consumption, then the joy was gone and the lust once again crumbled into a pile of cold bones leaving her naked and alone on her mighty throne where she crouched as a vulnerable child trying to hide her face in shame. At the sight of her misery the great great guy was overwhelmed by great remorse, thinking he had let her down when he should have held her in his arms so no guy could ever do her any harm.
As she knew his thoughts, she proudly raised her head towards him and said: I don’t need your pity, I don’t need your helping hand. Don’t believe it’s so simple that you can just walk into my cave of dreams and rescue me from the furious stream that roars through my veins. Look around and you’ll see: I’m not at all that weak and innocent as you want me to be. What more use are a woman’s dreams than to satisfy her beloved pride and enjoy her body’s needs.
These words were as poison in his mind and in a vision, he saw how he had been degraded to the last guy in an endless row of guys who only came to life to satisfy her needs and uphold her pride. Now I fully understand, he said, your only desire is to get my body into your pile of bones. Well, you have your way and I have mine, she replied, but I’m neither interested in your body nor in your bones. What I truly desire, I can’t quite understand. I only know that you don’t belong in a pile of bones, you belong together with me on my great throne.
The pond had almost dried up and the boat lay bare in stinky mud on the ocean bed surrounded by muddleheaded creatures all grasping for their breath, waiting for the pond to be filled once again with tears of sorrow and pain. I give you the choice, she said with a harsh and demanding voice, between total oblivion together with these creatures suffering in the dark and stinky mud or to be a good boy that sits obediently at my side while I fulfil my glorious dream.
The Fall from Grace
Why suddenly this change of mind, he wondered, feeling how the boat slowly sank deeper down into the muddy ground. How can I know that this is not just some delirious dream? How can I know that I’m not being lured further into the evil spirit’s great scheme? How it is even possible to know what is truly me and what is just the furious stream going through my veins? Well, when you stop babbling like a scared child, she said in an infuriating tone, tell what it will be: Will you stay in the mud and bury yourself in endless doubt being forever caught in the dark or do you dare to set your fear aside and be the one that follows me towards the bright and glorious light that soon will fill my heart?
At first, everything in him fell silent. Then the muddleheaded creatures all began to howl in vain, and accompanying this dreadful sound their asses belched a dense and suffocating smoke that filled him with a feeling of deadly strain. Deprived of the ability to even call out her name, he stumbled through the mud short of breath, clinging to whatever seemed to soothe his fear of being lost in the dark only to realise the transience and obscurity which was life down here.
With his last breath, he reached the throne of bones, and furiously grabbed her arm. Never will I surrender to your childish game, never will I be degraded to one who follows you blindly through your cave of dreams, never will I be just another trophy that satisfies your insatiable pride. What I truly desire has too long been concealed behind my compassion and helpfulness, but it is the same as all the other guys you have lured into your hole: to tear you down from your throne of bones and thus in a fragile moment of lust be aroused by your precious innocence before it forever dissolves into worthless dust.
Her lips quivered feverishly and his hand around her arm felt as if it were holding glowing stones. She tried to turn away, but he endured the burning pain and withheld her urge to flee as he wanted her eyes to see what he for so long himself had perceived. Behind her pride he found, however, no innocence to devour, only an impregnable wrath reflecting the murky landscape below where untamed flames had begun to glow. Can’t nobody get any peace in this hole, she yelled and slap him in the face with such a fury that all the muddleheaded creatures went quiet. Then her innocence broke through, and she started crying, whereas her tears poured down and put out the raging fires.
The Return of the Evil Spirit
It rose with a deep rattling sound from the mud that covered the ocean bed and stretched its old depraved body all the way up to her throne of bones. What did I tell you, it said in a condemning tone as a mother speaking to her child who has tried but failed on its own. Look at yourself: Pale and naked, weeping all over dirty bones. Didn’t I warn you, that guys would only make you vulnerable and weak? Did I or did I not, the evil spirit yelled so it shook her mighty throne. You know very well, what it takes to make me good again.
She tossed and turned her body violently as though she were trying to prevent something unpleasant from seizing her. Don’t make me do that, she pleaded on the verge of fear. You know that I don’t love him as truly as I love you, I’m only afraid that the light will turn cold if he leaves me alone in the dark. My dear child, the evil spirit laughed, you’re not alone. I’ll always be here with you on your mighty throne.
Would you do that for me, she smiled thankfully, even though I night after night have disappointed and betrayed you with all these guys and made you suffer in the light? As she lay there on the throne of bones in her moment of great remorse a star appeared in the sky on the darkest of nights and shone down on her with such a glory, such a might, that the night around them in a blink of an eye turned bright as day. Would you do that for me, she repeated, adorned in a crown of blazing delight. Would you really stay?
Look closely at the light, the evil spirit said in a commanding tone, and you will see that even the brightest of lights only shines until it fades into the emptiness of life, after which darkness once again prevails. So why, my dear child, do you desire to be in this elusive light of day, as it will only delude your heart and burn your dreams away, leaving you even more lost and alone in the dark? If you instead promise to get rid of this treacherous guy standing at your side, I promise to be with you forever, deep deep down in the dark at the bottom of your heart. Do you promise?
The whole cave collapsed around him so dream after dream fell down and crushed the pile of bones, while the evil spirit expanded its body til it surrounded the throne. Then the star in the night flickered for a moment or two, and the light that so shortly had shown him her dream of desire was no more than a vague shadow of its former might and glory. Only the echo of the evil spirit’s words: “Do you promise?” remained, repeating endlessly in his shattered mind.
He was back in the boat sailing alone with the tide of life through the darkest of nights feeling how it brought forth his own greatest fear of being lost and alone in the dark. I’ll wait for you, he yelled. Please, let me stay in your heart and I’ll wait for you forever there. She did, however, not answer. Only the roar from the furious stream reached his troubled mind, while he in his heart knew that he had failed and been reduced to just another guy in the endless row of guys.
He found himself outside the hole in the bar trying to let go with a drink in his hand, but regardless of how much he drank he felt a part of him still sailed in the boat on the furious stream only seeing nightmares where there before had been dreams. So with great remorse he grabbed his spade and began to dig after her body and bones, but found nothing more than rubble and stones. I’ll wait for you, he cried. And this time I promise to be a good boy and behave.
And so, it happened that the dawn of day illuminated the sky and sent the night away, leaving a part of him trapped deep deep down in the dark. And so it happened that he, in the months that followed, to calm his great anxiety of being on his own every night, returned to the bar hoping she would reappear as the girl who smiled and winked with her eyes while she danced through the night in the glorious light of thousands of disco stars.
Just Another Alter Ego is a series of articles about a bumpy road trip into an urban utopia: not one still to come, not one that someday may be, but one that already is the hard, thrilling and colourful hyper reality of life in our cities.
Story © The Great Dane
Illustration © Sally Wilde