Level One: gladness
- realisation that what you are thinking about is actually bullshit
- walking out of the dentists
- a sense, smouldering in the bones, that something big is about to happen
- gratitude for small things (breathing without pain, legs that work, potato soup, etc.)
- psychic pre-smell breast or neck fragrance
- discovery of strange beauty in extreme familiarity, such as the light on the corner of a table, the handness of hand or the precise nature of sparrow hops
- glimpse of recognition with two year old in the commute of the undead; also cutegasms
Level Two: delight
- bike ride, deserted city, midnight, winter, creamy sodium light on cars, steam from air vents, slight downhill gradient, no work tomorrow
- kitchen moonwalk, superb chicken-imitation, the moment when a jam between friends clicks, first public performance of close three-part harmony
- the marrow-radiant rightness of admitting it’s not working, and starting again
- she says yes
- profound sense that you are supposed to be here
- ionised thunderclap clarity of a perfectly simple idea that cannot possibly fail
- silent nod of deep understanding between friends before mutual plunge into abyss / chaos / hail of bullets
Level Three: joy
- the mad laughter of total loss
- silent, empty, overwhelming, self-rupturing sorrow for the condition of creatures in existence, a terrifying-yet-liberating feeling that you are breaking open
- awakening of humanity as single conscious entity upon the collective realisation and acceptance that we’re all about to die
- annihilating experience of the void as self dies, leaving behind apocalystonishment, road-rapture and a tender experience of blended union with a loving room
- snakes of blue electricity flowing up your spine and making your eyeballs glow, your teeth rattle and your chest heave (various causes, all weird)
- the rupturing atomic fire of a level five or six orgasm (see The Apocalypedia).
- shaking hands with Daemo! (see Belly Up!)
Note that delight, any level, ultimately has nothing to do with excitement, or with getting something.
During my peculiar youth I spent a year living with my granddad, Bill. Here’s sketch of the two of us on a bench in front of Island Wall…
Bill had some good stories, most of them about being bombed, and a few peculiar ideas. He said that everything had happened before, loads of times, and that one day they’d dig down under the pyramids and find a world just like this one. I asked him how many worlds there were down there. He said about six.
Bill also said not to wear pink because you’d get ‘set upon by gays’, and so for a long time I thought gays were like bulls and if you wave pink at them they’d start frothing and pawing the ground and stuff.
He also said not to eat peanuts before you go to bed, because they ‘sit on your chest’, which turned out to be true.
He was wrong about the gays though.