DEMONS

We don’t know their names. We’re fairly sure that they do have names, but to know a demon's name is to hold it in your power: to single it out and subject it to the law. In their place, we have given some of the more frequent visitors nicknames: ‘car face’, ‘tangla’, ‘drunk bird’. But our recognition is provisional. We do not know these demons and we cannot trust them. We must remain ever-vigilant lest they suddenly turn around and devour us.

We do not know how they feel. We suspect they do feel; that they are full of feeling; that they might be solely composed of feeling. They are malice, weariness, misery, rage, pain and desire. And despite their inhumanity, their monstrousness, we feel these feelings echo deep within us. We might strive to hide these parts of ourselves, but they feel the resonance too. They are hungry, they are gleeful. And they would like to meet you.

We know that they are multitude. They are without leadership or organising structure; they neither agree with one another, nor speak with a single voice. Yet they are always speaking: muttering, whispering, whining, cat-calling, screaming, babbling and moaning. They cannot be held to what they say: their words are as steady and as lethal as smoke.

We know that they travel in groups. They often appear in consistent size and neat rank: but don’t let that fool you. There are always more out of sight. This is not to say they are infinite – they are merely uncountable. They are partial, excessive and elusive.

We know that they cannot be stopped. Tearing up any demon might briefly dispel it, but that was just one manifestation – they can endlessly return, and likely with less kindness the next time. However, for all their merciless, know they can still offer you something; a whispered secret, a taste of wild pleasure, wordless guidance. Their grins are infectious, even illuminating. Despite everything, we are grateful for their lethal presence.