DEMONS

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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. They are beyond that. We have given some of our frequent visitors nicknames: ‘car face’, ‘tangla’, ‘drunk bird’. But this 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 don’t know how they feel, only that they do feel. We suspect 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 their feelings echo deep within us. Despite our efforts to conceal these parts of ourselves, they feel the resonance. They are hungry, they are gleeful. And they are curious about 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. They are always speaking  – whispering, whining, screaming, babbling, taunting – yet, 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 that they are infinite – they are merely uncountable. They are partial, excessive and elusive.

 

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

April 2021