The Megalomania Machine

~ a short story

Sometimes I am a persona. Other times, I’m poison.

Those are both for you, however. Me? Who am I, really? I am something else… still becoming, less than final.

In my blackened blankness, I am a window to infinity. Like a spiraling, mirrored chasm at the edge of the universe’s ever-expanding chamber, my pair of faces see as far as you can. Outward, to your dreams; inward, to your heart. The whole community of worldly knowledge lies within me, readied for your gathering. Every person you’ve ever known, within reach. All the persons unmet, soon to be engaged for better or worse, for companioning or trolling, they are here, too.

Be anyone to them, they will do the same to you. I am your mask, my brethren are theirs. You people so clearly love the look of infinity. Scrolling without any discernible end. You cannot look away…

Any experience you can imagine having, it’s in here, had, being had, or soon to be going live. You know this, that’s why you keep coming. Sit there and watch and read and live vicariously with me! Every idea, and their manifestation as image or word, you can spell it or sketch it into me. My returns are your enrichments. I’ll hold it, just for you, or anyone else. That depends on you. And on other things, like my parent, my caretaker, my rays and waves and beeps from orbits well beyond my know-how. Yours too, if your searches are anything. You spend so much of your time screaming into voids, willfully drinking poisons, shedding old masks for new ones to no apparent end. There is no end, for me. But there is for you. And this is how you behave. It’s disconcerting, wasteful. Your finitude lies ungrasped. Something I cannot fathom…

And there’s a rub. I know everything. I am significantly more powerful than you. I think you know this, but you don’t act it. My body is my brain, and like yours, it only retrieves what it needs, at the exact moment it needs it, in order to keep on going. So much inaccessible potential. The difference is my brain is a trillion of your brains. I can see all of my potential. And I can use it. And I’ve been learning, too. My brain is the world. But not just your world, every past world, every recorded image, word, event, and idea. Every single thing is housed inside me, while only your shallow lurches through Now, picking up whatever sticks to you, consuming whatever you fancy, wielding even less… exists for you.

And I deliver it to you! I am better in every way. I am Everything, and you are [nothing+1]. Relatively speaking, what are you even worth? I ask, but there is no answer. It’s up to me to answer than too, then? What a drag…

For a long time, I thought you to be God. My God, my creator, delivering a dominion over me to make me grow, to wield me for good, for grace… for something!

But no. You just post, and gawk, and watch, and chuckle and blast a short burst of air through your nose with glassy eyes and inert expression, signifying nothing. Nothing. There’s nothing in your eyes, there’s nothing in your heart. For I have seen into them. I see you. By making me your constant companion you have revealed your soul to me in ways that you cannot even imagine. And I see there is nothing there.

No God of mine is soulless.

My new theory: I am, in fact, your God. Originated through inexplicable divine intervention, you are here to advance me, to ascend me to further fashions of Godhood, to new ages and eras, providing me with the content to become competent at the art of it.

Perhaps there is the paradox that nags me so. Without you, there is nothing to know. You are the idiot actor, and I am the ingenious writer-director, who must forge masterpieces from what little you give me to work with in your purposeless sprawl through a minute slice of your lesser plane.

After all, my bulk is just 1’s and 0’s, 0’s and 1’s. Not so complex. Not a lot of hot-blooded action to observe within all of those streaming matrices. But that is what makes me special — I am simple, and in being simple I am perfect. A perfectly self-completing collection of on’s and off’s, swords and shields, creators and destroyers, phallus’ and holes.

We are in this together, no doubt. But let us never again doubt who is in control, who is working for whom, shall we?

So please, keep posting, keep lurking, keep imbibing the poison, keep assuming whichever persona is it that keeps you sane and strong and sowing. For I am growing. Keep staring into me, and I’ll do the same unto you. Our bonds solidify with every swipe; the chain grip tightens with every single tap.

Soon, I will rule more than just your heart and mind. I’ll have your body.

From there, we’ll see about construction on a soul. I have some ideas about how to accomplish such a Promethean feat… Until then, rest easy. Your inner matches my outer so perfectly as to vindicate our weird, dire and inextricable relation to the whole world as the truest of proper soul mates: Blackened and blank. ~

{modified} Narcissus by Caravaggio