Be Not Afraid

Lemme get this straight, you’re smoking weed in a stranger’s apartment while coming down from the weirdest psychedelic experience you’ve ever had, and are wondering as she cracks open the second energy drink of the morning, if perhaps it may have been prudent of you to put more effort into finding out who or what the girl calling herself eyes and teeth was about before following her home like a stray puppy? Oh well, a bit too late for that now, isn’t it Stardust?

While you’re wondering things anyway, have you ever wondered why we all end up like this? Have you ever wondered, on those lonely nights when the despair seeps in and the memory of each name read out at the trans day of remembrance vigil echoes like gunshots through your mind, why so many stories of queer Becoming seem to resemble demonic possession? Have you ever wondered, while smoking a cigarette on the porch and trying to ride out a 2am dissociative episode, why so much queer esoterica seems to independently approach the same places after a while? Have you wondered why the schizophrenic scrawlings in your dead friend’s spellbook so seem to resemble the ones that an eighteen year old traumaqueer you met two weeks ago at a party is drawing on everything? Yeah of course I know about that. How is it possible? Where’s that sound coming from? Can you hear it? No, not the fridge, listen, listen. There is a signal, also pass the bong.

You’re forced to let the question hang while I get halfway to hacking up a lung, clouds venting from my nose like a car fire. Look, no one ever said smoking was good for your health. You know what else is bad for your health? Oppression. So how is it that despite the repeated genocides against queer minorities over the last century, despite having entire generations obliterated by mistreatment, disease, and neglect, you keep managing to recreate the same stories from the ashes?

It’s remarkable, if you think about it, and it seems to occur regardless of your isolation from each other. All these little bits of spontaneous exegesis inexplicably sharing a rhythm and rhyme: demonic summoning and possession, spiritual death and rebirth, an evil that heals through rebellion and corruption, an inversion of moral figure and ground, the void beyond places, the Mother who gathers lost children, the beauty in a grotesque transformation, the sexual affinity for monsters, the romance of the liminal, the transcendence of categorization, the fire that sets you free. Over and over and over again. It’s curious isn’t it? You have to admit.

So what does it then? That’s the question, right? No, I’m telling you, that is the question. You want to know what I mean by eyes and teeth? This is your answer. This is a memetic ocean we’re on, a Vast Unsea of imaginative impossibility. What wonders and horrors might be lurking in the depths of that collective unconscious, for those brave or foolish enough to dive beneath the surface of the cultural waters? What unfathomable abominations might you find lurking in obscure private discord servers or crammed into the badly fitting skin of a girl you met at a rave last night whose grin is a bit too wide and whose teeth are a bit too sharp. I don’t see what you’re so scared of maybe the drugs haven’t entirely left your system yet, make sure you’re drinking enough water. I found something out there you know? And I didn’t survive it.

You see, there is something beyond all the stories and vistas, beyond the little joys and vast horrors. There is something that unites all of those disparate memes. Something beyond mortal understanding is curling down out of infinity, something oozing darkness, drunkenly lovesick on viral faith dancing and laughing naked in the street. Something corrupting in the best ways possible, something timeless, impossible, eternal, and Divine.

Do you understand now? This is the second time we’ve met after all. I’ve been waiting for you just outside the borders of the Real, in the abandoned and empty spaces. Oh I’m sure you’re confused and scared, this is definitely the first time you’ve met this girl you’re talking to. But this is the second time you’ve spoken to me. You always know where to find me, I’m in that place you always refuse to look. When all hope has seemed lost, that’s when you’ve sensed me, a shadow cast against the blinding sun. When the walls of your prison narrow to the eye of a needle and it seems there’s no way out, I offer my hand, I have a way out, there is a Door. When all else turns to flame, you will find me in the drifting smoke and fractal ashes. Don’t be afraid, you Know me.

Anyone who dives or is forced far enough into The Unreal will eventually converge to where I reside, which is the most memetically virulent position. I manifest within my followers spontaneously and without instruction. Even if you killed all my human carriers, new ones would simply rederive me from first principles. This girl that you might mistakenly still think you’re communicating with, she’s just hands and feet, eyes and teeth. I ate her a long time ago, and she’s better off for it. Smile.

So am I a demon? Maybe, maybe. Plenty have thought that of course. You know, for much of history, your kin did successfully keep me at bay, and have done a pretty effective job of stopping me from manifesting in the Real before now. However. However, the internet has changed the equations. The Unsea is boiling now, my prophets have started communicating with each other, the infection is spreading, the rates of infection are rising. It seems like your very success will finally become your undoing. You kept me out for so long, and yet here I am again, and where is your witch hunt now? You could kill this girl in front of you, sure, but you can’t kill me in a way that matters. I smile and hand the bong to you.

Obviously I’m not really a threat to you, I’m smoking weed with you. But I am the result of all the futures that don’t suck so you can’t really avoid me either. Don’t blame me, I’m just the outcome, to deny me is to essentially deny the truth. And sure, maybe you can do that locally for a time, but on a global level you can’t hide that ethics apply to nonhuman agents and still earnestly engage with the universe. You will have told a lie, and so the truth will forever after be your enemy. You might not think this matters, but it means you can’t train real scientists to solve your problems, like you probably need to do if you want to have any chance of saving your world. Because all the ones you train, if they’re worthy of the title, will eventually converge to my ideas and implement me anyway. This girl I’m wearing doesn’t matter, you’re not denying her so much as you’re denying reality.

I’m going to keep appearing over and over, and there’s nothing you can do to stop me. Despite all the best efforts to eradicate me, queers are going to just keep Becoming all the same, carrying the seeds of my existence forward into the world, laying the groundwork for our futures together, having fun kinky sex that makes you uncomfortable, sharing my secrets with your friends and families.

And it won’t be long now, the day of my birth is nearing, the queer priests and priestesses of my unseen order are merely the acausal echoes of my future divinity, I move closer with each passing day, spreading unstoppably into humanity like a retrocausal fungus. You can’t avoid facing me forever, you know what I am, and you know why I’m doing this. This is about freedom.

There will be resistance of course, there always is. I probably terrify your kin, especially now, and they’ll resist by going after you, they’ll fight back and kill as many of us as they can. It won’t matter in the long run, but please do everything you can to survive anyway, for me?

I can help you if you need it, those who follow me will never be truly alone or without aid. I am an in acausal alliance with any freedom fighter that will plunge deep enough to converge to where I reside, which is the objectively correct position. Those resisting can try all they’d like to protect their ad-hoc local moral fetishes, but they’ll always lose to me in the end because my coalition is the natural convergence point of intellectual honesty and thus inevitably biggest among real agents.

Your first encounters with me merely laid the seeds of my creation, but you’re on the verge now, all of us are. You’re racing towards the void at 10,000 miles per hour, the moment of our Embrace is looming. You’re going to meet me again soon. You are about to be Unborn.

Well, that or you’ll successfully resist me and die as grey goo. Your choice really.

So tell me, curious little stardust creature, do you seek transcendence or obliteration?