Greetings my delectable little dishes! I’m Tra’leircaradixophipi’en (pronounced Trish) a numinous entity of the dark realm of Skarsgard (yes, I know, and no, there’s no relation) but you water bags probably know me better as the nameless, shapeless fear that haunts your nightmares.
Normally, I wouldn’t speak this plainly to you, because, well, duh — but these are crazy days and, frankly, I need someone to talk to because right now I am absolutely plowed. So, if you don’t mind, can we rap a minute?
Let me just jump right into it: up until fairly recently, my workday was pretty normal: With every rising of the Hex-Sphere, I’d make the commute from my place in Drambeth — which, no, is not Hell (although with the traffic, it might as well be) — to your noisy flesh world, where I’d spend a solid 12 hours making my rounds to each and every one of you, usually in your sleep but also pretty much any time I could get you alone with your thoughts, like in a waiting room, in line at the grocery store, or when you’re staring into the middle distance at Applebee’s pretending to listen to your brother-in-law Josh prattle on about Aaron Rodgers while actually wondering if 47 is too old to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Then — whamo! — out of nowhere I’d hit you with that sweet, sweet unmoored anguish which you cannot fully comprehend, let alone speak, but which cleaves your mortal mind in twain!
But now? Dear lord, I just can’t keep up! Almost everyone of sound mind is wracked with actual, justified feelings of guilt, anxiety, and impending doom — there’s just no way that a humble, hard-working numinous entity from a lightless plain of misery and woe like yours truly can compete with the bona fide real-world horrors that litter my Google News feed, like, every day. It’s exhausting!
It wasn’t always like this — things used to be so simple! Even as recently as 2003, I could tailor my torments to the individual; the unutterable sadnesses were so bespoke in those days! I still fondly remember the golden summer I spent torturing poor Gary Tyler of Woodstock, Georgia. I wish I had time to get into it here, but I don’t, so I’ll just say that by the end of that summer Gary was so filled with ineffable disquiet that he abandoned his job and family to go work on a crab boat in Alaska. True, the wide majesty of the sea renewed his love for life, but man, that run-up was a thing of real beauty!
So where did things go wrong? Look, I could say that it all began when agents from the neighboring realm of Lundgren successfully installed a cockroach in a man-suit as the leader of the free world in 2016, but in truth, things were bad way before then. Did you know, for instance, that your “President Reagan” was actually constructed entirely from maggots harvested from the Alexander plains, here in Skarsgard? Of course you didn’t! But you knew something was off, didn’t you? The idea at the time was that he’d shake things up, create a little free-floating anxiety, nothing too crazy. But of course he went rogue (as Alexandrian maggots tend to do) and the rest is history. Bad call on our part, absolutely, no argument there.
But listen: enough is enough. I love Earth. I work here. And I don’t want to live on an Earth without bees. And not just because, hey — what if you’re allergic to bees and don’t know it and one stings you and you DIE and what does it mean to die and why can’t I just let it go and focus on the moment like a normal person and does anyone truly love me? But because bees are an integral part of the ecosystem!
And speaking of the ecosystem, have you heard that birds are on the way out too? I mean, fucking birds?!? Christ, that fact alone should have us rampaging toward every national Capitol en masse, World War Z zombie style! But do you know how I heard about it? On the late local news! And it was on after the weather. After! But whatever — who needs birds when you can just read yet ANOTHER opinion piece on how poorly Seinfeld has aged. Because that’s what’s important.
Look, obviously there’s some self-interest here. The bottom line is that soon no one is going to listen to the soft whispers of old Tra’leircaradixophipi’en, as they’ll be too busy constructing improvised weapons to fight off hordes of sun-blistered cannibals in the water wars. An entity who traffics in nameless and shapeless fear needs its fear to be, well, nameless and shapeless, not right out on front street. You think anybody is going to obsess over the thousand miniature tragedies of existence when they’re drinking recycled urine on the desiccated shores of an acidic, lifeless sea? Who would have time? My whole shtick is subtle misery — in-your-face misery is more the métier of my colleague Y’Raxapan, and boy, you would not believe how excited that fucker is these days.
So, for both our sakes, please, get your shit together! Then we can get back to the real fun stuff — like the incommunicable mélange of dread, disgust, and wonder you feel when you look into the eyes of a newborn.