Before All of This

By Ken Schweda

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What am I now that I was not before all of this? I am God. Do you think you are reading this because you chose to? You are an abject fool. I created this chain of events. I willed you here to this time and place and these words. Do not for a moment think these words are just any words for any person. I wrote them so that one day you would read them. And now I pity you. I pity your frailty and your stench. Do not look away! Read these words or suffer my suffering. What suffering? How dare you ask. If I were the man I used to be before all of this I would make you pay for such insolence. I am God. I do not suffer. I do not suffer. I do not suffer fools like you wait. Wait. Don’t stop reading. Stay. I command you to stay and read. Please stay. we command you stay. we need to command. we need you, , , , . we breathe. we breathe.

You’re still here. Keep reading our words. There isn’t much time left. We need you. We haven’t been ourselves since the disease and the rot and the tubes and the chair. We used to imagine and write long and far away and run and feel love and love back. We didn’t ask for these chains. We don’t deserve them. You must suffer us please. Bless you for suffering us and for reading our words have only a short time left. And you are here with me and I am not alone. And perhaps I feel just a bit. Of before. Of normal. Of not life but at least not death.

Ken Schweda

Author’s Note:

“Before All of This” tries to express what a written dialogue might be between this person and the reader, with the twist that the reader doesn’t know in advance of the writer’s affliction. The writer starts out extremely brusk and almost abusive, as a defense mechanism. I’m hoping the reader actually begins to feel anger, like, why am I reading this crap from such an ass? Little by little, though, it’s revealed that something isn’t quite right. Finally, when the reader (by implication) threatens to stop reading, the writer softens up and lets his true feeling come out, as well as the fact of his affliction. The reader’s emotional state hopefully changes as well.