The question you ask yourself one morning as you are driven to Slough to work as a telemarketer: Am I dead or am I alive? Or is that everyone is alive and I am dead? Masochism: your disappearance will allow the world to complete itself, for history to end. So long as you are alive these are the Last Days.
And when you disappear? History will complete itself, the horizon will fall away and this civilisation will spread across the earth and across the skies. You are a point of absolute negativity. Everyone else is present to themselves and the day, replete. They admit light into their deepest recesses, they have no secret from the day. And each of them, the telemarketers, maintains an impressive balance of the inner and outer, like those peculiar creatures that live in the sea’s depths: they appear delicate, but their strength is such that they do not collapse under the immense pressure of miles of water.
And you? You have collapsed as a star collapses upon itself. Now you are the dark point which will draw everything into itself. The singularity across whose event horizon the world must crawl. Or is this delusion itself – some compensating ideology, some imaginary revenge on a world which has turned its face from you?
God, said Simone Weil, following Isaac Luria, has departed. As he left, the universe opened in his wake. We were born because of his absence and our lives are evidence of our abandonment. You are being driven through Slough. This is the anti-town, the seventh circle of Hell (Bracknell is the eighth circle). You ask yourself: is it that death is everywhere and only I am alive? But then you know that you are hardly alive and this is not life. You know you are the exception: it was your curse to have lifted yourself from this great living. Somehow you broke from it. Somehow it abandoned itself in you.
You are like the living wound across the everyday. Your immense boredom, your death-in-life is the wound wherein the everyday comes to know and despise itself. Now the everyday will seek revenge because it did not want to be known and to know itself. Your disappearance will allow the world to complete itself, for history to end. But you are Gracchus, the one who cannot die which means so long as you exist the world cannot bring itself to an end.
The Last Days: today, tomorrow, and all the days to come. You are Sisyphus, grinding everything into meaninglessness. It is easy to make unmeaning of meaning, says the phenomenologist, but the task is to make meaning of meaning. Yes, but your presence in the world turns everything into unmeaning, which is why the everyday will not tolerate your presence. Now it must set out to crush you and to crush itself in you. But how can it crush the one which allowed it to become self-aware?
You ask yourself: am I dead or am I alive? The answer comes: you are the wound which prevents dying from finding death. You are Parisfal’s wound. Today, like tomorrow and every day to come, you are telemarketing. 'Hello, I'm calling on behalf of Hewlett Packard ...'