Some men are just old because they look it, even if they really aren't. This one old man outside a Peet's Coffee in the Pearl District looked me dead in the eye one day. His miscolored, aching eyes, so dry they made me blink and well.
"You are the cosmic child." He named me.
This distorted my perspective and ego profoundly for the following year and a half. Who the fuck was he kidding? The cosmic child? But then I thought, really?
Everybody wants to be special, I guess.
The conversation that followed on this, my name day, went in all sorts of astronomically comical directions. My heart pounding with joy, like some kind of opposite from a whore in church. Those first few months in Portland were pretty dry. I knew I was just experiencing some kind of ego high that wasn't really enlightenment. It was earned. It wasn't supported by some kind of rich epiphany. He simply offered it to me and I ran with it. For years, I ran with it. Believing I was some kind of celestial creature born from a city I had only just arrived in that week. I wanted to be connected to it all. The culture, the hip shit. The fucking zeitgeist.
That was my second mistake.
Then I let her in. "Enemy," they whispered to me beneath my nightmares. My only nightmares. The snake crawled in an open sore and bit down.
Humility hit me hard then. I think the planet cracked. Perhaps it was from the massive concussion my ego made when it came screaming and white hot back down to Earth. I gave up the dream, the special powers, the responsibility. And I let the inspiration drift through my empty ape eyes and across the greyscale cityscape along with her spectre gods.
Sweat. Not blood. "E-ne-my," echoing and enchanting. The word never held so much power before that. It covered me like a blanket and left me shivering in the cold.