The laughter dies, an awkward silence ensues, and then the ground quakes.
The Big SDM wakes, it comes lurching out of the soil, from a field or a hillside somewhere. Maybe out in Sterling, the outskirts of Perth.
It would yawn, except for that mangled face. It grinds its jaws in a yawn-like way.
It's sort of a greyish green monster. It has lean limbs, a dessicated face, teeth which grow straight from its cheeks. No time or expense wasted on lips or other such pleasantries.
It would blink, except that mess of tissue couldn't really be called eyelids, and the misty grey balls of mush therein couldn't really be called eyes.
It does, however, have a garage. From this garage it extracts two oily, bulging sacks, both leaking coloured powder.
The one in its left hand, the bag with the white powder is labelled FEAR.
Fear that you won't wake up in time for work, or that when you get there you'll have forgotten something. Fear that you're not doing a good job. That your colleagues do not like you, that your job itself is beneath you, that your childhood self would recoil in shame if it saw what a miserable hash you'd made of your life.
Fear that you'll be old before you know it, dead before you know it. Fear that you're missing the point, that people out there, your friends, are making a better go of being alive. You should be more like them. Or actually fuck your friends, let's have instead the fear that they're HOLDING YOU BACK. All of them. Holding you back from what? You don't know, and that scares you. Surely you ought to know what you're being denied.
Scary. Scary, scary fear.
The other bag, the one in the right hand trickling with candy-pink powder is labelled HABIT.
Because you need a little treat to reward yourself for getting out of bed on a Monday, let's say a danish or a donut, and then you're at work so there's your coffee. There's your chewing gum, good on you for not smoking. There's the mail, the Outlook Inbox, there's those fuckers you work with filing in. There's the 10:30 slump, waiting for lunch. The perfunctory lunch. Nothing too lavish, got to save money. The afternoon, Jesus, roll on the weekend. The clock, ticking. The chores, performed. Jesus, Jesus. Almost there. 4:30. 4:40. 4:45. The evening!
Except what to do, God, well there's the post-work run, dinner, a video maybe, a beer most definitely. Two? Any more than three and you have a drinking problem, so let's call it three. There's Monday. There's Tuesday. I wasn't kidding when I said roll on the weekend. Thursday. There's the weekend!
What were we going to do with the weekend? Tell you what, roll on payday. More money would solve this. Only the end of the month. Not much longer.
It's a monster all right.
The Big SDM hefts its two lethal bags, grins its mangled smile into the weak light, and sets off to destroy me.
It's big. It's HUGE. It's so utterly vast that a single one of its steps crosses 20 entries of Sleep Dep.
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