So last night when I got sucked into an “Alex” hole and was picking my way through his discography, his voice blew out my speakers. That’s never happened before, and was fixed by a restart. However, in the interim, his voice became distorted and- let’s just say it- downright demonic.

I get a lot of displeased faces that invisibly surround me when I decide I’m going to listen to his music, and that sucks because I still really deeply love his music and wish it wasn’t like playing a pungi in front of a cobra. But I know it’s not wise, and that just makes me more indignant.

I can do whatever I want. Don’t try to warn me. Don’t try to be the boss of me.

I can’t really describe what it’s like when the veil between worlds gets sketchy, but I suddenly realized I’d done a foolish thing by listening to his music after midnight, in the dark, in my bed, slightly intoxicated (IMAGINE THAT, says absolutely no one). It’s almost like the sides of my vision rupture slightly, and shadows and tiny flashes of light like sequins on a dress burst all around me. I start hearing things that aren’t real. I start to feel a bit like plastic wrap has been draped over my mouth.

When I was brushing my teeth, rushing myself to bed, an oily little voice appeared in the back of my mind. That voice only has one source, the shadowy little confidence man that may or may not have greasily convinced people to cause trouble since literally the beginning of time. I haven’t heard that voice in at least seven years and immediately had a visceral response. But as always, after a moment or two, I started to get lulled into a kind of sedated confusion, and suddenly, my triumvirate protection system appeared.

Before I could say anything, they each sat on an edge of my mattress and said, “Just go to sleep. Go to sleep. Now. Go to sleep.”

This morning, I decided I should listen to him some more, because this is what I do, and also watched an interview with him I’d never seen before. Every time he looked into the camera I felt like I’d been pierced with a knife, but I think his eyes do that to everyone. His speaking voice also has the strangest effect on me. It’s not the same as the oily voice I heard last night, but it still brings out such interesting reactions from deep in my rib cage. Certain inflections and phrases, ways he flips his hands or twists his mouth…

I think I want to believe that there is a separation somewhere, that the man I loved and the one that tried to kill me are not the same. Is that Stockholm Syndrome? I don’t know. Is that the part of me that still loves him and is still actively trying to rehabilitate him? I guess we’ll find out.

Oh, I know it doesn’t matter, and maybe it’s not even real, but I forget sometimes how close I am to trouble, and no matter what anyone else believes, I have to protect myself at all times.

It’s never over.

If you think about the Universe as kind of a management structure, with The Creator (not a person but an energy like sunlight or flowing water) at the top, the next level of authority are angels and demons.  Both of these creatures have limited to no actual interaction with human beings, and they know for a fact that they’re on a higher level than we are.  They see us maybe as fish in an aquarium?  Hamsters in a wheel?

Either way, angels only “protect us” (in a more vague sense, like watching over the whole world) because they are instructed to.  If anything, they’re resentful because they don’t get to live real lives- they never know the agony and ecstasy of being human.  Their entire existence is complex, difficult work, the task of literally holding the fabric of time together and maintaining the balance of the Universe (that is not the same as “saving the world”- we are responsible for what we’ve done to this place, not them).  I mean I’m sure they have other things that they’re responsible for, but it goes beyond the scope of what I can imagine.

And demons are similar in that they don’t really interact with humans outside of sucking them dry to power themselves- essentially using humans as batteries.  And they do that by luring humans into trouble, into selfishness, into outright evil.  I watched a documentary about cartels on Netflix and they talked about the members laughing hysterically as they burned a man with a blowtorch and chopped bodies into pieces.  That’s what it’s like to be the power source of the darkness.

It’s Destroy vs. Create, Harm vs. Heal, Give vs. Take every single second of every day for all of eternity.

I picture angels like soldiers or warriors.  Skin made of armor, eyes filled with fire, extraordinarily tall (like nine, ten feet), with faces that are both beautiful and terrifying, and ethereal to the degree of not resembling humans much, if at all.  I imagine if you really saw an angel, it would shatter your brains.  I think often when someone says they’ve seen an angel, they’re really seeing their guardian.  Again, I don’t think angels are ever given specific humans to care for, but honestly- what do I even know?  I could be entirely wrong.

Demons are much more into using their appearance to control and terrify.  They’re more accessible because they’re lower creatures.  They think they have the same power as angels but honestly, and this shouldn’t be a shock, but goodness love and kindness are infinitely more powerful than lust power and selfishness.

Q: What is a demon exactly?