Deep Dark Thoughts


Over the years, many people have suggested to me that I hear the “call of void.” Too clearly, with too much intensity, or simply too often. I didn’t know what it was the first time it was suggested to me, but when it was explained I was able to apply it to a few occasions in my life.

When we were kids, left up to our own devices during summer vacation on my uncle’s farm, I would walk over to the highway with my older siblings, so we could signal the passing trucks, wishing they would blow their horns for us. Before I had a phrase to refer to and understand the feeling, I would hang back from the others. Standing one or two meters further away from the road and to the side of the other of the other children. They teased me; accused me of being afraid of the speed of the traffic, the size of the vehicles, the cacophony of the blaring horns.

I was afraid I would lay down in front of one of the vehicles. Or push one of my siblings under the large wheels of a semi-truck. Of course, I did neither of these things. I know the thought is irrational. I have no desire to harm myself, or anyone I know.

The urge creeps up on me no matter what I desire.

I think I was 13, the first time someone mentioned the void to me. I spent my lunch hour in the junior high school library, because I had no friends at the time. Nose buried in a book, I would read quietly (things I’d already read because the public school system had a piss poor supply of literature), while fending off the want to war with the offending silence of the vacant space by screaming.

I spent free periods in the library as well. I wouldn’t be alone during those times. Occasionally classrooms would move their study periods to the reference centre under the guise of encouraging unobtrusive concentration (I suspect the instructors were periodically hung over). They would try and kick me out so their class could use the space exclusively, citing my “disruptive presence” as means for my eviction.

Me? Loner. Nerd. Book worm. Ink drinker. Disruptive?

“If you look at my schedule, you will see that I have a free period right now, and am choosing to be productive with my time. However, if you would like me to leave, I will let anyone who questions why I’m wandering the halls know that I was forced to loiter by…?”

I was such a shit. I was well-read enough to know what turn-of-phrase would best shut out further reproach from authority figures. But too socially inept to be able to apply that knowledge to anyone my own age.

That’s how I came to be seated at a table with students from a younger grade. There were enough group work spaces in the library for me to blend in. I thought I was the only hold out, and assumed none of them would speak to me, as customs of the space dictated. I read, or wrote, or doodled to my heart’s content, and ignored everything else.

She asked me if I knew how to spell a word. I don’t remember which. She asked a few similar questions, and gently we breached the bounds of small talk.

“Does this space ever make you want to scream?” Ever incapable of maintaining normal conversation, I asked this question.

“Constantly. That’s the void for you.”

I was too taken aback when she responded without looking at me sideways to fully hear her. I didn’t have enough details about the subject to ask a question, so I left it at that. At home, I combed through our encyclopaedias looking for more information. (Side note: I would evolve from heavy volumes of reference to encyclopaedias on disk the following year when we got our first computer)


  • a completely empty space
  • the black void of space
  • blank
  • vacuum
  • nothingness

It didn’t make sense. How could nothing, a lack of consciousness, call out to something or someone else? I found the entire concept fascinating. I ruminated on it. I wrote about it. I identified several times in my life where an urge to do something untoward overcame and unsettled me.

I didn’t discuss it with anyone.

A couple years later it was mentioned again. I was deep into witchy-business by that point. Learning tarot. Earning a reputation as a psychic (and a demon worshipping child-murderer – but I’ll get to that another time).

Energy magick and spirit communication didn’t scare me. Still don’t. No matter what I’ve seen or encountered, imagined or supposed, when someone asks me to accompany them on the metaphysical playground, my eager willingness supplies many suggestions. I thought the few acquaintances I had were safe launch pads for my interests.

Want to talk to a ghost? Want to summon a demon? Want a card reading? Want to learn tarot? Want to see energy and spirits? We could cast a spell? Go shopping for charms? Go for a walk and see what nature leaves for us?

I was a lighthouse broadcasting a beacon in search of spooky friends. Safe port for discord: right here. I was an idiot.

When I met Christine, I was already entrenched with the exploration of spiritualism. I did discuss it with my few friends, but not to any great extent. My fervour for the subject put most people off (as did their religious connotations). Christine was open, unguarded, and freely giving of all types of information.

When I told her what I knew about manifesting psychic abilities in passed notes or on sleepovers, it would find its way into casual conversation with groups of people I didn’t know.

She was the first one to call me psychic. In private, in front of our friends, teachers, classmates… I maintained that I was not to anyone that asked. I use the cards to start conversation and get to know people, that’s all. Fear got the better of me a lot back then. She reinforced it by saying I was always accurate. Ask for a reading! Ask for a reading! You’ll see.

Before the end of the school year, there were lines 30-40 people long waiting to get their cards read by me during the lunch hour. It terrified me. It overwhelmed me. Some days I would hide to get away from the endless swarm of strangers. Sometimes it didn’t matter if I hid. I would be recognized, and requests would amass anew.

But I don’t think I ever asked her to stop. Not that year. Not when we were 15 and 16.

It was the first time people took interest in the things I did without it being shunned or waning into disregard. I kept giving the readings. Even when my throat tightened and my hands shook because I was filled with the urge to scream and throw things.

I turned to one of my other passions to alleviate the stress. Writing. Journaling. Plotting and outlining stories. I found out that she wrote too, and we further entangled our interests by sharing pieces with each other to read.

The first time she told me that she wrote too, I shrugged it off. Plenty of people claim to be writers because they got a good grade on a creative writing assignment and it filled them with a sense of accomplishment and pride. Up until that point, I hadn’t met anyone that pursued it as an interest.

When she handed me a print out of a nearly 200 page novel that she had completed writing and was in the process of editing, I was stunned (and smitten). The opportunity to read something, that no one else had, was akin to the penultimate first edition. It was the prologue of a published book. The time that existed between when an idea transformed into words, and when it became the story in the mind of a reader.

And I was that reader! I wanted to kiss her. I wanted to scream my joy at the opportunity she was entrusting me with. Nothing else mattered. Was that the call of the void prompting me? I like to think so. I’m not overcome with the wish to kiss anyone often. If at all.

I regard words with great intimacy, reverence, and respect. Writing is how I express myself. How I escape. The portal I construct and step through to live a thousand lives. A limitless expanse of endless ideas. Writing is everything, and she was trusting me with hers.

I was a little crushed when she told me our friend had read the story already, but I was still elated to be deemed reliable and loyal enough to be granted access to her transformed thoughts. I poured over the print out. I read it twice. I laughed at the fun bits of dialogue, and mused at the similes and metaphors. It was a slice of life based in high school, and drama came up (as was oft to due in the youngest dating years).

The most complete thing I had to share in turn was my journal. She was the first person I allowed to read it. I was more reluctant to share partial pieces of fictitious works, but eventually relented.

She had trusted me to read hers, even allowing me to take it with me to do so, and I couldn’t bring myself to do the same. She read mine in front of me, while I sat nearby. Watching her turn the pages. Hardly breathing. Filled with want to throw myself out of the nearby window. Or find any means by which to hang myself. Anything to avoid facing inevitable embarrassment.

I can hear her telling me that it was really good within my head to this day. The inflection. The enthusiasm. I see her eyes widened slightly as she looked up at me when she handed it back. Watched her hand thump against the desktop in front of her as she demanded that I finish it.

All of it is there in my mind. Available for me to access and view. The angle changes. The lighting dims and brightens. But she is constant. Even after everything that happened between the two of us she is the anchor of my belief in my writing ability. The root of my desire to continue moulding manuscripts. The first non-educator to encourage my expression.

Yet still the memory is clouded by the wispy black tendrils of the void’s call, beckoning for the end of my life by any means necessary. Even still, years later, it taunts me. Audaciously asking if I’m happy I’m still alive. That moment was a highlight, and so much after has been chaos and suffering. Wouldn’t it be better if it had ended there?

I hate going to the two-story mall on the other end of the city, because whenever I walk around on the second floor, I want to throw myself over the railing. I don’t like being on balconies, or near swimming pools. Even within my car, driving on a bridge or overpass, I find myself contemplating how well my little hatchback would fare against the barricades.

Most times it’s a soft descent into the notion. A passing irrational reflection. Maybe today? The severe times are fewer, but more memorable due to the jarring switch from the mundane to the self-murderous. One moment I’m chopping carrots, preparing dinner, engaged with a rudimentary routine activity. A thought trail running along snow-covered earth coalesces into a boulder of hard disregarding ice. My visual brain usurps my mental eyes to the extent I lose track of my physical ones.

I step back, mentally and physically. I take a deep breath and check my surroundings. I didn’t do anything wrong. I don’t want to do anything wrong. I won’t do anything wrong.

Yet the compulsion remains and resurfaces no matter what contrary desires I have.

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