Publié le 12.08.2016

The English Method

Dear diary,

As I discovered the true nature of the Universal Language by mere deduction, I couldn’t help but notice that I had become almost unable to form the simplest sentence in my old Gaelic; not by fear of the strain and duress it would have caused me, but simply because I had no knowledge of it left in my memory. And that was the cause of the violence I had felt before: the Universal Language was in the process of eating it. And whenever I had to remember any of the words, I was stealing its food. It reacted like any predator that fought hard for its quarry and is not about to relinquish it.

I obviously wanted to protest against this invasion. But how do you talk to the Universal Language itself ? I tried to address it in my thought; but either it did not understand, which would have been somewhat ironical, or more likely it was not interested by the prospect of conversation. An old, old man like me probably represented some kind of lavish meal for this creature, for in my thousands of years I had hoarded, rather unwillingly, massive amount of oddities, of past usages now lost and cryptic to us. If it ever it felt any inclination to speak with its prey, it was at this moment too busy salivating over the massive granaries in my head to pay any attention to anything else. A drastic solution would have been to threaten to commit suicide, which might have convinced it to leave me, but I was by nature too interested in my own survival to put such a desperate plan into action. And so I resolved to stop thinking, which is a much easier task, in the hope that it would cut off its access to my inner larder.

Unfortunately, one of the owls, a splendid eagle-owl with an air of cruelty, seemed to have noticed my trouble and landed next to me. “You’ve understood the trap, have you ?”, it mocked, shifting its head like a cog. I did not answer, for I was doing my best not to think or reason, and particularly to avoid any use of the linguistic services gracefully provided by my brain. “Trying not to think, are you ? Good luck with that. You’re doomed, my good man. Even if you were able to extract the Language from your head, its simple memory would reconstruct itself like a starfish, and its very shadow would be enough to reform and devour you.” Vexed by this unsympathetic and taunting fowl, I snapped. “Yet you have the parasite same as me, and you seem to manage to live with it, so it must be possible somehow ?

- You’re very unobservant. Think you’re smart because you’ve noticed it inside your little head, but you miss the point. I am but a shell. There is nothing left in the brain of this owl. Not that there was much to begin with. And it goes for every other owls. Who do you think is talking to you ? I am the Universal Language, inhabiting its puppets and talking through them.”

As I had stopped almost every form of thought process, violence came to me rather naturally. There was an old iron pipe lying on the ground, with a sharp end. So I picked it up and charged against the eagle-owl. Having skewered it, I entered a furious fit that compelled me destroy every bird around. I felt a severe urge to plunge the brand deep into the heart of each and every one of them. You need to think like a cat for a second to imagine and to understand the sheer pleasure of murdering these puffy, inflated avian ghosts. The feeling of shredding an illusion in one simple hit, having it dissolved in a gush of feather and various plumage, of shutting off the amber light of their dizzying eyes. And I really believed that for each new victim - for oddly, my rampage caused no panic, and the parliament of owls could have rivaled the impavid roman senators murdered by the armies of Brennus, refusing to flee and letting themselves be killed - for each new slewn bird, I was exorcising the Universal Language itself. After a few minutes, I collapsed.

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