I Live With a Demon - Short Story

I live with a demon.

Not an unkind demon, nonetheless a demon. Not a shadow, not a reflection, not a subconscious problem…it’s a demon. I have a dreadfully bona fide, in the flesh, ever-present demon that walks side by side with me through my life.

When I awake there is the demon sitting on the edge of my bed reading through my journal. When I brush my teeth the demon is sitting on the toilet watching me. When I am exercising there the demon is in the lotus pose in the corner of the room observing me. Across the breakfast table from me is a demon. On a train, in an elevator, at the coffee shop there is this omnipresent demon. As I write this the demon sits next to me.

The demon never speaks nor shows emotion. Simply observes me. I question if this is the demon’s Hell. Watching, studying me, never getting to be more than a silhouette. This could be the demon’s penance for past sins. Observing my life could be the demon’s purgatory. This demon might be putting in his time before reincarnation or salvation or whatever happens in a demon’s life, or un-life for the matter.

For years this demon has been by my side. A purposeless demon condemned to monitor, never to interact. This demon must be more depressed than me. I have scotch, red wine, books, and music all as my escape and company. The demon only has the all-pervading task of keeping an eye on me. The demon only has his omni-ever-present damned existence to keep himself occupied.

I am not sure if the demon is a he or she.

I have tried exorcism, taken pills, seen doctors, acupuncturists, chiropractors, vitamins, sweat lodges, prayer, meditation, walking in the woods, scream therapy, dropped acid, all efforts to rid myself of this demon to no avail.

The demon came into my life on my 40th birthday. That must mean something but after all these years that have past I have never figured it out.

My 40th birthday was a completely boring day. Just as everyday before that day, I got up at 6am, yoga, swimming then laid back on the sofa for two more hours of sleep before starting my day. I had a breakfast of fruit, pancakes and coffee then out the door. In my car I was listening to “The Best of George Harrison”, it was gift from a co-worker. At work that day filling my required eight hours was hellishly dull. Internet access to all non-related sites was prohibited and the coffee pot was broken. The only perk of my job is free coffee and hi-speed internet suffering all day long. For lunch that day I had to get out of the office and into a more crowded and noisy place, the local pub. After downing three beers and a tuna fish sandwich I headed back to work. Nobody cares if you have a couple of drinks at lunch, sometimes it even makes me think better. I am a Taming Complexity Designer. I create simplicity for everyday problems. We live in a world that is tech tired and I help to figure out how to take complexity and turn it into common sense.

Then it happened…

An electrical shock-like sensation started happening in my middle back, randomly and spontaneously. Imagine a mini-taser attached to your spine sending electrical zaps from the center of your backbone out towards your skin.

I blackout, actually I whited-out in a blaze of blinding white light. Wrecked my car. I blamed it on the alcohol. Lucky nobody was hurt, not even me. As I sit on the side of the road with the paramedic my mind’s clarity came back into focus and so did the demon sitting next me.

It appears that I am dead now, I say out loud. The paramedic assures me that I am alive and tells me to take it easy for the rest of the day. I go home with this ubiquitous demon by my side.

For the next sixty years I would live with a demon by my side. Because of this I would become a public celebrity, a public joke and a profit to some. People would mock me, others would ask for my autograph and some would pray at my feet thinking I could stave off the power of evil. I would make a fortune from the notoriety and become a hermit to the life.

All this time the world constantly encountered the demon standing next to me. The demon could not see the world around him. I was his existence.

Of the range of questions that would be asked of me over the sixty years only one ever gave me the answer of why. Why this demon is with me?

Question asked to me was…Did anything stranger than this ever happen to you? My answer…Yes. They even wrote a book about it many years ago. You may have read it in your Sunday Schools…. “The Story of Job”.