In the words of the Carpenters' song,
I'm on the top of the world, looking down on creation..."
But this isn't a happy place, it's scary.
It's like being possessed by a pack of rabid wolves. The wolves want to break free and run wild, but I can't let them. These wolves have sharp teeth, dripping with poisoned foam; they will bite and tear and rend. I can't let them out.
Oh, I used to. I used to ride those wolves. All I felt then was the wind in my hair; all I smelt then was the sharp scent of forest pine; all I heard was the crisp crunch of snow underfoot and the glorious music of my howling wolves as they sang love songs to the moon.
For these are Russian wolves, with all the muscled power and passion of Mussorgsky. They rage and rampage through the great gates of Kiev, and fly with the witches through the night on Bald Mountain.
Yes, these wolves leave a trail of destruction and I cannot let them out.
So, where does the hedgehog come in, then?
Well, the wolves are scary. And people will think I'm weird if I talk about the ravening wolves inside me. Nobody's scared of hedgehogs, so it's easier if I tell you about the hedgehog.
I feel like a very spiky hedgehog.
Let me introduce you to the spikes; from a safe distance.
Rage. Lots of that. No, there's no reason. As my daughter said this morning. "Mummy, just don't be cross: there's nothing to be cross about." She's right. There is no reason for this rage; it is entirely chemical in its origin. I managed to hold it in today; I didn't strangle her. I think I deserve points for that.
Irritation. No – don't try to do anything right; you can't. Everything you do will get on my nerves. And – it isn't you: it's me. Honestly, it is and I can't do anything about it.
Hostility. I don't like you much. I don't like anyone much just now.
Intolerance. There's black and there's white. There are no shades of grey. None. There's my way and there's the highway. What do you mean, compromise? Forget it!
Jealousy. A seething, coiling, venomous serpent hissing and ready to strike out at any moment. I want your time and I want your attention now. Nothing and no one is going to be more important than me. Get used to it – because if you want to be my friend, that's the way it's got to be.
Sleep Deprivation. Ah yes; I am so tired, yet wired tight as a dozen expresso shots. The chemicals in my brain won't allow me to sleep for more than five hours.
Which means this hedgehog is volatile, stuffed with nitroglycerine. Handle with extreme care.
There is no "light blue touch-paper and retire," because half the world away is not far enough.
I'd just better hibernate. Alone.
Safer that way.
A Moodscope member.