I suppose one question in the mind of the reader may be ‘how real was the fantasy in the first volume of PAM?’ and I don’t think I will ever be able to answer with any degree of certainty.
Before the fantasy began, I had spent almost three months writing free hand on A4 copy paper, at a small desk in the bedsit I have described in PAM. I can’t remember how many reams I used, but it was around three or four. I wrote so intensively I had to use tape and toilet paper, at one point, to protect a red-raw blister on my finger.
I wrote in total isolation, while smoking between five and ten grams of weed a day. I only left home to score weed and shop, otherwise I spent my time writing. As I wrote, memories became palpable recollections, as though I had been transported back in time and space to relive moments of my life. It almost seemed as though time had ceased to be linear, with me occupying a position upon its forever increasing length, and had formed an ever-extending loop, within which I travelled, back and forth, in a circle from my birth to self of the moment.
I had always been a captive of my past, and had passed through adulthood obsessively considering pivotal moments in my life. These occurrences, which had once drifted randomly through my mind, were placed in order through writing, which enabled me to understand the chain of events that had led to a poor condition of mental and spiritual health. I reached conclusions I had never considered, and found I was able to regard myself truly objectively for the first time in my life.
Once I had finished writing the passages of self-analysis, I assumed my writing had reached a conclusion. At that time, I supposed PAM would end at the last paragraph of chapter sixty three, when I wrote;
‘Of course, you may think of me as you wish, and perhaps you will be happy when I’m dead and gone. But I’m quite certain others will be driven insane by the ways of our world, and with the growing stresses encompassing our evolution, there may be more than one disturbed person to take my place when my time is over, and perhaps they will not be as lucky as I have been, in battles with demons awaiting their arrival.’
Although I considered PAM complete, I didn’t want to stop writing because I had nothing else to do. I knew I had to leave Holland, but I didn’t know where to go, so I was postponing my departure. The combination of these factors led to further passages of writing, which I didn’t think would form a part of the book.
While I was writing chapter sixty three, the blame I had towards those who I felt had disturbed my development was replaced by compassion and understanding. I wondered what had happened to them to make them behave as they did. This thought began to expand to consider what circumstances had led to there being so many disturbed members of our species. I questioned our evolution; the factors governing it, and what we are evolving to become as a result of their influence. I compared the evolution of our species to all others, and realised we were not evolving in harmony with all other species.
One unique realisation led to another, and each thought was as fresh and unthought as the last. I have used the term ‘enlightenment’ to describe the insight I had concerning the plight of humankind, which forms the foundation of the fantasy in PAM, and still regard the experience as such.
When I wrote of the mumbling voices, and listening at the window or door in an effort to determine its source, I was describing my reality; I was in a terrible mess. I lay in bed, on the night I finished writing the passage of text concerning humankind’s evolution, and in an effort to still a tornado of thoughts and calm my nerves, I slipped back into my distant past, in the days before Fat had become my step father. I cannot recall the date the fantasy began, but the time was precisely 00.17 – the point at which I rose from bed and began to write again. I wrote in real time, and the fantasy unfolded from that moment, in chapter sixty six;
’I wish I could fall asleep now as I did when I was a child, when I believed everyone in the whole wide world was well fed, tucked up nice and snug and warm in their own little beds, in their own little houses, with each and every one having the same chance of happiness in life as I.
The realisation makes me sit bolt upright on my moss-green plastic airbed, which makes a loud, unpleasant noise against the dark-beige, wood-effect linoleum flooring, upon which the airbed is resting.
I hope my downstairs’ neighbour didn’t hear the horrible farting noise it made through the floor; they undoubtedly think little enough of me as it is. Farting noises coming from the ceiling are unwelcome at any time of day, and I know it’s late. I take my no-nonsense, model 2310, camera-less Nokia mobile phone from beside my bed and see it’s 00:17.
I pull a sucked-lemon face of apology and turn it towards my downstairs’ neighbour, while my thumb clicks through a long list of contacts that have recently appeared on the phone. I arrive back at the near beginning of the list, stop at ‘Assistant’, and press the green, old-fashioned telephone handset symbol and wait for the connection.’
My Assistant arrived as if by magic; a spontaneous invention. I created him within the space of time it took to write the passage of text. I’m not sure why I created him. I was incredibly lonely at the time, so maybe he was the materialisation of an invisible friend. People from my past, both living and dead, had been brought to life through writing, and perhaps this ether of rebirth had the power to create new people too. Maybe he was a projection of an inner self – an alter ego; one of the multiple personalities I sensed I had, who enabled me to consider my thoughts objectively. Although it was not a conscious thought, perhaps I sensed I would be nothing but a madman ranting on a soapbox without him.
I have created other characters in my short stories and novellas, but he seems to stand out as the most palpable of all – more so than Martin and Sir Martin in the Imperialist Club for Gentlemen – and if I ever consider my Assistant, he seems almost as real as anyone I choose to remember. Maybe it’s because his character was so well defined, or that I wished he were real.
I ‘saw’ my Assistant on several occasions, when he materialised between the confines of my imagination and vision. Once; with his legs tucked beneath his chair, when I wrote that he looked like he sat within a tiny boat amidst a sea of alligators, and at the end, before I left the apartment, when he seemed so real I felt genuine sorrow when we parted.
As far as the actual fantasy is concerned; I knew it was invention as I wrote, yet I believed I would change the world, somehow. I had the power to change the world, and I did not. I knew I hadn’t been asked to, directly, but felt I would. I suppose an entirely psychotic frame of mind was responsible for the grand delusion of feeling I had the power to change the world, and a lengthy period of reflection led to the thought that humankind would surely change the world, if I could not, if only we had the ability to unite and create the world we wish to live in. This realisation led to writing The Last Revolution.
I am aware of the The Last Revolution’s naivety. It is only intended as a template for discussion; a concept for consideration. I sensed that to write as though it were an academic work would have dissuaded many from reading it, so I only conducted research I considered necessary. I avoided the use or overuse of terms such as capitalism, communism, socialism, oligarchy, and so forth, since I felt the notion of a fresh, modern-day version of Athenian Democracy would be weighed down by them.
Athenian Democracy was developed as a political doctrine for Ancient Greece, and determined by the political issues of that time and restricted by its restraints. I only wished to extract its essence and expand upon its possibilities; that an increasing percentage of the majority were able to perform within the political arena and influence the decisions affecting their lives, and consider how the world might change if humankind were empowered to do as they were able to do – if humankind were able to design global civilisation through a true, interactive democracy, rather than continuing to allow an almost imperceptible minority to totally mess up what is surely the most rewarding, awe-inspiring work on the planet.