Living In Hell

I'm not going to lie to you man, Hell has problems. Hell isn't perfect. Are there places I'd rather be than Hell? You bet. Heaven, for one. Or even South Dakota. But you don't always choose where you end up. Sometimes you end up in Hell and the only choice you have is either belly-ache and moan about how bad you've got it or buck-up and make the best of the situation.

Again, is Hell my favorite place of all time? No. But do I think about how awful it is while I'm going about my day? Do I cry and carry on about it instead of doing what needs to be done? Yeah, sometimes I do. Very often in fact. But not as much as I did when I first got here.

You might say we "Do things a little differently" here in Hell. It takes some getting used to, I'll give you that. I find myself looking down on the new arrivals, the transplants and gentrifiers, and scoffing at their naive attempts to assimilate. I went through it too, and I know it ain't easy. But it's almost a sacred duty to give these bright-eyed dreamers a rough time of it. A little taste of reality to go with their pre-conceived romantic notions of the place.

Are you going to suffer unbearable pain for all of eternity? No. Are you going to be tortured? Not likely, nobody has time for it. Is some demon going to rip your guts out and wear them as a scarf? Probably not. Depends on the neighborhood. Are you going to be haunted by visions of your loved ones moving on with their lives and forgetting you ever existed? Yeah, but that goes away after a while.

You get used to the permanent twilight, the noise, the sulfur smell. You'll even get used to the food. I can honestly say I get cravings for the rubbery translucent things we skim out of the blood swamp. Dry 'em out, fry 'em in goat fat, pinch of salt. Delicious.

And the locals? What you call "Demons"? Some of the nicest creatures I've ever met. Well, once you learn how to act around them. Obviously they don't like when you sneak past them shivering in wet fear, or like when people wail and scream and run away. It's disrespectful. Would you like it if someone you just met started crying and begging you not to torture them? No, I bet not. You might even torture them just to prove a point. The locals can be a little cruel, sure, but they were here first and if you wanna get by out here you'll learn to deal with them just like they've learned to deal with us.

Once you get acclimated you'll start to appreciate the area. The landscape is amazing, first of all. The Terror Valley, The Lake Of Mercury, The Bone Spiral, The Fear Zone, The Impossible Mountains, the list goes on. And some say if you stare into the sky long enough with its strangely shimmering surface like molten glass that you'll go insane. It's that impressive. But besides the nature spots we've got the best cultural scene around. All your favorite actors, musicians, comedians. They all end up here eventually. There's always something going on, given that we've lost the ability to sleep.

But the most important thing you're going to discover is your own strength. The fact that you ended up here, whether you wanted to or not, and you stuck it out. It can be weird, it can be hectic, it can be overwhelming and alienating and even scary. But you still gotta get out there and do your best. That's all that matters. You're in charge of you and despite whatever might happen you'll at least have the knowledge that if you can make it here you can make it anywhere.