I have crossed Saharan deserts by camel and tramped the subterranean vaults of the Roman amphitheatre of El Djem, where the dust of centuries still recalls the blood of ruined gladiators.
I have prayed in all the major temples in Egypt, and sought out their lost brethren in London and New York. I have raced by torchlight across the Nile to hear the words of Isis on the Island of Philae, and been in the pathway of the rising sun at Abu Simbel.
I have climbed the pyramid at Chichen Itza and scanned a panorama of endless jungle. I have climbed stones carved with the skulls of a thousand sacrifices and walked the playing fields of an ancient game that can only be described as, ‘football meets genocide.’
I have ridden my snowmobile across frozen Finnish lakes, beneath the lurid ribbons of the northern lights, to sit with a Lapp shaman in her smoke filled house. I have driven reindeer and huskies through the black and white forests of the Arctic Circle, hunting fairies.
I have walked the haunted undercity of old Edinburgh, sailed to the Traitor’s Gate of the Tower of London and frequented smoky little bars in Manhattan. In Boston, I read “Pickman’s Model” on a tomb in Copp’s Hill, then wandered to Cambridge and the Harvard Yard to find rooms variously filled with meteors and extinct monsters and the gilt writ names of the patriot dead. If Dante’s shade hailed Longfellow’s on those snow choked greens, each thanking the other for all they have done, I was there. In Prague I saw the scraps that blew loose in the Holocaust, and walked soft beneath synagogue towers where rabbis once gave golems their terrible animation. I have paid my dues in Cathedrals great and small: to the Child of Prague, the tomb of Wenceslas, the ladies in Notre Dame, poets, bards and kings. Every antique thing in the Palais du Louvre—I have rendered my respects.
I’ve circled a sun temple in the hills of Donegal more times than I can count, sat expectantly in dozens of ruined castles, keeps, burial chambers and, when all the spirits of Ireland failed me, the cave dwellings of troglodyte Berbers in Tataouine.
I’ve had dinner in a carriage of the Orient Express—that spent the 1930′s running the great and the good, the powerful, evil and downright demonic from Monaco through Istanbul to St. Petersburg—while it was standing in the benighted gardens of an 18th century Abbey, with all it’s gothic mojo doing its thang.
I have altered my consciousness along the canals of Amsterdam and not fallen in.
I have read a copy of the Sepher Rezial Hemelach, smuggled through Nazi Germany, in Enochian (okay, the first part of that statement should really say ‘looked at’ rather than ‘read’) in the hushed solitude of a private reading room, where anything could have happened to me and no one would have seen.
I keep the company of gamers and I indulge in their activities.
I’m starting to get the distinct impression that Cthulhu is plain fucking ignoring me.
(Updated to 2012)