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Imagine, if you can, the sheer terror of watching yourself descend into The Sunken Place. Your body suspended in a perpetual state of hypnagogia. Your mind lucid enough to be conscious of the fright and the dread of what's happening to your soul but too subdued — too horrifyingly and devastatingly paralytic — do to anything about it. The creep of knowing your being will soon be a portal, a wormhole, an exoskeleton, a theme park virtual reality exhibition, where you'll be controlled by an infestation of peak White appropriation, free to do whatever it wants to do with the spirit and shape that was once yours. The sadness of enough brain function existing to know — to remember — how you were lured and lied to and fooled. The agony of the recollection of shaking the hand of the man who'll now, for the rest of your days, be your masturbatory Geppetto.

And then, once you've begun to resign yourself to your fate, once you start to believe things can't get any worse, you're greeted at the gates of The Sunken Place by a large, melon-headed ghoul. He smiles when he sees you; his ghastly teeth impaled in his gums like telephone poles painted stark white; his eyes hungry and thirsty and dead and shameless like zombies promised large meals after Presidential photo ops. His costume (a pinstriped potato sack with 17,000 miniature buttons — Oh those horrible and terrible buttons! — each as fiendish and awful as this creature's face) as spine-chilling and revolting as his continence. Before ushering you into Hell, the beast mumbles something about "giving them a chance" out of his wretched mouthhole. And you laugh, for a split of a split second, at this leviathan's audacity. And also the ogre's accent, which sounds like a warthog doing an impression of a Black comedian doing an impression of a warthog.


But then, of course, your brief oasis of levity subsides, and you're soon reminded of the reality of your situation and the totally of your devastation. And you begin to cry. And then, once you're fully ensconced in The Sunken Place, with no escape and no way out but sweet, sweet death, the monster asks if you want some Harvey Food's Real Roasted Hardwood Smoked Easy Bacon.

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB, a columnist for GQ.com, and the author of What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker (Ecco/HarperCollins)

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