I haven't shaved completely in years, because my naked face frightens people. It makes grown men scream like little girls. My shaving is apparently one of the signs of the apocalypse around here.
I mention this, purely for informational purposes. After all, the more signs and portents you know, the more you can prepare. You can check your almanac, your A to Z against the lie of the land, plan the route.
Provided of course, that you're holding the map the right way up, and it's the right map, you shouldn't have any real problems, right?
But what happens when you've got the map upside down, or back to front? We've all been in a situation where things don't make sense to us; maybe you've arrived in the middle of something, picked up a conversation half way through. Everything is full of unintelligible nonsense and you're damned if you can work out what's going on, because you have no clue what kind of frame of reference people are using.
You're in medias res. Stuck in the middle of things. Your beginning isn't the same as theirs. They started before you got there, damn their early-bird ways.
So now you have to stuggle to catch up - to throw yourself into the river and hope there'll be some familiar things to grab, like driftwood, or rocks; politics, religion, sports scores; something and anything you can latch onto, to pull yourself onto the boat and join the voyage properly as one one of the crew.
I wasn't around when FoolishPeople began, or when Enochian; Language Of Angels was being performed in the early nineties. I was busy doing other things. I wasn't around in 2011 when Strange Factories was being filmed.
Here's the thing, for as sure as angels are angels, it doesn't matter whether they have wings or not. It doesn't matter that it's 2013 and I wasn't around ab ovo ('from the egg'). Like you, I'm in the middle of things, here and now.
Because all we're always in the middle, always where the action is, struggling to make sense of things.
And as sure as eggs are eggs and the angelic choir of seraphim have wings of fire to cover themselves, something has happened, something called life. Somehow, that's where the magic happens - that's where the feathers fly.
Life doesn't give you a nice neat introduction, a significant pause to indicate that something is occuring. The house lights do not dim in a genteel way to attract your attention. That's a ritual of theatre, of Art.
That's taking the raw stuff of life, of that rushing river - the same one that you cannot cross twice, by the way - and carefully, deliberately crafting something.
We mutter something around here: "Art on the Inside. Blood on the outside."
Because when Art meets Life, the theatre might as well be consumed by a conflagration, obscured by a cloud of flame and feathers. And those angels, those watchers - that audience up in the Gods?
They'll have dirty faces from the smoke of Strange Factories.