Lost in Madness (Part 1)

Dear Friend,

It’s been some time since we’ve seen each other. And in some time, perhaps we’ll meet again. But in the meanwhile, I decided to take this opportunity and write you a letter. I hope it finds you well and in good spirits. Even more importantly, I hope it finds you still human.

In truth, I don’t really know what to write, now that I’ve taken up the pen. I feel I hardly know you anymore and don’t want to risk offence. The decisive moment has passed, however, and as such I must continue.

I hope, dear friend, that you are possessed of no small degree of patience. For I must confess, that in what I am about to relate, there is a certain maddening ambiguity. Indeed, it may even seem to you, — but I know you are more charitable — that the author of such a letter has only a tenuous hold of his senses. But, in any case, before you hasten to make such judgement, let me assure you that my mind is quite intact, and that but for these trying times, I should never have had any doubt in the matter.

But you’ll see for yourself soon enough. It’s not as if there were any use keeping silent on the matter. You may think me mad now, but that’s of no importance in comparison — for if I were to seal it up longer, and God knows it’s been long enough already — if I were to hold my peace and never speak, I am afraid I really should be mad before much longer. But you see there is my goal — it is simply too much for one mind to bear, and my hope is this: that at last by writing this letter, and transmitting to you as much as possible an accurate account of myself, the weight of it all might become distributed more tolerably. For is it not the case, dear friend, that all human experience, were it bound within the confines of a single mind alone, should soon break even the sturdiest soul among us? Thus what is common to all gives the illusion of sanity, but a lunatic is always alone.

Were it possible I would end my isolation and simply write myself into your mind. But my speech is inadequate, and the flood of thought would simply overflow its banks. Nevertheless I must write, for though I fail in the attempt, I may yet avoid the abysmal alternative of complete and utter silence.

Things haven’t really been the same here since you left, so many years ago. All those ambitions of our youth, that tenacious optimism we shared: these haven’t fared so well in your absence. Back then, I saw the world so much differently than I do now, and I have to wonder if it wasn’t entirely due to your influence. Be that as it may, I can only console myself with the faint comfort of inevitability; that the fault is not entirely in myself, and that little of value would result had I remained as I was then.

By far one of the most difficult things is the realization that the world really is the way I’ve come to see it, and though I’ve tried my utmost to step around those traps so cunningly concealed, I nevertheless find myself hopelessly bound up in them. The movement of the great mass of our race possesses the force of a tidal wave, and to swim against this current is suicide. Yet to go with the flow or to attempt to ride the crest, would that death be any less certain when we break ourselves on the great shores of our sin? There is little moral comfort to be had when the greatest good is only a so-called lesser evil, and I am in no way convinced that the evil I’ve chosen is the least of them.

Even worse, these considerations are an endless sap to my courage, so that I feel inadequate to take hold of that tangible good which even now I might still choose.

Nevertheless, though I may feel despondent, I am encouraged to know I still possess hope. For what else but hope could prevent me so long from busying myself with worthless diverisons? Had I really given up, you would not now be receiving this letter. I may not know exactly where I’m going, but the wheels are set in motion, and I have hope that before long my direction might become clear to me.

There is so much more that needs to be said. But for the time being it will wait. Certain details must remain confidential, and there’s no telling who may be reading this. Nevertheless, in a little over one month, perhaps two, we may once again know the joy of one another’s company. I only wish I were more certain of the time. You’ll find the address of my current residence on the reverse, if you wish to reach me before then. I’m sure we’ll have much to discuss. Until such time,


Your Friend

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