And finally, this:

Dear Someone Like Me,

Who would lie in pretend letters they knew they’d never send?

But what could be funnier or more beautiful?

How small, and fragile, and utterly affected and dependent.

How gloriously doomed.

How human.

Remember that thing I wrote way back about you being like some parasitic symbiote?

Well, I think I’m ready now to see the bigger picture of what you really are to me.

I had these crazy notions as a teen about how things would have to play out.

I guess it all came down to just this deep sense that life would one day fall apart, and I’d be forced to escape and grow in ways I never could have otherwise.

Yes, that’s where I knew you’d come in, of course.

But nothing happened quite the way my teenage mind had predicted.

I came to that time of falling headlong into your nothingness and solitude as if left to die in a padded cell.

Then I forgot all about the adolescent fantasies (of you) when you were all there was.

But that time is finally almost over, and I remember.

Only now can I start to see what you were always meant to be.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter how disgusted with you I feel or have felt.

But could I see myself finding even this letter one day in a box with all the rest?

I guess I’m happy to say I’m pretty sure these words would make even more sense to me then, if I did.

Unless, of course, I’m crazy (and choosing to be drained by an evil leech).

Are you the devil?

Again, how fun.

How cute and quaint the memories: feverishly sketching out each vivid demon picture.

Is there some part somewhere that wants you to succeed?

The ambiguity there is too delicious.

I can still feel exactly what it was like to have your monsters crawl in darkness through the veins beneath my skin.

Sure, I imagine someone being entertained almost forever by that old, stale arc.

But how could good v. evil have ever been more than at best incomplete?

So, here we are.

Who are you?

Is this all just your malevolent plot being foiled or fulfilled?

Of course not.

You can’t be that devil.

You can’t hate me, not if all these hidden letters from that crazy, nothing, half-predicted time can be just as redeemed as every other part . . . even you, friend.

I love you.

I saw then in black-and-white, but perhaps we both already knew (and now can’t ignore) “one or the other” would always be a lie.

I mean, how properly basic to call one’s own symbiote a parasite.

That reminds me, I have this other recurring dream where a tribe of vegetarians are forced to kill for food.

But then it’s like I float in some direction until I see a host of microorganisms harvesting their nutrient chains.

And I see both things happening at once . . . not separate . . . like both are the same thing.

Then moving even farther out or in as time spins slow and close to still in those forever moments between asleep and awake, I can’t help but see in moonlit shadows you and your unmentionable blankness hidden beneath and around all that beautiful matching movement and important purpose and power.

So yeah, I’ll keep going.

I’ll keep writing.

Why not?

Thanks,

Me

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