And now for something completely different...
Tonight je vous presente a small interlude, which is (I promise) more comical than it might at first seem. It's a story in the form of a very pretentious letter. I hope you enjoy... Or rot in hell. Whichever.
My Dearest Annette,
It was not a happy time. I would prefer not to tell you what I would have traded during my ordeal for even an ounce of tenderness, administered from the hands of a stranger. It should please you to know that I enjoyed no such ministrations. In retrospect, it's clear that such a thing was not meant to be. It was my plight, and I now understand it all too well.
Alone, I toiled in near darkness beneath the sparse light of the smoke spitting oil lamp which you presented to me on the occasion of my graduation from academy. With cramped hand, I worked at my masterpiece tirelessly, wordlessly, free of every distraction save the sound of my own ragged breathing, and I truthfully cannot imagine how much time passed. Whether it was months or years, I do not know. The memory assaults my mind fitfully, striking here and there without rhyme or reason as a guerilla might, never revealing itself for more than an instant for fear of riposte.
And what, pray tell, do I have to show for this herculean effort? What spoils did I recover from the private war I waged against silence? After all of those countless hours spent deadlocked in mortal combat against the wages of eternity itself, with naught to wield but a single quill and an inkwell full of ammunition, I can honestly report that I have gained nothing... I have absolutely and frankly nothing to show for it.
I can imagine right at this moment the look of astonishment and outrage that is surely twisting your lovely visage. “How?” You are asking in your honey sweetened voice. “Why?”
The answer is as simple as it is poetic, and shall no doubt solve another mystery presently troubling you. If you will grant me but one more tender mercy, allow me to conjur for you an image. There I sat in that mouse hole I once called a home, doubled over and contorted as a once proud vine deprived for too long of water and sunlight. Within the weakened grasp of my oil and dirt caked hands was the finished product of my efforts. The manuscript into which I had poured every last drop of my blood and vigor was complete, and all that remained of its extended gestation was the act of delivery. I was, to put it mildly, imbued from head to toe with a satisfaction that transcended human consciousness, rivaled only by that of Mary following the birth of the Christ or perhaps of God Himself as He settled down to rest on the seventh day.
For the first time in my life, a smile threatened to connect my ears by one massive, curving chasm, yet the existence of that smile was tragically cut short, for it was in that moment that the vile, traitorous oil lamp which had faithfully served as my sole companion throughout the ordeal decided in one fitful cough to tip over and spill its incendiary contents across my desk. In the span of a single human heartbeat, the flames danced out and across the oak desk and further across the parchment that was my manuscript, then proceeded to engulf the rest of my contemptible and tinderbox like home, and the entirety of the building to which it belonged in a rage of demonic flames the likes of which even the depths of hell might fail to produce.
That, my dear, is why there is nothing to show for the aeons I have spent sequestered in pursuit of greatness, and consequently also why you will find within this parcel the shattered remains of the oil lamp you presented to me on the occasion of my graduation from academy. May its remains serve you as well as they did me.
Rot in hell,
P.S. Should you care to contact me, I may be found at the bottom of a bottle, or else face down in a gutter somewhere.
Although I prefer a shorter, punchier style in my usual writing, I also think it can be a helluva lot of fun to ham it up and watch those sentences run on and on. Run, tired little sentences. Run for your lives.
Until next time,
Keep it on ice, hep kats...