Chapter 20

SOME BAD NIGHTS

Illustration by Paloma Agüera

Hello, A.

I think a lot of you and I’m sorry if writing to you obliges you to answer. It doesn’t. Selfishly I think I do it more to put all this into words, to find a space away from the judgments we are all subjected to every day, to try to release these ghosts, the black birds on a blank piece of paper. As if my mind was a huge barrel of thoughts and these letters the definitive pipe through which they drain. I wish it was as real as it is visual.

When I think of you, I imagine that you are on my shoulder, a moral and spiritual guide that gently pulls my reins before I enter the eternal labyrinths of my cerebral algorithm. I’m sorry to tell you that you don’t always succeed, even though sometimes you must pull very hard and remind me, word for word, of all the work we’ve done these years to make me accept the inevitable presence of myself: my black and white pieces fighting for a spot on the board of my head.

If you read this it is because lately I am trying to manipulate the game, you know, the fallacy of control, and the pieces I least want to advance are about to check me. I am writing to you because you understand me, because I want you to tell me that everything is right or everything is wrong. I am writing to you because the me on my shoulder has taken a well-deserved vacation and I need to renew it.

I am not telling you anything new if I told you that I have always thought a lot about death, especially when I am convinced that I am less afraid of it than of the disease. But now that the latter is more present in my mind since I want to be a father, I fear that a child could change the only certainty I thought I had in this life: If someday the disease comes to me, if I stop being my own master, that day I will die. And I don’t know if I want to have someone around to stop me.

Thank you for always being there, over my shoulder.

P.S. “The thought of suicide is a great consolation: by means of it one gets through many a dark night”. Friedrich Nietzsche.

 

Dear.

It is always a pleasure to hear from you. I read you with personal pleasure, as a friend rather than as a psychologist and, allow me, with a frivolous enjoyment of your special sensitivity which, though it may be like that of many, you are so capable of putting into words.

My job is to sow doubts so that you can find what seem to be certainties. I try to guide you along a path faithful to your values because I don’t think there is any certainty, nor are some decisions better than others, you know. But from what I read, regarding death, you are clear about what your value is and if that is your disjunctive syllogism, don’t wait for the disease: die now. I still don’t know anyone who is master of himself, or is it that right now you are? You have just confessed to me that you are not even capable of controlling your thoughts. Since no one is, what does it mean, then, to be your own master?

If one day we were to sit down, as humans, and start thinking about the absurdity of our existence, the casualness of it, we would grasp tighter at what makes it all seem to make sense. What keeps you going in life now? What makes you feel a sense of self-ownership? Maybe it’s writing for others to read, or embracing her every night. If a child keeps you in life, with or without disease, then you have once again found something that invites you to get out of bed. We all do it: the eternal quest to give meaning to what has no meaning.

Let the pieces move, it’s you, and take the freedom, own it, to do what you really want to do. Even if it hurts, even if it’s scary.

Don’t stop writing to me.

P.S. And while you’re at it: “The more exalting life is, the more absurd is the idea of losing it”. Albert Camus.

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