The 7th of October 1994 – Seattle, Washington

(found floating somewhere in the dark night sky, just floating somewhere, really)

Dear Chuck,

Those goddamned nihilists, Chuck. It’s those goddamned nihilists.

They just tell you nothing’s real, Chuck. They just tell you nothing’s there. They do it over and over and over again.

And then you’re walking down a darkened hallway, except it isn’t dark. It’s absolutely, pitch black. That’s the whole world, this pitch black hallway, except it might not even be a hallway. You don’t feel a floor. You don’t feel walls on either side of you or a ceiling over your head. It’s just darkness. It’s just black, and you might as well be floating.

Those goddamned nihilists. They just talk and talk, just like everybody else, but they just talk and talk.

And then something happens. You see something, maybe, just down the way, just a little speck of light, a little star so far away on the horizon. But those goddamned nihilists, Chuck, they just keep talking and talking. Those goddamned nihilists, somehow, some way, they convince you to shut your eyes, keep them closed.

But that light’s still there, and it’s growing brighter and brighter, and even with your eyes closed you can see it, and you can feel it. And then you feel, beneath your feet, a floor. You hear your feet slap against a hardwood. And your hand drags along a smooth stone wall. There’s a moment, just a moment, Chuck, when you think you’re free, when you think you’ve found something, when you think you’ve maybe built a little bit of the world just for yourself, just the way it was meant to be.

So you open your eyes, and you expect to smile.

But it dies on your lips.

You open your eyes, and the whole world is that pitch blackness again. I don’t know, Chuck, you might – if you really strain your eyes – just be able to see that little speck of light. You might – if you really strain your ears – just be able to hear your feet slap against a hardwood floor and your fingers scratch along a smooth stone wall. But you have to strain for it. You have to work, and you have to keep moving.

If they’re wrong, Chuck – these goddamned nihilists – and I think they are, if they’re wrong, and I want them to be, if they’re wrong, Chuck, why are these goddamned nihilists so goddamned convincing?

Why are they so convincing?

I don’t know, Chuck. I just don’t know.

Warmest regards,

Bertram

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