The 22nd of October 1872 – Binghamton, New York

(found with edges smudged with dirt)

Hello Ronald,

The intent of this letter can be stated plainly, and so it will be with plain intent that I state it here.

I would like to apologize for my behavior over the past several weeks and months and, in fact, decades.

I do feel as though as if I have been rather and quite erratic and moody and irrational, and I understand the concern that you and others might harbor as observers of such oscillations in my temperament.

So, even though an Amazonian flow of admissions of my own failure would fail to fill the world with a satisfactory amount of my regret, I will continue to say that I am sorry.

Essentially, it boils down to this: I feel, unfortunately for an unknown reason, as if I have not been myself lately. What is worse is that, if given the opportunity, I would revise my previous sentiment to state that I feel as if I have not been myself ever, at all.

In fact, I have settled into a position – a surprisingly comfortable position, I might add – that the experience or the feeling or the comportment of my being towards anything that at all resembles a state of “being myself” has solidified itself in my mind as an impossibility, a goal that must be cast aside and replaced by something that is actually achievable.

There is this horrible realization that I have, gnawing away at the back of my mind, that I have spent this whole time digging. Now I’m at the bottom of a quite deep hole, and I worry that any movement on my part will only send me deeper into the ground. I don’t move at all any more, all due to the notion that any and all effort, even that which is directed towards salvation, will only send me closer to hell and dirt and darkness.

So what am I to do? And what would you suggest for me?

At this point, I would say that having any secure identity would be suitable, although it must be ensured that I could own the damned thing fully and completely.

In fact, however, I would almost prefer that you just come by with a shovel and begin to fill in my hole with the dirt I have sent out of it. Then I can decide whether or not it is worth climbing out or just staying down here with the dust.

Forever,

Blithe

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