The 17th of August 2010 – Loyola, California

(found…I don’t know)

My dearest Max,

You cannot ask me that kind of question and expect anything close to a suitable answer.


“Why, Uncle?”


That’s the exact question that’s been echoing in my head for decades, Max, honestly and truthfully, decades.

It’s unavoidable, and – I fear – without some sort of physical treatment, it is a question that I will never be able to escape.

It’s popped into my head at some of the most inopportune moments, from times of celebration to moments of despair.

“Why?” I thought when I saw a group of men celebrating the result of a football game.

“Why?” I thought when a hearse passed me by and was followed by a limousine filled with teary-eyed family and friends.

“Why?” I thought when I paced around a small apartment, shouting the infernal question over and over and over again to empty walls.




See, Max, I was twenty-three and peeing in old milk bottles. I was twenty-three and alone in a moldy, drywall box. I was twenty-three and so unsure of myself that I couldn’t help being actively unsure of everything else around me.

What I can tell you, Max, is that any journey through the desert will result in the discovery of an oasis. In fact, I can guarantee that. What I cannot guarantee is whether or not you, thirsty as you are, will ever be certain whether those oases are real or just figments of a dehydrated and desperate imagination.

But, Max, the realization that saved me is that real things do not exist. Real things are created, and real things are made real only when they are treated as such.

“Why?” I thought, suddenly, but now addressing that ragged face shouting out of my mirror.

“Why not?” I thought, and I stepped from the hot sand and into the shade, and I bent down and took a sip of water.

It was then, Max, when I saw a sunset, flaming pink across the horizon, bloody just as my heart had been when I tore it out of my own chest and began my journey towards a Truth whose existence I had always doubted.

And I felt a beating inside my chest once again.

There is no point to negation, Max, and affirmations are always more useful than their opposite, even affirmations of falsehoods.

We should build with our questions, not destroy.




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