New York, October 9, 1999

Dearest Lady,

As I sit here, in this barely furnished yet large and plush living room, I stare at the white walls, still under the effect of the mind-altering substances I ingested.

Please forgive me if this missive lacks coherence but I felt compelled to write you this, despite not being in full possession of my mental awareness.

As I told you before, I have been working too much lately, probably much more than I ever wanted to. And even though I enjoy my work, the whole thing has been blown out of proportion, and the pressure to deliver high-quality, intelligently-written material in spectacularly tight deadlines has worn me down.

I hate having to work so much while so many cultural and fun events wait for and call on me, as if to mock my current inability to chase them.

The feverish, high-rolling pace of my previous life is almost altogether gone, leaving behind all traces of joie de vivre that eventually existed, leaving in their stead, a dark black bird hovering over me.

I hear faint taps on the door, nevermore, nevermore; you know the rest...

Let me tell you a bit about my state of body and mind, for I think this will set the scene in your head as to how I am: I have put on considerable weight since you last saw me, have grown a scruffy beard, and have been indulging in some mind-expanding substances, some old, some new.

I can't sleep anymore and, could I stray from being such a skeptical bastard, I would firmly believe I am turning into a vampire. At last, the lycanthrope, the imaginary beast I used to emulate in college, seems to be grabbing hold of my spirit and turning me into a lifeless cask of vintage blood.

Not only that, I feel the winds of age thrashing through my soul, as if every minute was the last drop of Life's secret concoction, the Ka about which the ancient Egyptians used to talk so much.

I am in the middle of this insane race at a breakneck pace, but inside the cockpit everything seems standing still, just waiting the moment this runaway car hits the final brick wall.

I don't want you to fear for me. I am struggling to change the aspects of my life that try to hold me down and I think I am succeeding.

Slowly but surely, the clouds seem to vanish and the raven to take its beak from off my chest. The old wounds still haunt me, like needles nested in certain parts of my heart, piercing it at times, sticking out but never quite tearing it apart. But I can still stand, and look up, or, eventually, ahead.

Now for the good things: I have been putting together my old writings and hope to publish them in a book format soon. Susan is taking care of the details, that devoted woman with a heart of gold.

You will be in my book, mind you, not in a minor role, but in a rather important one. It is too soon to let you know more. This teaser is just to whet your appetite and make you mad at me.

Also, Jim Peltier (remember him? Young, bright guy with a slightly awkward seriousness about life?) and I have been playing music together, which is incredibly therapeutic, almost transcending.

There is nothing like pouring your emotions into a fluid, concise flow of notes, that appear from nowhere and are taken back by some invisible hand. I always think Pan is lurking around, laughing at our less-than-perfect rendition of songs.

But who cares about him anyway?

This is all for now, I think.

I will take some downers and hit the bed for it is almost 5 am and in less than 3 hours I have to be on my way to work.

Stupid little lives we live. We, that set sail many years ago to leave our imprints on this world, now have resigned to the average, middle-class-America life...

Anyway, all my love to you,


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