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Sunday 2/5/23

I don't know why I've written over 400 stories in less than five years. Everything feels pointless. There's nothing I can write that can change anything here. No form of anything. No kind of anything. No novel, no story, no nonfiction book, no Beatles book. It is all about other things, and I have everyone against me. I barely made it through yesterday. It was about as close as I've ever come to not getting through a day. I almost gave in.

A friend called, and I told him I never should have written all of this. It's the same as if I didn't. Then I tore it all apart. I went through all of the reasons for why it's pointless, for why it's the same as if none of it existed. They let me go. They tried to stop me a few times, but I wouldn't stop. I had to say it.

Then they said that they hated to hear me like this. That I was talking this way about the best body of work any human being has ever created. I said it doesn't matter. It's not the point. That has nothing to do with anything. The world doesn't work that way. The world doesn't care. People aren't wired that way. People want to stuff feces in their mouth, anyway. They want shit. They want to look to the left of them, the right of them, or below them. They don't want to look up. They resent looking up. They hate you if you make them look up. Or ask them to. Or invite them to. They don't want that person. They want shit. People want shit.

I told my friend that yesterday this journal reached 2000 entries. Those entries total 2.35 million words. During that time, I've written the 400 plus stories. A dozen books. Thousands of features, essays, op-eds. I posted this on Facebook. What do you think happened, I asked my friend. "No one hit the like button and people defriended you." Yes. No one wants that. No one wants someone who can do that. It does not make anyone feel good about themselves. It makes them feel bad. Lesser. A lot lesser. All of it does. The shit does not. And that's all success is.

There is this really small press. It's just some guy running something out of his apartment. We had talked about doing a book. For free. He tells me yesterday--and it took me a year to get word back from him--that he's unemployed, he's full up with books through 2024, and the press will likely end then, but if I want, I can work my ass off cleaning up an 80,000 word book and send it back to him and maybe, if the press continues, we can do it in 2025. The year I turn fifty. For a book no one will see. No one will know about. No one will buy. No one will read. It would exist but not exist, like really everything I've done to date.

That is what is "best." Best case scenario. What is the point? How do you continue on? What do you look forward to? What do you write for when you know before you start what the situation is? When you approach these people, they have a set idea of what they're looking for. It has nothing to do with the work. It's all of these other things. It's connections. It's how you look. It's your skin color. Your pronouns. Your mediocrity as a writer. How fake you are. How foreign your name sounds. It's that whole package. It's criteria like that. It's not the work. It is never the work. You are ruled out automatically when you don't have those other things.

For me, because I'm more successful in how much I've done and published, that also adds up to a huge, huge, huge pile of resentment. Hate. It is so evident that hate in the these pages and the examples provided. What are tantamount to case studies and files that lay that hate out in the open. The emails. A desire to make me pay. To make me hurt. To get me back. Revenge. But not because of anything I've done to anyone.

When I create work--it doesn't matter what it is, nor could it--I am creating work to bury in a dungeon way under a castle. A dungeon no one is aware of. A dungeon no one will be visiting. An airless, pitch black dungeon. Before I get the idea I know that is where the work is going. How do you then write it? And if you can, how can you keep living knowing that's all there is? Creating for the dungeon? When I write the first line and see how good it is, I know the work is going to the dungeon. Nothing can change this. It's inevitable. It's how it is. As I work so hard on the work, I know its fate. As I read it back and understand that what is in that work is finer than anything there has ever been, I know the fate of the work. It's not obscure. I know that if that work had DNA, that DNA possesses all of the stands of popularity, of what it takes for the work to be treasured, to provide pleasure, to be widely, deeply beloved.

Or another way I look at it is there are zombies everywhere. Dead people who move. Dead people who can't think. At all. Thinking is a light on in the room. It can be some dim bulb, barely flickering. People don't want to have that one. They want darkness. Darkness feels like taking a load off. Zoning out. Sitting rather than standing. Not moving. There are levels of zombies. There is no zombie, for instance, like the people of the publishing system. You can't get more dead while moving around than a publishing person.

But all of the world is zombie-fied. How do you take anything of substance and quality around to zombies and get them to see and think and care? Understand? You can hold in your hands a work that has encoded within it these fibers and schematics of existence which add up to mean that the most people could love what this thing is and love it more than anyone loves anything else. That could be the reality of the work, based upon that DNA I was talking of. But it doesn't matter when you're taking it around to zombies and when you can't even get out of the dungeon to get to the zombies. They want to eat/consume shit and bump into things and rot and have no interests or passions or more feelings than they can help. And the few zombies who see what you have--in a vacuum of zombie-ness--aren't going to round up a million other zombies to spring you and your work from the dungeon. Both of these things can be true at once. That the work is that, and yet the zombies are the zombies. And the dungeon is the dungeon.

Today I can sit here and I can create the greatest work that anyone has ever written. It can be the work that is the most enjoyable to partake of. It can be a work that makes the most amount of people happy. It can be a work that changes the world. It can be a work that saves the world. The god of reality can descend, evaluate the work, test it with his various machines and measuring devices, and officially declare these things are true. All of this could be the reality today. In theory. But none of that is relevant. The work can be all of those things. Or, let me put it another way: If it were all of those things. It is still going into the dungeon.

I'll put it another way still. The goddess of future events could come down with the god of reality. And she could say, there is a work that you are going to create later this week that is the best ever, means the most, offers more happiness and pleasure and meaning and truth and love than anything else, ever, that your race of humans has ever done or will do. And I would know, before I wrote the first letter, that when I was done, it wouldn't matter. It was going in the dungeon. How is that different than if it didn't exist? How do you write those works? How do you keep working twenty hours a day, alone, unloved, untouched, hated, feared, envied, in poverty? Why be alive? Why keep living? And as you keep getting better? Which makes it keep getting even worse? When everyone treats you a way that no one else--flat out no one else--is treated? At every level of treatment. People can't even hit the like button for you--the lowest of the low--on social media, that's how much they resent you, envy you, fear you, elevate you. Why wouldn't you kill yourself? How is it stupid not to?

Then you have the work. And you know that that person you're going to approach already has said no. Because of greatness. Because of envy. Because of their own failings. Their lack of ability. Their need to try to avenge themselves on you for greatness. For not sucking. For talent. For endless ability. Endless effort. Endless dedication. Endless strength. For honor. For courage. For physical appearance even. For being an athletic-looking white male. For being a matchless intellectual. For also being kind and friendly and "normal." For knowing everything about Rimbaud and hockey. I am story.

I looked at this woman the other day at Northwestern University Press. This lump. A forty-year-old woman with pink hair. Her Facebook bio reads thus: "Burning down the patriarchy since 1983." That is typical. Everyone in this industry is some version of that. Dumb. Broken. Crazy. Bigoted. How do you think that's going to go when I send her Cheer Pack? When I send her There Is No Doubt? At this press that doesn't pay. That publishes losers. People with no talent. People with no career achievements, even in this system where it's all connections, save for one man. People who additionally have never worked as hard at anything in their lives as I work, even at this late date, after these decades, between the hours of three and nine in the morning on a Saturday? Do you think knowing what I am, seeing what I am, there is any way that could go well? Go "well" I should say, because the place sucks. No one would see the book. Is it possible to not know before it happens exactly how that would go? It's the same with all of these places. All of these people. All of these presses. All of these magazines. All of these journals.

Can you even imagine the hate she'd be going in with? She's going to let me pass? Anyone reading these words has a better chance of being officially declared ruler of the universe before the day is out than that has of happening. Who is she going to put forward? Someone who sucks. Someone like her. Someone broken. Bad at writing. Someone who knows someone--even at that level, it's the connection and recognizing "you're like me." There is nothing else. And if by some miracle of miracle of miracles that went differently, the book would come out in 2026, I'd be sent a box of twenty of them, there'd be no reviews or coverage--for the same reasons listed above; there'd be no money, there'd be even less readers in the world by then, if I was still alive, because people like this have killed off 1. Reading and 2. The kind of approach you'd have to take, the time, the effort, the dedication, the life you'd have to live to harness the talent you might have had to be a good writer who wrote things of any consequence.

Because if you do have that talent right now, they're going to kill you. They're going to get you to quit. There is no one in publishing who is going to nurture that talent, celebrate it,. They're going to tell you you're doing it wrong because you don't suck like they do. Because you're original. You don't repeat their cliches. So you'd have to live with that. No support. No kind words. Attacks. People wanting to undercut you. People working in back channels to sabotage you. Hating you more the better you got. The longer you kept going. The longer you went without dying or quitting or leaving.

Do you think anyone can do that? Live like that? Can you? Of course not. Humans aren't built to endure that and keep going and trying and fighting and creating in the face of all of that hell. So the people who may have been born with talent to write aren't writers now. They're doctors or they work at Starbucks or they teach middle school math. No one could take a version of what I described year in, year out, for years. While still being faithful to what they believed. With no one else saying, "That's great." Because it was. Wrap your head around that. It's not said because of what it is. Because it is truly that.

And we are a world where people only bullshit. They lie about shit they don't care about. That sucks. That is what they're comfortable doing. That's how weak and broken people are. If someone who is ordinary and basic and lazy and simple and dumb writes a book that sucks, with a stupid title, a stupid premise, and they put that on Facebook, it is so much easier for people to say, "Cindy! That is so amazing! OMG! Can't wait to read!!!!!" than it is for any of those people to honestly say that something they think is amazing is amazing from someone they think is amazing.

In that case, they will say nothing. Because then it's real. People have to be real. Speak truthfully. People cannot fucking do that. They won't do it. They do it less and less as everyone in his world becomes more mentally ill. Alone. Stupid. Scared. Insecure. And validation takes on cheaper and less meaningful forms until there are zero forms of sincerity left. What's untrue here? What is not dead fucking accurate?

How hard would it be to even know it was great, what we you were doing, if no one ever said it and everything was negative and darkness and pain and animus? So when I say no one reads because these people have killed off reading, that's true. They've also killed off anyone else being able to be great at writing. When I was asked on the radio who is a good writer in this world right now besides me and I said no one, I wasn't being an asshole. I wasn't trying to be confrontational. I don't do glib, I don't go for a rise, I don't try to be truculent. If I say anything, there are thousands of reasons and arguments behind it that got me to the point of saying it. All of these very logical points were in my head as I answered. How could you be any good right now? How could you have made that journey of years if you were even born with the ability? Because you can be born with more talent than any being in the universe. And if you don't put in the time and dedication in, over the years, that talent might as well not exist.

That book given to the pink-haired, mentally-ill, talentless, patriarchy-arsonist at Northwestern could be the most entertaining thing in the history of the world. It could possess the necessary beauty and power to change the world. To truly change it. It could possess what a product needs to posses to sell fifty million copies. But it does not matter. It could cure cancer, if we're going to throw in one absurd add-on. That book, from me, has no chance with a person like this before I even send the email. And that's how it is everywhere I turn, with every place, every person. That is publishing.

Okay. So that's bad. What's worse than that? What is bleaker than that? This. As a response to what is detailed above, what happens if one works harder? Somehow. Instead of working twenty hours a day, it's more? Instead of being able to do 100 things at once, they become able to do 200? Instead of being able to write 500 works in their mind simultaneously, they figure out how to write 1000? They get further and further from any other human in terms of what they can do. They get better, in other words.

People pick up on that, despite their ignorance and simplicity. It's like the truth rubs off on them. Get through to the unthinking brain and lodges as reality. Updated reality. Then they dislike you more. And now you have more works. You already had more than anyone. You already had every kind of every work. And the best of every kind. No one can say to you, "If you only had this." Because you had it and you offered it. And it didn't matter, because it came from you. So now you're living with more of that pain. There is nothing worse than what I just described. There is nothing more destructive to the soul. To your humanity. A word on humanity. You realize that you could lose it. Anyone else in this situation would die. Fast. Let's say they didn't. They would lose their humanity. But you refuse to. You fight to grow yours. To become a better person. A kinder person. You come to know yourself better. Your heart. Your standards for yourself increase. They go up every day. And you hold yourself to them. You are a kinder person than you've ever been. A more giving, nurturing, loving person.

They pick up on that, too. And now they hate you even more. Because they're not that way. You are going in one direction, and the world is going in another. There is nowhere you fit in. There is no one for you to have a relationships with. Be friends with. Respect. People treat you horribly. I'm not done. As a result of these things, that you can do more, that you have come into possession of the meaning behind so many locked doors of this world, of humans, of the universe, of existence, you create more works than ever, more and more and more and more, and because you don't give up.

You keep getting better. You keep evolving. Do you see where this is going? You then bring more hell into hell. You go to more people like the woman I described above, with more works, more projects, more of the best stuff ever, and that means more hell. More streams of hell into this ocean of hell. You feel every last molecule, every new molecule. So you do it again. You grow. You do more. This is who I am. It's not a job. It's why I'm here. And you tell me: Why should that person not end their life? I should add that they take remarkable care of themselves so they can be strong enough to endure all of this. So they will be here for a while. They are adding, in that way, to their own hell. My father died of a heart attack at fifty-three. I'm not going to. But I can end this now. And I might end up somewhere better.

That's what I thought Saturday thinking. And no, it's not a life choice thing. It's not a "change the occupation" thing. I am the best artist who has ever lived. And it's not close. And I've proven it. That's what I'm here for. There is nothing else. That is the everything.

I feel like this is pretty fucking awful to read. But I'm not done. I should get it into the record now, while I can, while I'm here typing these words. It should be full and it should be honest.

The work could improve the life of the zombie, make the zombie happy, please the zombie, excite the zombie, and then the zombie would be less of a zombie and discover that that's actually easier and better. But people are so committed to the blindness and the bumping and have shit in their mouths and over their eyes and they are committed to it because it feels like doing nothing and the thought of doing anything is bad to people, they think it will be hard--harder--and they just want blah and blah and more blah and blah and blah and blah on top of blah. It's a cold day outside. You don't want to get off the couch. You keep sitting there. Anything would be worse than not sitting on that couch. That's how you think. So you stay there. All day.

If you went out, you could have had a blast. Gone skating. Gotten hot chocolate with old friends at a cafe. Finally gotten that puppy. Whatever. But that's how everyone lives their life: it's the "I don't want to get off the couch" approach to existence. It's not better. It's not easier. It makes you mentally ill. It's not fun. It's always the same. It's boring. But that is how everyone lives. "I don't want to get off this couch." It's almost always preferred to stay on this metaphorical couch than go out and do something. The latter sounds tiring and taxing. When it's so much easier just to stay here.

My friend goes on to say that everything can change at point for me. I tell him he's wrong. I tell him I know this as much as I know anything and that's not something I say for effect. He says, "You are infinitely smarter than I am. I'm okay with that. You are infinitely smarter than everyone. I'm telling you what I think and what I feel. I think about this from every angle all the time. This is what I believe."

He goes on to say that three months for me is someone else's thirty years. I don't debate this. But I told him that you are still involved with other people. Even if they don't hate you. You are subjected to their abilities and lack thereof. Their timetables. Their lack of vision. Their lack of competence. Their lockstep insistence on doing things the same way every single time, without exception. And the years fall away. The decades fall away. Look at that 2025 timetable for the book that I know in early 2023 would have no chance. That no one would read. That is the best case scenario. That's not going to happen anyway.

Who publishes with this press? People who have done nothing who have no skills. This isn't a bad guy running it. Is he going to think, "Okay, what this guy has is amazing, he's this mega-genius, he's here because of a historically unique situation, I am not paying him, I have this once-in-a-lifetime chance to be part of history, for free, I'm rushing this out if he'll let me." He could never think that way unless, maybe--maybe, maybe, maybe--everyone else was thinking and talking a certain way and it was like someone or something else was doing his thinking for him. His thinking as such. These people could never think that way on their own. You'd have to have the control and do the thinking for them, and just order them to do it. I made an exception to my rule and mentioned the blog and the 2000 entries and 2.35 million words on Twitter. It was up for fifteen hours. Thirty people looked at it. No one hit the like button. Everyone is against this man. That is a fact. That is the truth.

It's evident in cold, hard numbers. If anyone else had that stat and shared it--anyone else; by which I mean, literally anyone else who is not me--it would be a love-fest and a celebration. Obviously it's an amazing statement. Obviously there is nothing like it. Obviously it's beyond impressive. Everyone recognizes that. As they always do with me. Then they make a decision to act in a negative way because what they see is so impressive. They are reacting against it. Reacting against how impressive it is. How stand-alone, stunning, amazing, uniquely impressive it is. It's staggeringly impressive.

So now it becomes, "how can I get him back? How can I even this out? Fuck him, I won't give him that like with his things I could never do and all of those abilities he has, and how hard he works and tries and honorable he is. I'll show him." They are tending to their needs and fragile self-esteem by treating me unworthily. Unfairly. And usually very badly.

It is a conscious decision to behave that way towards me. It's a choice that is put into action. Or non-action, if you prefer. That's what's happening. The "better" people don't know how to behave, and very few people have it in them to even hit the like button unless they see a lot of other people doing it. That's how weak and cowardly people are. No one can just be themselves. Stand on their own. Who do people support? People like them.

So why did I put it up? I only have my ability. My talent. And the other things that orbit that talent. My character. My goodness. My strength. My humor. My wisdom. They're all a part of it, too. I don't have any of the things that make people successful. I am not an asshole. I'm not shallow. I'm not stupid. I'm not hateful. I'm not lazy. I'm not repetitive. Unimaginative. I'm not connected. I wasn't born into anything.

Every single person who is out there and is successful in the arts, for example, has these things and doesn't have the things they shouldn't have. Every single last one. They suck at what they do. They don't try. Because of these things, they are rewarded because no one could ever look at them and feel worse about themselves. You have to show an absence of ability. There is no one who has ever looked at Roxane Gay and thought, wow, what an amazing mind, what a remarkable artist. It has never and will never happen. People look at her and say, "Wow, she's a lot fatter than I am, with me being this lazy slug who never exercises, I feel good now." Or, "She's Black and I bought her book, I'm one of the good ones. I'm an ally!" Or, "I could do that. I could write like her. I do. I'm as smart as her." And of course they are. Every idiot out there is. Everyone who reaches a level of success is this way. Whether it's Skip Bayless or Matt Walsh or Jemele Hill. I put it up because all I have to get anywhere is my ability. Is greatness. I don't suck. I'm not mediocre. I can't lead with those things I don't have. This is all I have.

Those people I just mentioned suck at what they do. There is nothing in their brains. And they are bad, bad, bad people who repeat themselves in the same ways. That is what we reward. Because it takes no ability or character to be these people, and people like to think that they're no different from them. They're a stone's throw away from fame and fortune, or could be. No one looks at Stephen A. Smith and feels dwarfed by his intellect. They don't have to get that fame and fortune. They just want to think they're no different. I am more different from any other human than an alien is.

Some of those people who know me or come across me have that man, this man, so on a pedestal that they have no clue how to talk to him. There's this one person. He's not a bad man. A man you can turn to if you had to. He has a good heart. He is someone who for various reasons numbers among the best that I know, a small group. It's a kind of by default group, which isn't me trying to be mean to anyone. In moments of self-honesty, I think a person like this would be like, yeah, I get that, he's right about all of these things, and that's partially why I can't face him. Not really.

I shared with him this book of mine. It's about jazz. It's the best jazz book ever written. It's music criticism, but it's so much more. That doesn't begin to describe it. It's true art. Did he say anything about the work? My work? No. But he did say that each time he reads from it, he ends up buying music by the musicians discussed. He's more comfortable complimenting them in that way, because they're not me. That's not the point of the book. It's not a commercial. He knows this. I know he knows this. He figures that I'd have to know that he knows this. Because the quality is so obvious.

But he won't say that to me, do you understand? He won't gush to me about me. Effuse. No one will. Because it's too extreme. What someone thinks about my work is so extreme, so different than what they think about any other work, and then we consider my work in its range, its totality, that they're embarrassed. They're too embarrassed to effuse and emote like that. To say what they think and feel is so far out of their comfort zone, that they end up insulting me by the token remarks they do make, what they don't say, or a remark like this guy made.

So in a very real way, despite not having bad intentions, more or less, these people are against me, too. It shakes out the same way. Adds up to the same thing. Distance. Silence. Fear. Then it's just me. My friend I'm telling you about? A couple times he had to call people because he was worried I was going to kill myself. He reached out to a friend of mine--a former professor--who has known me intimately since 1996. He reached out to my sister. He brought this up the other day. He said, "People have no problem treating you any way they want, never thinking about you, never considering how you feel, because they think you're this god. When I called Norberg and your sister, they both made similar comments about how strong you are. Like it was a given that you'd just be fine."

I'm not fine. I almost killed myself yesterday. That's nothing wrong with me. It's that there is no one who can endure this. This is all there is for me. And there is nothing I can do. Then I have to get up and keep trying. How am I supposed to believe I belong in this world?

I will cover some things quickly, I guess. There is a wow factor with 2.35 million words, but what does it mean? 2.35 million words is about forty books' worth of words. So this journal to date is forty books worth of writing. No one likes that that is true. They like it less when they think about or learn everything else that has been written in that same period of less than five years. They like it less when they see how good each thing is. Every last thing they see. How can you get anywhere in this life if you are great? I don't think you can. My friend thinks I will. He talks about the stage being set. I know as the person in this situation, there may be a slight chance I can't see what he does because I am overwhelmed with pain, blackness, despair, thoughts of death, loneliness, hopelessness. I need him to be right and me to be wrong, but I don't think there's any chance of that being true. He's not at some great remove. He is informed. We talk about this every day. We talk about it multiple times most days. On the phone.

He sees a lot of what happens. He knows all of the names of this system. He's the person who knows them the second best in the world because of the nature of our relationship and friendship. I respect this man. Truly. For me to respect you's just not the same as how other people use that term. There's a lot more to it for me. It involves a lot of things. Mental things and character things. It has to be someone who can hang in there with me, who isn't so intimidated by me that they shut down play it safe. Someone without an agenda, someone who doesn't try to pull me down because of what I am.

This isn't good. I shouldn't be writing this either. I should shower for the first time since Friday and go out for the first time since then even if it's just to get a coffee and read at the cafe. Will just account for a few more things. This was a pitch from early yesterday morning:

Possible Valentine's Day idea. I'm probably going to write this either way--and may do so this weekend--but figured it was also worth a pitch. This Valentine's day, fall in love with the Golden Age of mystery. Specifically, one of my favorite characters, Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey, who appeared for the first time 100 years ago.

Golden Age mysteries are great. They are ripe for a romance. Perfect for those times in life when we are not as coupled as we may wish to be. Give them a chance, and you fall hard for them. They are steadfast, compelling friends, despite the daggers and the locked rooms and the blood in the middle of the carpet.

Reading is an act of love. I felt that as a kid, and it's something I know and consciously articulate in my thoughts now. You give yourself over to the best reading experiences, like those provided by the likes of Sayers and that Golden Age. You fuse with them. They become a part of you.

And I think that helps open a person up to the world, to others, to romance. To being a romantic. A romantic sees the world as a place of wonder, who says "Why not?" rather than "Can't." I think it's a great way to be. And it's the stuff of the best relationships. Falling in love with Golden Age mystery aids the process.

Like I said, I'm probably going to write it, then I'll send it and you can see what you think.

Stay warm!

I worked a decent amount on Glue God, which is changing into something else, you might say, while also remaining the same, but it's changing. I can change something a lot with what I already have. That's happening now. Yesterday and today I worked much on a short story called "The Roller." What can I even say? What is the point of saying it's as strong as anything I've ever done and better than anything else anyone else has ever done? What is the point when you can say it about all of them? Say it? Don't say it? Act like it's ordinary? Lie and pretend it's something else? Keep it a secret? I hate this. I hate that this story like every single work I do is so good. I hate it. So now I'm a dick? It's not my fault. It's not my fault that it's all so good. That I have this mind and this ability. That doesn't make me a monster. That doesn't mean I should have to suffer like this. It's not supposed to be the worst thing ever. It's not supposed to make me the worst thing ever and so alone and unloved. It isn't.

It's supposed to be the opposite. I can't even try and think, "Oh, this isn't that amazing," as I read a story like this back. And then again. And then again. I hate having to think, "How could anyone even begin to understand or accept that someone can be like this? Can do this? Did it every time?" I think about the Beatles with however many masterpieces. What would happen if they had 10,000 masterpieces? It's unfathomable. It's not human. It's not within the realm of what anyone will accept as human possibilities. Should I be dead? Was I some mistake that never should have gotten into this world but I did and now this is how it is and I'm paying and paying and paying for that?

I know one reason why I wrote the stories. They're all that has kept me alive. I don't mean doing them. The process. People lose a child, and they throw themselves into work. Their business. They keep themselves from not going under by not stopping and looking around. That's not why I kept writing those stories. One reason was if my friend is right. He has the daughters I'd written those letters to--the one who got hurt sledding, and the other one who was bullied at school. They're both immortalized in "Best Present Ever." That wasn't the main reason, though, as I wrote them. Because I could have stopped at fifty. Fifty would have been enough for what he's talking about. Especially as one story of mine is like 10,000 stories. They contain so much.

It was because they inspired me not to die. They showed me love and beauty. As I've never seen it anywhere, as it doesn't exist anywhere else. Not this way. They might be the last real and good things in this world. And each day there was another. And that meant somewhere there was more real and good things in this world. Even if they're in a dungeon.


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