Files, and more files. He recognises very few of the documents more than two years old.
And this is what he wrote, on a brand new laptop, aged fourteen. Not so very long ago, in the greater scheme of things.
What begins to frighten him doesn’t come from the lapses into obvious plagiarism- frequent sentences carry Chesterton’s exact rhythms- or the tendency towards explicit thematics, to the point of lecturing, repeating in piece after piece ideas like ‘We live in a world of illusion’, as if covering fresh ground.
Sentences unravel and burst. There’s no control, and the character of an ‘other’ begins to recur, a demonic alter ego who tempts the Christian, hormonal hero into sexual desire, religious doubt, murder, and manipulation. Every story ends with a falling into unconsciousness, into water, into forest. Maddened, adolescent writing. He’s been reading a neurologist’s casebook, and begins to wonder- have I once been insane?
He is aware, but does not yet fully admit, that his latest story depicts, as if from the outside, a lunatic who transfers one half of an internal dialogue onto a puppet, and who later attempts to gain ‘independence’ from his own psychological creation by diving repeatedly into a murky pool of water.
What’s the phrase? Against these fragments I shore my ruins…
A lie. I am the thought of the lichen coating the stone which once thought. Something has passed over. But I’m not the same man today I was before.
He will not write for the rest of the day; his mind is wide, and he feels like a child.