When I was four, my parents split up due to my mother's alcoholism and use of drugs. There was a bitter custody battle and, though I know not how, my mother won and my father, who I thought to be an intelligent man (he was, at least, educated), subsequently became addicted to heroin himself.
My mother quickly set to task in doing two things: destroying herself and indoctrinating me into the Catholic Church.
No sooner had she won custody of me did she begin threatening me with an eternity of hell-fire and warning of the dangers of demonic possession -- "don't ever let anyone tell you that the devil doesn't exist", I was told, "that's what he wants you to think". The result of this and the rather unconventional scripture classes I was made to attend (but I won't go into that) was a deep religious paranoia which permeated throughout the next twelve years of my life.
The absurdity has not been confined to morbid religious conditioning; her methods of discipline were also unorthodox (these too, however, are details I shall omit).
When I was seven, I was diagnosed with a hip condition and had to undergo several operations. I have been left with an irregular gait, and in the future I will have to eventually have a full replacement of the hip.
When I was nine, my father, who I had not seen for a year in any case, committed suicide by injecting himself with an inordinate amount of diamorphine.
From there on, my mother's mental state steadily declined and soon I was subject not so much to drug and alcohol-fuelled abuse as I was to appalling neglect. The most disconcerting things thereafter were the sordid "parties" she would host and having, on several occasions, to go through the frightening ordeal of being witness to her brutalisation at the hands of men who she would rather dubiously and frequently invite into the house late at night.
In the midst of disaster, one may find solace in the temple of art. I inherited reason and morality from the great works of literature, drama and poetry, art, and music. Naturally, I was led by this way to the cause and end of all art: philosophy.
The profit of such influence should be self evident, but the negative effects are probably equally as evident in my manner: sensitive, hyper-elegant and at times, perhaps, even grandiloquent.
This inclination towards the lofty and inability to partake in meagre prattle has produced a undesirable effect on my social life. I'm constantly struggling with society rather than reaping the benefits of acceptance: I am, in the most concise and unobtrusive way as it can be put, "weird".
By age 17, my mother could no longer subject me to her contemptible lifestyle and I assumed control over the household.
By the time I turned 18, my independent contemplations of truth had eventually developed into ideas in total opposition to my religious beliefs (which were, initially, thrust upon me) and, within the space of a few months, I lost my faith (or rather, I did away with it) and became an atheist. Around the same time, about a year ago, I met a girl at a party. I first saw her sitting in a circle with everyone else as I walked into the room.
The first thing I noticed about her was her striking beauty, though this is not entirely unknown amongst young women. Indeed, I have met women of similar or superior physical beauty in the past and it has never left much of an impression on me. In fact, I have come to regard physical attractiveness with great scepticism as it often seems to inspire intellectual complacence in those who possess it.
No, I took little notice of her throughout the night until we began speaking. Yes, it was when she started speaking to me that I began to feel my blood pressure rising. Everything she said seemed to be indicative of the exact opposite of what I had expected from her: she is intelligent (not brilliantly so, but unusually more than most), kind, respectful (not only of others but also of herself), artistic, morally sound and immensely graceful - her only problem is that she is religious, but then we all have our flaws (she is flawed, from this we may deduce that she is also human!). I have spoken with her many times in the past months since then, at first at parties and then regularly through private correspondence as well, and every time we have conversed the discourse has been lengthy.
However, it became apparent to me that, while is deeply interested in what I have to say, she is not at all interested in me. The thought of this is almost unbearable. Is this love or infatuation? surely, I could not fall in love with someone in so short a period of time, and I am young; it is not uncommon for people of my age to be consumed with intense passion. At the same time, however, it is not an entirely selfish love. My friends, thinking it humorous, once tricked me into thinking that she loved one of them who were closest to me. How they did this is irrelevant and, though it later turned out to be false, the point is that while my first reaction was to weep uncontrollably in the privacy of my room, my next was to try and arrange a meeting between her and my friend and thereby secure the happiness of both - was this selfish? was this devoid of reason? And yet, I am afflicted with a sensitive nature, perhaps what I perceive as love is merely passing excitement. Oh, but such a thought is abhorrent. I feel, in spite of probability, that I can not dismiss this as something so banal as that.
Things have happened to me during the course of my life that for anyone else perhaps would make this seem trivial, but in my mind she is at once the most perfect and terrible thing in the world; the slightest notion of her destroys me and I adore her for it. Then again, my temperament has always been susceptible to extremes. Frequently, the most trifling thing has at once made me feel boundless joy, immeasurable ecstasy; and utter misery, earth-shattering wretchedness - not merely in rapid succession, but simultaneously, at once.
Indeed, there have been times when I have flirted with the idea of suicide - In the midst of this turmoil, it is through my will alone that I have held steadfast to my purpose, my art and my life.
Perhaps one of the most distressing things for me has been that I am constantly misunderstood. I once tried to articulate the central idea of my entire world-view to one of my closest friends and, when I described it as philanthropy, his response was to laugh at me. One can't help but feel completely isolated when one can not even communicate with ones closest friends - I wonder if for some people the pursuit of personal happiness is a fruitless endeavour, perhaps I should withdraw from society and devote my energies entirely to my work. And yet, the thought of separating myself from humanity seems inconceivable to me - I love humanity and I love what it is to be human. Perhaps I realise its embodiment in her. Perhaps for me, all of its facets are manifest in her form and she is the personification of humanity and nature: beautiful, terrible, and with eyes that regard me scarcely and with indifference.
And yet, what a thing it is to love, not just to have that love requited, but simply to feel it for another. Yes, let there be no mistake, I love humanity and I feel immensely privileged to be alive; life is as glorious as it is improbable.
In any case, when it became apparent that she would and could only ever regard me as a friend, I resolved that I should and would never attempt to be anything other than that. Nevertheless, the pain of having to endure such a resolution proved too great and so I sought to put her out of my life.
There was a brief but considerable period in which I avoided her entirely, but it did little to alleviate the malady which had so mercilessly plagued me in the time foregoing and, in any case, it was doomed to end as she, counting me among her closer circle of friends, would inevitably strive to speak with me herself.
Sure enough, my plan did fail and she did finally succeed in placing herself firmly in my life once more. Had my feelings at all diminished? No, and in the subsequent weeks they only intensified as we began to speak again. That she even cared enough about me to reaffirm between us the ties which I had broken is as remarkable as it was, at the time, unexpected.
A little while ago, she afforded me the opportunity to hear some music she had written and, for her talent (as well as her kindness, her grace and her intelligence), I admire her even more.
In any case, she entered into a relationship with someone a few weeks ago and, though it was always a necessary outcome and I am undoubtedly happy for her, I must confess that the notion of this is somewhat distressing. Could I ever desire a relationship with her in spite of the fact that she feels not the slightest inclination towards me? Of course not and I find the vaguest idea of such an arrangement repulsive. Would I rather, then, that she live alone if not with me? No again, that would be both cruel and absurd. The only thing I would have, therefore, is that she find happiness with someone other than me. Nevertheless, my irrelevance is now complete.
However, miserable or not, I have always been as stoical as I can with those around me; to them, I give no hint of any unhappiness I may endure and all the trials of my life so far have gone unknown to anyone but myself.
Those of us who lack strength or security, or who are uncertain, must sometimes have an absolute as a point of reference and as a point on which may be focused resentment or even hate: I am willing and able to endure both.
And now? My contemplations have led me far into the wilderness.
Now, isolation has once more thrust the fullness of her weight upon me, but this time it was naive of her; does she not realise that I will now embrace her?
My transfiguration is come.
This is the twilight of destruction, the final vestige of my serfdom.
Once a slave who need not destroy, then a tyrant whose wrath was unknown to all but himself, now one emancipated from the vengeance he once wrought upon himself.
This is the end of all things pernicious; now let destruction be put unto itself.
To all things oppressive, to all things ruinous, malicious and banal, to all things hostile, to all things that stagnate, to ignorance, to unreason, to weakness, to wretchedness itself, to all these things; my name is calamity.
This is the ascendancy of all that which still soars, of all that which once was and of all that which is yet to be.
I have within me chaos enough to give rise to creation.