Black Hole


I opened the door. I am in the lobby. Taking out the trash. Waiting to see if everything is going to go wrong.

I hope that if it does, the vase with the fake orchids gets smashed first.

hearts and thoughts they fade, fade away

So, Jasper. You sent me more words.

What did you think they were going to do?

all the emotions!

This morning I lied to Sarah. I told her I was going to therapy.

She seemed happy. She kissed me before she left for work. She said that she loved me.

I don’t believe her.

Why should I? You yourself admit that all words are lies.

Or maybe when I told her that I had a therapy appointment today, I was merely softening her perception.

lol prancing unicorns

What is it like, being able to soften your perception at will? How do you do it? Is it related to this qigong practice? Is it what allows you to walk through the mirrored funhouse as if it’s actually a soft green meadow dappled with sunlight and sprinkled with asclepias tuberosa? Are there unicorns prancing about in your meadow of mirrors?

grrrr argh

When I put this bag of trash into this vertical chute, gravity will pull it downward until it meets the force of all the other bags of trash that are waiting at the bottom of the chute to make friends with it. They will talk about the meaning of life, their feelings about all the various smells in their environment, and what that noise is that’s coming closer, until they all get compacted into smaller units of trash and taken off to a landfill.

Have you noticed how people’s egos function like gravity? The ego pulls perception down around itself, warping the surface of reality.

I go back whenever my tired head hits the pillow

Perhaps your horizontal energy, the social channel, is the force of the collection of egos at the bottom of the chute. The egos talk about their lack of meaning, the smell of decay, and the low moaning noise made by the oncoming abyss, until they are boxed up and taken to a graveyard. Well, the lucky ones, anyway.

So of course your words are tangled. No truth could escape that gravity well.

death is the road to awe

No, I have not read Wittgenstein. I do not trust other people’s words. Especially if they feel the need to hide behind so many of them. What did he need 70 pages for?

He could have simply said, “Your ego is curving your perception around itself. Stop it from doing that, and you’ll see reality. It will help if you can learn to see the force that your words exert on the space around you.“

I don’t like silence. It presses down on me like the walls. There’s only so much staring at institutional green while the silence roars in my ears that I can take.

Speaking of which, I think I will go out. I have not been out of the apartment since my last letter to you. we go!

What did Bess think about you not shaving? Sarah says that my face feels too rough if I go more than a day or two without it.

I am not sure that we have the same definition of “unmitigated authenticity.” Not everything needs to be said out loud.

You like old quotes, correct? Surely you’ve heard the one about how it’s better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt. Not that I’m saying you’re a fool. But I’ve found that other people will often assume that you are if you try to share your thoughts.

I am glad that you had Bess to help you.

Perhaps I will go to the bluffs, like you did. It’s a beautiful day. The sun is out. May as well get eaten.


I am not going to stab you. It does not appear from your words that you have any intention of stabbing me, so I don’t see the point.

I am outside the walls. The sun is shining down on me. I feel it on my skin. Looking for a way in.

You say you hear pain in my words.

Let me ask you something.




How do you feel about fire that you can’t control?

it's late and I just want to finish this

You are right, of course. We are vulnerable and soft and fleshy, with nothing to protect us from the flames.

am pulling on the ulcer to write this

Have you ever struggled to breathe while those channels of energy closed around you? And then the struggle stops, and there’s just…blankness. Absence. The bit of reality that was curved around you bounces back up, and there is no sign that you were ever there.

I have an Oreo in my lap

Later, there is the white light on the ceiling in the ER. Beeping monitors. Sarah, pale and thin and drawn.

There is the pain.

Have you ever felt pain so heavy and dense that it’s like a black hole? Your reality collapses around it, and nothing can escape.

I can't write

The sun is bright and hungry, and it is hard to breathe. I think I will go home now. I need to come up with something appropriately inauthentic and safe to tell Sarah if she asks about therapy.

Don’t judge me. I think it is right to soften her perception. She is happier now. Not so drawn and pale.

I will protect her from the fire that she can’t control.

god this letter sucks

I think that it must be quite pleasant in your mirror meadow with the unicorns. I would imagine that it smells better than the trash chute.

I opened doors four times today. Six, if you count the elevator doors. Things never did go wrong. When I came back to the apartment, the vase with the fake orchids was still there on the table in the lobby. Sadly, it has not yet been smashed.

I am still trying to think of something to tell Sarah. I know I can’t tell her that I went to the bluffs. That I lit the pile of wood pallets and old chairs on fire. That I breathed in the smoke.

I don’t have to read into the silence beyond your words.

I’ve been there.

And it wants me back.

let's see if

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21 Responses to Black Hole

  1. RipuAncestor says:

    At some points Seth pushing all kinds of kindness away annoys me, but then it turns to fascination when I know he can’t help it… though it doesn’t excuse it. And towards the end I too wanted to comfort him, even though it wouldn’t work. I remember the kind of emptiness and silence he talked about. Or at least something like that. It wasn’t an easy feeling or state to… I don’t know… handle? conquer? learn to live with while still finding beauty and meaning? – even though I don’t think I was ever TOO deep in it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • medleymisty says:

      Seth and I both have the tragic flaw of feeling things very deeply. 😉

      It’s interesting you see him as pushing kindness away here. He is prickly and combative, but I was surprised that it was just about his normal level of that. He’s not nearly as angry here as I thought he might be. And I see him doing the best he can right now to try and be friendly, with the little things like asking about the shaving and saying that he’s glad that Jasper had Bess, and at the end he is being sincere about how it must be nice to have Jasper’s view of things.

      Oh, well, I am pulling very much on my experience with the ulcer to write his experience with smoke inhalation. Hey, they both feature pretty bad chest pain and blood coming out of your mouth. And the silence and the nothingness isn’t a metaphor. I don’t remember anything between passing out at the check in desk in the ER and then waking up in the bed in the bay staring up at the white light.

      Liked by 1 person

      • RipuAncestor says:

        The ulcer experience sounds painful and scary. I’m glad you got through that and are okay now.

        I don’t think Seth is consciously pushing kindness away, but his distrust in people and lack of social skills manifest in a way that makes him act somewhat rude and makes him look like he’s pushing people away.

        Liked by 1 person

        • medleymisty says:

          What social skills does he lack?

          Asking for a friend. 😉


          • RipuAncestor says:

            I think he mostly doesn’t see the point of the social niceties which he sees as lies, so he’s very blunt in situations where it might be nicer to not be. Sure, it does make him very honest, but it also might not make conversations with him always very pleasant. Also his problems with connecting with people do show in his mannerisms and way of speaking. So they don’t just affect him, but other people too, I think.

            Liked by 1 person

            • medleymisty says:

              Thank you. I will try to work on my social niceties and mannerisms and speaking.

              Liked by 1 person

              • RipuAncestor says:

                Some of the social niceties feel a bit unnecessary and forced to me too sometimes (like when I lived in Ireland and everyone always asked “Hi, how are you?”, and I was really confused when they DIDN’T then really seem to want to hear how I was, especially if I wasn’t feeling so great and told them that), buut for a lot of the niceties I do see the point. 🙂


  2. The last two pictures are kind of heartbreaking. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  3. wagonfruit says:

    The sun in those beach images feels uncomfortably hot; well done 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Here I was somewhat annoyed at how harsh Seth seems to be in his wording at times, and then those last two pictures melt my heart and remind me he is deeply hurting. Sometimes he says such deeply profound things and the next he says something that seems off-the-cuff and careless, but Seth doesn’t strike me as someone who truly cares about other people’s feelings and social niceties, which is what makes him maddeningly infuriating at times and completely authentic to his inner self at the same time. I think I have a love-hate relationship with Seth.

    Liked by 1 person

    • More love than hate though. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • medleymisty says:

      He doesn’t care at all about social niceties, true. Probably because he doesn’t know what they are to care about them.

      I think he does care. Quite a lot. Just maybe not in the normal socially approved ways. Like one huge driver behind his existential depression is how cruel people are to each other and to other living beings and to the planet. Thus the pictures he imagined at the therapist – pictures of exploitation and excessive consumption and the jarring mental pollution of manipulative advertising.

      Plus he really does love Sarah. He doesn’t know how to communicate it, but he does. And I think he’s trying his best here with Jasper, to reach out to him and to be friends and to show caring, like asking about the shaving thing.


      Maybe it is all just a communication problem.


      • I know he cares. I know he loves Sarah, and I know he is trying with Jasper. Sometimes I want to punch him, and other times, I want to hug him, but I don’t think either would work well or be appropriate. I don’t think anyone really “gets” social niceties” and no one is the perfect communicator. I appreciate Seth’s trying. Trying is hard.

        Liked by 1 person

        • medleymisty says:

          *hugs* Thank you. 🙂

          It’s just I identify with him a lot, so I’m all “Err, is this how people see me?”

          I just asked the spousal person what social niceties were and why people would say Seth doesn’t care about them, and he laughed and said “Because, like his creator, he can be pretty blunt and honest sometimes.”

          One time a friend told me that she liked that about me, though. And one big thing that wrecked me about all the secrets and hate were people who said that I made the secrets or that I was lying, because I don’t lie. I only say true things. It was so disturbing to have people make pictures of me that were the complete opposite of the picture I have of myself.

          I have learned a few things since, though. Not so much about mediating the bluntness. More about just avoiding things and staying silent sometimes. If it causes problems when I speak, then okay, I’ll just stay silent.

          Which I guess is something that Seth also has going on.

          But maybe, with the letters, both me and Seth are trying to learn.


  5. SoulGal7 says:

    Seth had a garden once. He knows about beauty. He needs to replace those fake flowers in the lobby with something living, something alive. I have read all your previous letters and I see mention of a fire…and that he had a lab. Maybe a fire in the lab. The way Seth is talking about the fire at the bluffs…”I breathed in the smoke” like he was remembering what happened, and then more disturbing “it wants me back”. Who set the fire? Was it Seth? Or, in escaping the fire, does he feel that the fire is sort of stalking him…that it will be back to get him? (Like in the movie Final Destination where they eluded death…or so they thought). Thought provoking chapter!

    Liked by 1 person

    • medleymisty says:

      Seth does know about beauty. I’m glad you saw that. 🙂

      Yep, there was a fire at his lab! I think it was caused accidentally. I don’t want to reveal exactly what he was working on in the lab yet, but it was definitely dangerous. 😉

      There’s this short text-only story I wrote about Seth as a teen:

      He already had a complicated relationship with fire, and then the fire at the lab opened up all the old traumas. Seth is basically walking PTSD. So yeah, the fire is stalking him, because his brain can’t integrate it.

      Yay thank you for reading and commenting! 🙂


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