The room is very, very dark. It is empty save for a small coffee table against the wall, next to a door directly across form the one that led me here. There is a broken chair beside it. A single flickering candle is melting directly on the table, its wax dripping quietly onto the floor. It is about to go out. In the dim light I can make out a glass vase with two roses: one dead, the other dying. Their shadows dance on the wall, jumping, laughing, twirling, jesting. I jerk my head suddenly to the side as I notice a man sitting perfectly upright in the chair, his hands on his lap. Was he there before? I didn’t see. “Excuse me, sir? Could you tell me w-” Hold on. Something’s not quite right. He’s sitting perfectly still, too perfectly, his eyes faintly glimmering as he stares at the flame. He smiles with a savage grin that only grows wider and wider. I don’t understand. “Is everything okay? I’m a little lost, if-” I jump back as he beings to laugh, a maniacal cackle that rings in my ears. I reach for the door, but it is now locked. The fire starts to spread, no, jump-to the man, then the candle, then the man, then the candle, and back, until he is consumed by a roaring blaze. It is quiet again. The candle still flickers. He is gone, but I hear his voice sing a slow, eerie melody in a language I don’t understand. I’m intrigued and horrified. I walk up to the chair, cautiously poking at it with my feet. I slowly sit down and start to wonder what it was the man saw in the flame. I notice now that behind the candle, on the side of the room previously to my left, there is a mirror. It reflects the candle. The roses. The shadows on the wall. And my face. I put my hands on my lap and I can feel a smile slowly creep into my expression. I look around the room, and back at the candle, the smile becoming harder to resist. Oh, here’s something curious: all of the walls are mirrors.
The door opens. I can’t look. I can’t turn my face to see who or what it is.
There is no escaping the fire.
“We have this unhealthy habit of making our entire lives about forgetting. We don’t want to accept or find peace with the problems we face. We just want to push them away, not think about them. Forget them momentarily, or repress them for a while. It really just doesn’t help.”
…Yes. I mean, it can be argued I guess, someone else might not consider what I have felt love, or I might not consider it that at a later point, I don’t know. But as far as I can tell, and in the moments that I have felt it, yes I have been in love.
“Always be skeptical. Always search further. Read, learn, investigate. And be skeptical of those who are not. Don’t trust people who are sure of everything they say, for they may be the least informed. Someone who leaves no room for exceptions, doubt, or further investigation is not on the path of knowledge or truth.”
“Supportez d’être appelée une nerveuse. Vous appartenez à cette famille magnifique et lamentable qui est le sel de la terre. Tout ce que nous connaissons de grand nous vient des nerveux. Ce sont eux et non pas d’autres qui ont fondé les religions et composé les chefs-d’œuvre. Jamais le monde ne saura tout ce qu’il leur doit et surtout ce qu’eux ont souffert pour le lui donner. Nous goûtons les fines musiques, les beaux tableaux, mille délicatesses, mais nous ne savons pas ce qu’elles ont coûté, à ceux qui les inventèrent, d’insomnies, de pleurs, de rires spasmodiques, d’urticaires, d’asthmes, d’épilepsies, d’une angoisse de mourir qui est pire que tout cela, et que vous connaissez peut-être, Madame”
“Before you can be who you aspire to be or change, you must first discover and know yourself.”