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Fool's Paradise

Chapter Text

Entry the fifth. Date: September 18, 2004 (apparently)

I feel I should report the following as good news, however grim I remain about its consequence. They have found individuals who recognize me in Europe. One of them will travel here in the next few days to interview me. Days from Europe across the sea to the farthest corner of America? Yet it appears to be possible, in this strange time.

With great hesitation, the lady Doctor has shown me more than newspapers. She has delivered me maps, picture books and manuscripts, even encyclopaedic indexes, all in an effort to persuade me of her reality in the year two thousand and four.

I wonder if it is the many sedatives with which I have been injected, which is clearly a method of mind control, but I have not argued with her on this matter further.

The sheer volume of the work is extraordinary…the discoveries, the inventions. As much as my mind battles against it, I cannot fathom why she would take such lengths to convince a lowly poet of such an abominable lie. Although the thought of existing in the twenty-first century challenges the very foundation of my existence, the necessity of these doctors to force such preponderance upon me for no reason other than to toy with me seems an even greater improbability. Doctor Powers nearly erupted with glee when I admitted this to her.

If I am not William Langley, though, then who am I?

Perhaps I am the male equivalent of the infamous “Rebel Rose,” who spied on behalf of the Confederates during the Civil War in this country? That my lost memories have to do with government secrets and the like -- although, to be true, espionage does not seem to be a likely career for me.

I understand too well why I have clung to my standing, my address, and my name. Without it, I am but a rootless bit of driftwood amid a chaotic sea of unknowns. I do not know how much longer I can exist in this condition...

Ah, but I have spoken enough about such unpleasant business.

I find myself anticipating the visitor from Europe with great fervour, for I feel he may well hold the key to unlocking the mysteries of my mind.

Beginning with why I shudder every time the word “key” is mentioned?