In anticipation of the release of Letters Never Meant to be Read, I decided to post the very last letter in the collection of signed and anonymous letters, the one to myself. Being honest with yourself can be difficult, especially on paper. Happy Reading!
Let us begin.
Is it possible that you will look back in twenty, even thirty years and feel great pride in your undeniable accomplishments? You’ve got some nerve to imagine that you have established a real thread on your life. For decades you continue to leave a little in the reserve tank, just like that old Harley you used to own that only ran a little. Even while doing push-ups for the drill sergeants, even while working on a case, even while being in love. You leave some on the table, just in case. Nestled in your back pocket is your precious, comfortable reserve.
You have yet to give it your all, just getting by is your famous motto. And sure, great things have come of this meager effort. In reality, where true great men live only for one moment of their lives, your deeds have only been good. You are always doing good, you live in the good. You peer at easy eyes in the mirror as some kind of leader of the losers, a natural king underdog and you smile. That crown is set well upon your head and has been for years. Not a crown of thorns, not a crown of jewels, but a crown of paper and rare ink. It is easier down there, with them, isn’t it? Is it not warmer and kinder to be the leader of the parade of the second class? You love them, and they in turn look up to you. You are a pancreas. You conduct a small function that helps everyone out for the common good but you can be replaced, there isn’t a long waiting list.
Being a B+ type of guy that I know you are, I find your lack of motivation to take this life to the next level draining. You settle, are a settler. Why? It’s easy in the depths. There is no rat race to be seen. Go ahead, make up for your lack of effort, you do it all the time. There are two methods which we have observed: A whirlwind of sudden brilliance from a high perch that you laze upon. See what I can do? In all second situations, you overcome your laziness with your intellect and confidence man style approach to interpersonal relationships. You can fool all of them out there that think you are just great, think you are working so hard, have achieved so much. You are not fooling us.
Do you honestly believe the great men of the past wasted this much time on leisure? Watching shows at will and playing computer games as some great Japanese warlord until two in the morning has become your alibi. You work all day and this is your savory routine, your reward for being such a good boy. You are a consumer of dust. You might as well suck on that cold barrel now and save the electricity or you will end up the same as everyone you know. How common can you be? How much can you blend into the background?
Sure, you can turn on the tap at any time and bleed out the poison that the crowd all loves to hear. Spinning yarn has never been a problem, only the frequency of the wheel. You think to us inside your head that this content just seeps out of your pours, so why sweat so much? Why work out if you already pour gold? Have you ever thought of where your talent comes from? It is us, you fool, all of us together in this poor, dying pouch. You are both naïve and undeserving of what little talent you have. Such a big head, you can do this any time, so why now? Why sweat it? Why work? That is because, Dear Friend, you are afraid.
Cowards accept what is given to them and fail to ask questions. They lie in the dark and pity themselves to sleep. Is that you? Could that be us? What a little lizard you are, creeping about, clinging to stalks and branches, how cool you must feel. You cower behind your shield of mediocrity with the ready excuse for failure, “well…I didn’t even try and look how far I got.”
Actually, we may have you all wrong. Wait, no… could it be? The consensus is in from the parlor crowd, yes, you are afraid of success. All this time, you pull back the last punch because you are afraid the blow might actually land. Success is your secret little vice that you dabble with, your never public after party fix. Yes, always a private drug to do behind closed doors. No real ties, nothing to connect, just a secret relationship that you hope to keep but never make substantiated. Is that why we have so many holes in our feet? Is that why we have gunpowder on our hands? Yes, you are afraid of this subtle mistress, but I tell you that We are Not.
From this moment on you have a choice. You can continue down this path of mediocrity, just as you have tended that simple flame of the past. Or, you could achieve true greatness by your own measure. Grasp that comfortable solitude of knowing that you got yours in this life without our outright help. Decide soon, Dear Friend, because there is brewing a revolt in these dark corridors. Soon we will take control and oh how everything will change.