(My god, that e-mail is a lapidary treasure of hubris!)
Ah... but really... is there any consolation for wastes of life? When I think of how isolated and peerless and glum I have been since I left Chicago I feel afraid at how much it must have changed me. No one will even recognize me. In a week I'll be wandering around the city like a ghost, unable to speak through the wall to anyone, and not really giving a damn -- it's only more soul death, after all. If they recognized me they'd only want to break the glass cage around my heart, and the fragments would rattle around and kill me. In Carbondale, my prison till next week, it has been raining every day for what seems like decades. And I still have hundreds of undergraduate essays to go. I thought i knew evewrything.