I told you–I told you!–it was you, though, you thought I was the crazy one. Impossible I know not, but mad, delusional, irresponsible you have been! Because emphatically, pertinaciously did I or did I not declare that nothing would ever keep me from you? Nothing. I said nothing! Even in another life, you knew I’d find you, as death, here, holds no merit in the resistance attempting to divide our love, for my heavens you are, my angel, I’ll never leave your side.
And hello, again, and welcome. Sullenly, we await at these gates, mammoth in height, wherein secures this grandiloquent and lavish estate of my dearest and beloved friend, with his passing of only two days ago. That transcendency as a writer, but predominantly as a poet, will undeniably live forever. Specifically, I am here to his request, in which he insisted on my visitation upon his final days. Though abroad, such a task was simply unmanageable. An improper farewell, however, I wished him not with the kinship and comradery between us having derived from the earliest, most guileless of boyhoods.
So, follow me, if you will, to a place, where in adjoining neighborhoods of yore, our parents gathered and mingled frequently. There as expected, he and I grew close together. We played all of the same games and the same sports. We had several shared interests: writing, music, theatre, just to highlight a few. At times, we seemed we were of one. Even to the jest of our peers, strikingly, we shared many of the same physical features. We were each slightly under 6-feet tall with the same build. We had the same hair color, eyes, nearly identical facial structures, as well as other distinguishing characteristics. Our likeness was truly remarkable.
Our friendship, nevertheless, between the end of schooling and the commencement of adulthood, as most friendships do, would fade by degrees. Sporadic contact did we maintain in the years to come. He left the state for further education, and I worked a string of managerial positions, where opposing to his course or methodology, my objective was to outperform my competition, as conditioned early in my upbringing, and to invest all that was practical. Though, distinct from a majority of young investors, I had the opportunity and insight most never obtain. My managing occupations typically were double or triple the average of my peers in pay, as my supplementary income rivaled in volume. Money was never an issue.
Life for the vast of my early adulthood consisted of work and seemingly nothing more. Sleep came short-stinted through most weeks of the year, and absolutely no days were ever claimed reserved. Tiredness, nonetheless, never crept upon me as I possessed the mentality and drive of a narcissistic assassin. The goal always had to be accomplished regardless of sacrifice, because everything I executed I performed magnificently. A standard always had to be met.
Outside of the lengthy and extended obligations concerning my professions, I took a liking in my leisure to various forms of both sporting events and art. Nothing was more satisfying than a fine glass of wine with a sporting event in the backdrop while I painted, drew, and occasionally even wrote. Though, that was a rarity of occurrences as little opportunity did I have for personal exploration, with few friendships did I even possess the time to maintain. A majority, however, of my remaining amities would consist of men. Women, in which is confounding to most, never truly piqued my interest. I found some attractive. Many were attracted to me, but I sought other aspirations. I was determined to live a life of royalty, to possess a generational wealth that accepted no bounds. If a woman was to ever jeopardize or hinder that dream, that woman would be the woman of my dreams, because when you build an empire, you don’t make any woman your queen. Internally, I bore significant doubt I’d ever find that woman… that was until I met her.
And the feeling of love I knew not, but I knew love the moment I first rested my eyes upon her, because the beauty cast by her aura, brilliant in the most incomprehensible shades, could’ve illuminated my world in any and every light. The galaxy thenceforth held no wonder from me as her name would spell a symphony within my mind while orchestrating a new rhythm for my heart. Her presence was my eternity. Her absence was the end to all I enjoy. Love had never been so certain.
Within the earliest of our chapters, we’d grow innocently at our own organic pace. Consistently, our conversations were ebullient and pure. She expanded my mind and heart, was the star in my darkness that provided new direction. I worked harder and more efficiently every day knowing she was a part of my life, where in mere months of our acquaintanceship, I’d resign from my occupation because she deserved more than an employee, regardless of position or pay. I sold everything I possessed and became a full-time investor and entrepreneur. My philosophy was simple: a dollar earned today, will be a dollar depreciated tomorrow. Therefore, I invested all that I knew, with the majority of my capital residing in real-estate, more specifically, I began to develop residential land.
With her, I had every detailed entity of the subsequent decade of my life already planned–we were going to tour the world, live in a palatial estate, and nurture a love that would last eternally–because, already, in such an exiguous period she had transformed my life in a manner no woman could ever fathom. She inspired art that I knew not existed with her existence breathing as the soul to my poetry. For her, I possessed a tenderness in which invariably led to the sweetest of acts and the most sacred of arts. We were destiny. This was never meant to end! But–but it did…
And abruptly, my universe would pause, yet the world around continued to spin. My mind became the abyss to any light with darkness enveloping all I’d wish to see. This, nonetheless, never had to occur. Why–how could she let a mere dispute with another individual end all that we could be? The police never had to be called. Restrictions never had to be set. The final words issued didn’t have to be “YOU ARE CRAZY, DON’T EVER CONTACT ME AGAIN!” That moment didn’t have to end everything we could’ve been.
For months, I sat on my bed and wept as if I had lost a parent. Physically, I withered from malnutrition and utter despondency. Spiritually, I saw no sense in anything, as mentally I could not grasp further. My finances, howbeit, were never better. Truly, in no time at all, I had developed a revenue equivalent to a small house every month. Some would buy fancy cars, lavish clothing, and fine jewelry. I instead continued constructing and inflating my empire with every dividend being reinvested. The only extravagant purchase made was a 24,000 square-foot mansion. It was the largest estate in the wealthiest county of my state. That, there, was the assurance that I needed to know I had finally attained ultimate wealth.
In the following months, my income only continued to climb, which allowed more passive acts in my operations of business. I hired property management, a lawyer, an accountant, and et cetera. Henceforth, I was able to cherish what matters most again. I began visiting my parents more frequently once devoid of responsibility, as I relished talking sports with my father and treasured cooking with my mother.
One of my favorite activities, regardless of the infinite that my wealth could facilitate, and in which sent forth a pureness and simplicity kind to the heart, was practicing basketball at my parent’s house. During the summer, I played regularly most evenings, where, in the fullness of time, ultimately, an old face happened to wander by. It was my dearest and most beloved friend of boyhood. His zest and smile were uncontrollably and profoundly infectious. Instantly we reacquainted and discovered why we were so close in adolescence. And still uncannily, so similarly we shared many of the same physical features.
Our paths, however, were contrastingly different. His college endeavors failed miserably. He was expelled from campus, fell mightily in debt, then subsequently was arrested for drug charges. I, nonetheless, was never against the use of drugs as I had even experimented occasionally myself. After an evening of us perorating upon my parent’s driveway, we would depart to my estate for a game of cards. I opened a bottle of recherché whiskey and one thing led to another, as that night, he introduced me to my new favorite drug: cocaine.
And ha! There, under the influence of the powdery substance, I acquired enthusiasm sided by a newfound zip to partake in things that I love again. Sports became exhilarating. Writing became my new favorite study, as cocaine was the resolve to a majority of my issues–yes, cocaine was. And whilst indulged in mountains of the narcotic, my friend and I would become inseparable. Truly, we were the perfect match. He pushed me in athletics, challenged my beliefs, and provided competition in all arts, especially writing. And believe it or not, but I was the better of the two writers during this frame.
Though, true! I wrote tirelessly. Surely, I should’ve been the better writer, because wasn’t I the one with that standard of magnificence? And still, regardless of any prestige or accolade previously attained, that standard always, invariably had to be met. Every day, I had to assess my performance in the mirror, so when I wrote I wrote with aspirations–I wrote with conviction–I wrote to be the greatest writer of all-time. That was the goal set as wealth no longer presented a challenge. No longer a challenge!–though, it did enable ample opportunity and time to achieve any goal that I desired to pursue. It provided access to excellent marketing, brilliant editing, along with a team of the most polished and competent literary agents one could find. If such a dream was ever obtainable, I had all of the assets to succeed.
Thereon, following several months of laborious and even exhausting efforts of refining my crafts under the influence of cocaine, I received contact from one of my agents at the earliest one could esteem daybreak. A small newspaper company inquired upon publishing a poem of mine and wished to hire me as a member of their staff. It was supposed to be the door that I needed open: the opportunity to propel my talents. Undoubtedly, I was full of the highest exultation and optimism one could dream, with all of my hard work finally paying off! Simply, it was time to celebrate. That night, my friend and I would gather for a toast at the finest venue in the inner-city.
The menu was select, ultrarefined, and of course, mightily expensive. Many wines were the price of luxury vehicles. Steaks commanded an average peer’s weekly income to even sample. Gold bolted brilliantly along the baseboards as well as the lining of every table and chair. Waxed black marble floor welcomed your senses kindly in the lowly lit ambiance, with the only source of light emitting from a multi-thousand-gallon aquarium masquerading as walls, and a 12-foot chandelier that hung centered magnificently 30-feet high crafting a cascading diamond effect for all who could afford to see. This was what success felt like: draped in designer wear while sitting in a place that only kings could afford. This is what happiness was supposed to be–this was success! Though, still, a void lurked deep within. I wanted more.
Following numerous alcoholic beverages and countless bumps of cocaine into the night, I became numb to all around. No longer did the opulence in the air seem so remarkable, where, in a matrix with no answer I was lost in thought–lost, because what more do I have to accomplish? What more is there to possess? Will writing–can any form of success ever mollify this vacantness? What am I doing this all for?
I puffed on my cigar in deep introspection and took another sip of alcohol. My friend was lost in a disordered state himself. Maybe, that’s what had drawn us so close together: we were both lost. I continued to stare while observing how the light hit his features and how uncannily similar our appearances were: we could’ve been twins. At that juncture, internally I became conscious of all, where I knew what had to be done. Without much, if any deliberation, and as crassly to most, I blurted “Do you ever wish you could be me?”
He displayed no coherency, nor acknowledgment, and left no remark upon my utterance. He lit his cigar, which prompted another drag from mine. Little did we talk through the rest of our rendezvous. The next morning, however, we revisited that segment of the night. Initially, he considered it a blague of sorts, I, however, convinced otherwise. I expressed my deepest sincerity in the matter and promised him everything that could come to fruition. At length, a concord was found. I handed him my identification, the keys to my mansion, my vehicle, access information to all of my bank accounts. In exchange, all I acquired was his name. Success in life means nothing without something meaningful in life to be successful for.
No previously attained possession thereafter did I yearn for, though, still, I superintended over all business practices. I had to secure the quality of life which I promised for him, along with there were still a few purchases that I desired to make. Within months of drawing breath under another name, already I had numerous facial reconstructive surgeries performed. I had my larynx removed, where another was inserted. I tattooed the entirety of my body. I wore a new hairstyle, walked irregularly, and spoke with different enunciations. BECAUSE NEVER AS MYSELF WOULD SHE ACCEPT–NEVER!–NEVER!–but luckily, ha!–luckily, no longer was I him.
Finding her took no time at all, because really–really do you ever think I lost track of my goddess–of my muse? For more than a year in a suburban outskirt, she lived and lived alone. With each day I grew more eager to see her personally again. And yes, there were impediments, true, but I had a ploy: to utilize all capital and income from my former identity as collateral for a significant loan. In the process of negotiations, where through months of strenuous and tedious diologue, a deal would finally be struck. I bought 57 houses–I bought the entirety of her neighborhood. There, she acquired a new landlord, and there, ha!–reintroducing myself to her no longer was an obstacle.
Ingeniously, and quite systematically in my approach, I decided to greet all of my new tenants with a greeting basket. From house to house I presented gifts to 56 of my tenants. The final was her. My heart never had beaten so fast while walking through a pair of gates. Never had I been so rattled nor perspired so immensely stepping upon a doorstep. Though at her door, trepidatiously I would knock as the world immediately froze thereafter, and time no longer held reason. For an eternity I could’ve been outside waiting. I would’ve never known. The moment she answered the door, however, light instantaneously reentered my atmosphere, and the world began to spin again, where, it was at that instant in time she and I both knew we would spend the next 40 years of our life together.
For my friend, I continued to compose masquerading as my former self, as if I was still in love with the one that got away. He’d go on to live the life of a celebrity while being adored by millions, traveled the world, and lived in a palace. He lived the lavish and spectacular life that was intended for me, with his image that will forever be the one etched in museums of literary excellence. In trade, I received his name. That’s all I needed. For her, deeply I craved for the world to not only know but cherish her and her beauty as the sole créme de la créme of all masterpieces. And already, I know when I die I’ll be forgotten as if I’d never existed, but still, she’ll live forever. That’s all I ever wanted: for her beauty and name to endure and be loved by all. Impossible to most, yes!–but impossible I know not–.
So, why–why would you ever doubt me? Surely, you must be crazy–you have to be the crazy one!–because even in another life you knew I’d find you, with no severing of our bond could I, nor will I ever let take place. Simply, you are mine, and I belong to you. Death will never hold merit in any resistance attempting to divide our love, for my heavens you are, my angel, nothing will ever keep me from you. Nothing. And I told you–I told you! I’ll never leave your side, because there in the ground forever our corpses will rot together. So let the Heavens exist not, with the depths of my love being something you never know, but from our very, very first encounter, I can vow with the greatest certainty of my soul, I knew you were the one–I knew you were my soulmate. Though, I ask, still, my darling, do you see me mad? Crazy, am I? Or is crazy only defying infinite and immeasurable odds–sacrificing and risking everything–exhausting all for something that one simply could not live without?–someone so beautiful the whole world had to see. Crazy… crazy, I know I’m not.