I’ve not written you in a while, Mark. I’ve been fighting the battle again, and this time doing nothing more than holding ground. It’s difficult to talk about it; if you will pardon me, I’ll express it more as allegory.
I, body and mind, am a labyrinth designed by Daedalus.
There are none other like me; there never will be again. I am a singular thing. Beautiful, complicated, intertwining.
I contain a living Minotaur.
Misshapen, misbegotten creature — unholy offspring of human and animal, half-royal, demanding and desirous of sacrifice, fed on human flesh. Send the best and the brightest down to it, drawn by lots. You will not see them again.
It cannot be escaped. It cannot be stopped. It can only be contained.
I was born with the Minotaur inside me, curse of my heredity. It nearly destroyed me in my childhood — I was a very sick young girl. Then my health seemed to steady and I grew to the age of twenty-three, appearing physically, outwardly, normal.
Then it gathered its strength and struck again in earnest.
I was very sick, for a very long time. I lost employment. I lost relationships. More than once I came quite close to losing my life.
Dante in his Divine Comedy encounters the Minotaur at the entrance to the Seventh Circle of hell, among those damned for violent natures. I can believe it — the Minotaur for the better part of a decade has taken almost all the good out of my life worth having.
Sovegna vos al temps de mon dolor… “be mindful in due time of my distress”.
I am reminded every day, in the choices I must make… in the dreadful vigilance and constant care I must take.
Eventually this your Humble Prisoner, through reason and wit, found encryption and incantation that would drive back the monster — bound him up, lock him away, send him into sleep.
It is a never-ending battle. Any little mistake or treachery can wake him and send him galloping on dire cloven hooves again through the corridors of my body, snorting fire, eager to trample and rend and devour. He gobbles down my hours, my vitality, my motive force, my wit, my very soul.
I’m not charming in those moments, Mark. I’m sure I must be very difficult to love. Thank the gods that some have found themselves still able to manage it.
There will be no crafty duplicitous Theseus in my world, to bring peace with his sword. No one will save me but myself. That has been a lesson years in learning; I know it by heart now.
All my armor is still on, however, and I *am* still standing. Tomorrow I get up again, Mark, and this time I will be pushing to regain more ground. I will be writing more. I will be posting more. I will be working more.
I have not forgotten you, no matter how long I may lose mankind’s deceiver — Hope. I have kept my eyes on the stars and what I aim for, I hit.
So I am pleased to sign myself once more for you
Warden of Nightmares,