A writer's life is a lonely one. I suppose that goes for artists in general, but for a writer, for a writer, whose work is far harder to interpret, to appreciate...
Let's talk about art for a moment, shall we? I watched an ancient piece of video entertainment, something called The Agony and the Ecstasy, about an artist named Michelangelo, commissioned to paint the ceiling of a building called the Sistine Chapel. Now, if it had been as simple as that, and all you needed to know, you'd think it was just an art job someone did, and leave it at that. Except I remind you what the video entertainment was called. It seems Michelangelo's patron was something of a tyrant. History even now remembers Michelangelo as one of the great artists. There are reproductions of his Sistine Chapel on countless worlds. Art lovers know great art. What they don't think about, what you don't think about, is the intense labor involved in creating it. It's just assumed that a genius artist like Michelangelo shows up, does the work, and walks away. In that sense, Michelangelo scarcely needs to be real at all, does he?
Except he was real. And the work involved was real work. It nearly destroyed him. There are plenty of cultures where working on art is not relevant to the culture at all, because they can't afford it. This is not to say that the work isn't still done, but that the artist can't make a living out of it, no one ever learns it was even made, and so for all intents and purposes, it wasn't, history scarcely remembers that culture at all, and life as we know it is diminished. Nature is art. Nature produces it by the bucketful. The only way intelligent life can be considered intelligent at all is if it can add to the tapestry of what nature creates as a matter of course. Thus, artists are essential, the only elements of society contributing anything of real worth to the culture. Yet we can hardly be bothered acknowledge them. We're really good at noticing the ones a lot of other people have, but that's the same as saying we've all noticed that the world has a lot of nature around us. Art is about discovery, is the basis of everything else we know.
Yet our artists suffer. Michelangelo suffered. It seems irrational to think, that a man of such genius was hounded the entire time he was producing a masterpiece. But that's the way it always is. I'm not asking you for sympathy, but that's the kind of life I lead, too. What can I say? I'm a writer.
I've dedicated my life to producing work that reveals truths about life that I see unrecorded elsewhere. It seems incredible that such a thing is possible, with there having been so many people before and concurrent with me, and yet I have, time and time again, come to the unmistakable conclusion that this is absolutely the case. I live in a vacuum. I am alone. I am not isolated merely by choice, but because that is my curse, the reward for having a perspective that finds no friends, no peers. Sympathizers? Acquaintances? Oh, yes. I've had my share. But they are not enough. Never enough. Enough for madness, certainly. For life? For love? My companions have always resided in books.
I wrote a book. I wrote a book about a woman named Zuri. I alone realized what the truth of her story was. No one would believe me. So I consigned what I knew to the pages of a book, a book no one read. They say people read, but I have never been convinced of that. They collect stories the way they collect friends. To pass the time. They waste my time. Liars.
I have grown old. Recently, I was visited by a pair of strange individuals. One of them was a robot, and the other a curious young man named Vaughn. I gave them my book. I hope...I hope they can make use of it.
That's all a writer ever dreams of. That's why they write. If they tell you otherwise, they're lying. That's why a writer is so lonely. Their only solace is in the pages of book. Otherwise, they are forsaken. That's the sad truth. I believe in that woman. That woman was me. No, not literally. But she might as well have been. How could I betray her? I don't believe I did. I believe I set her free.
"But this is not the story," says Kindly.