“Early on I realized there was a young boy in the depths of my dreams. Wild-eyed, singing, with a blond bowl cut and heterochromatic eyes. A little Machiavellian terror in the depths of my unconscious mind. The Boy-Prince.
King of All He Sees.
Later on I realized it was a bit more polarized. Far, far more polarized. Because there was another boy, one who wasn't a Prince. The one who'd always been poor and still remembered the feeling that he might not have a meal at the end of the night. The liar. The fox. The peasant boy.
The first one we named Golden Boy. The second one I called Jack. And as Valentine had said, I was working one. But the Jack, he always works you. He's that bad or good game of poker. That card that tips the scales or causes things to boil over.
In those depths, with all the threads surrounding me, I could see my possible futures and my probable past. I could feel a thousand lives inside moving around me. There was the current—the flow. And what perplexed me the most? They didn't ever see the Jack. They just felt him. And all they ever wanted was that Golden Haired boy who owned all he saw, he smiled at the dying sun and knew that when tomorrow came it was still his kingdom.
It was as if there was a rift between myself and those I'd chosen in the end. It was as if the struggle was between which would have to become the Walker on their dreams and which they would want wandering through their lives. And I knew then that people don't quite know what to expect when you're constantly up to no good. Whether it's a kingdom that needs saving or just a pawn to overthrow there's always something to do. Something to see.
But that little kid? Well, they think they chose him. They just don't know that in the end I'm the Dead one. That I've always been Dead. And that these lands are the Deadlands. We've never fully escaped into that haunted future everyone dreams. A portion of it in every moment. How much can you pay for the chromatic future-dreams of Yesterday?
Me, I got a thousand yesterdays to visit. It's a trip down memory-fucking-lane, girlfriend. Don't you fucking doubt it. Because in the end all we have is the futurepast to revisit and reinvent. And this line of reasoning sounds absurd, but it works. I glance back to decide where to step in the perpetual moment of the coming-storm-going-storm.
There's always a burning city to visit. Right before critical mass. Right before Ground Zero. And I plan to see 'em all. It's why I always wandered away. That little rogue-voice inside that says if you stick to the shadows, haunt the edges, then you have all the power. Because you're constantly desperate. And like the Hagakure says... If you want to survive, become desperate. But really, you always have to remember: no one makes it out alive.
That's why you enjoy being perpetually dead. It could always be worse. If this is a Hell, burning cities and love and joy and all, well... It's a damned fun Hell.
They might not see it, but they still have to deal with it. Because it's all there is. You can't always be a blond boy claiming the world for himself. Sometimes you gotta just play. It's all a game, whether you believe it or not. And like I said, no one makes it out alive.”
- Unsent Letter. 2008.
(Image from A Softer World Dot Com.)