Faithful reader, I have to pause our usual noble quest for truth and allow myself to come clean. How can I expect to find the truth if I cannot be truthful with myself? If you’ll let me, the burden of this project is weighing on me, and I have no other outlet. I fear I’ve lost grip on this whole thing and you, reader, are my way out…
A few weeks ago I received an email. The email was brief, the person commended my quest, and said if there was anything they could do to help, they would. The email was sent from an account with a name strikingly similar to mine, so I brushed it off as a mere joke. Someone trying to get in on the fun. I responded jokingly, stupidly thinking they had nothing to contribute. I was naive. They responded with the picture I’ve provided for you today. This picture, and I cannot stress this enough, I think has the key. I hope to be able to fill in the gaps, but I believe whoever this person is, they know something. I quickly responded, begging them to meet me, so we could both throw anonymity to the wind and exchange what we know. I have not heard from them since. And I fear my failure to hear them out, my own stubbornness to have all the answers has endangered my quest for the truth.
At the beginning of this process I floated on the pure adrenaline of the possibility of finding the culprit. I dreamed that the pieces were fitting together one by one, that finding that last missing piece would make the doer of the deed abundantly clear. I wanted the white hot surge of truth to bring light where there was once dark. I wanted to bask in revelation, dance in the warm air of discovery. Do I not deserve this much for what I’ve sacrificed? Was this email my chance of discovery that I’ve let slip through my fingers?
Comparing this email to my own research, all I’ve found are broken shards, shattered beyond repair. I’ve piled them together, but the pieces don’t want to fit, they tease me with their individuality, with their refusal to create logic. Everything must mean something. Without meaning there is chaos.
When engaging in this kind of work, the deafening silence teems with information. In a world full of noise, silence is intentional. What sparks one to remain silent? Having something to hide? Or fear that speaking it will make it true? Or, do they yearn to release the truth that burns inside them, to finally be set free, but are denied that right? The meaning of these silences continues to unfold into oblivion and I, perhaps naively, am lead into the dark. But without meaning there is chaos.
Understanding the breadth of this investigation meant I had to first assume no one was innocent. Everyone who was around that Fall of 2016 holds with them a piece of the puzzle. But what I’ve learned is that people unfold to you over time — no person shows their hand right away. I’ve been observing. People exist in multiples, welded together and pulled apart by the force of time. A motive for one person in Fall of 2016 to do this deed could have no bearing on who they are now. The unfolding of time makes each moment the first to ever exist; our cells replace and we are reborn. How do I reconcile the deeds of Fall 2016 when time has overturned every particle that existed then? The culprit I seek no longer exists. That person existed for a blip, documented by those bats.
By writing this column I write the past into the present. What separates me, the investigator, from creating the event all over again? What does truth mean if people don’t wish to find it? Did the truth I sought only exist in my dreams? Is a dream a lie if it doesn’t come true? Or is it something worse……
I used to look in the mirror and I see someone with pure intention. The longer I look, that person melts away and another one forms. I stare into eyes I once knew so well and wonder, that maybe, no one knows what they’re truly capable of. Maybe the email was meant to have this effect on me. Maybe this occurrence inhabited a sinister place in my memory for so long because, in a different time, in a different body, in a memory that I can’t find, it was me all along. With no tether to time I repeat the cycle. Without meaning there is chaos.