Uncle, As always, your admonitions and advice have proven invaluable for my work. Before I get to my report, an observation. There is tremendous pain out there--deep, crushing, soul-rending pain. With my finely-tuned supernatural sound receptors I can hear their inaudible cries. The ssound is like a chaotic storm of human anguish, like a planet full of madmen performing a lunatic opera; tortured voices calling out, strangling, choking on the bile of their own wretched hopelessness. I love it. And I know Dad is pleased as can be. Is our job getting easier? These people...their lives are so full of nothing that we can bring them down with the simplest of distractions. I canít recall a more fruitful time. It almost seems unfair. Bless Dadís dark heart. On to business. The summer has been very rewarding. Much progress in my sector. Here are updates on some of the subjects Iíve been working on.
* * * *HECTOR: This one is close to the edge. Wonít take much now. He goes through the motions, puts in applications, tells the wife and kids everything is going to be OK, smiling as he goes. But inside? Inside, dear Uncle, the man is acidic. There is red-hot magma flowing in his veins, spontaneous combustion is only one incident away. His oldest son is incarcerated for possession, his teenage daughter seems to want to hang out with kids heís sure are in gangs. Unemployment is running out. Maria is working two jobs and looking at him like he is rotting garbage. They havenít had sex in months. He thinks sheís cheating on him. This has been a multi-layered attack, as you can see. Hector is adrift now, feeling quite abandoned by all. He has ceased, even, his vague hoping in the enemy. Thanks to legalized casino-gambling, heís been secretly betting away his unemployment checks while telling Maria he has started a second savings account. Last night he got completely wasted on Tequila. He collapsed in a corner, clutching a copy of his life insurance policy and weeping like a baby. He fell asleep in that corner. Wormwood and I danced around him until he had a dream about Maria sleeping with his best friend. I think tonight may be the night he kills himself. What a wonder that will be. What a triumph. I can hardly wait. Praise Dad and poverty. STEVE: The males in this culture--their weaknesses are so apparent, and they so readily fall for the same old tricks again and again. For Steve itís lust. Nott just your ordinary, garden-variety "I like to check out womenís legs" lust, Iím talking about an all-out sensual insanity. Heís such a slave to pornography (with its wonderful displays of impossible beauty and freakish body proportions) that he no longer finds his wife attractive. If he canít have TWO women at once (two, SUPERMODELS at that) he figures why bother? The fantasy is better than the reality. And with the joys of the Internet, porn comes to him like magic: a tantalizing array of sleek and inviting sirens shows up in his Inbox everyday. Teen Sluts and Lusty Lesbos and Horny Frat Girls and Lactating Mamas...they all send out their carnal calls to him and he is helpless against their power. Clickety-click-click. His wife, Tina (who knows a lot about computers because of her job) has been checking out his hard drive. She knows where his dirty little mind has been and sheís tired of being ignored, tired of being made to feel unattractive and unwanted at home (especially when she knows damn well that Mark in Accounting would be happy to take her out for a test drive any time). Ahh, Uncle, this is a divorce waiting to happen. And two kids to get emotionally mangled in the bargain. The disintegration of the nuclear family. Always a great joy to behold. LAURA: There is so much exquisite self-loathing in the soul of this girl, such a dark and haunting melody of poisonous depression plays in her heart. It is lovely to hear, sweet as slow death by starvation. She is fat. Has been since childhood. There were plenty of contributing factors, genetic and environmental. But she understands what kind of creature she is, caught in the helpless spiral of eating to escape, hating herself more, eating to escape, escalating hatred. It is truly the blackest and best sort of poetry to hear her thoughts and watch her tear herself apart. It is as if she were consuming herself--her teeth ripping into her flesh--chunk by chunk, hate-bites, a glorious, hopeless feast that leaves her lifeless yet alive.. Laura has a beautiful face, a face many women would envy were it not connected to that grotesque blob of a body she has sculpted beneath it. Sweet irony. All the stores--they have all those magazines in the rack. Beautiful, perfect women with perky breasts and hourglass shapes, all sultry and smiling. Laura wants to drive an ice pick into each of them repeatedly, she wants to hear them scream and watch them die an ugly death. She looks at herself in the mirror every morning, tries to raise her head high enough to erase her goitrous neck, but it is useless. She cries until her face is swollen, her eyes bloodshot. She wants to die but she hasnít got the courage to kill herself. She tries so hard to be sweet and kind to everyone, always forgiving, always generous and complimentary. Maybe, she thinks, there is some good man out there somewhere who will love her for all the good things inside her. Man, that gets funnier every time I think about it.
* * * *Anyway, Uncle Screwtape, you can see how profitable your training has been for me this summer. This pale blue dot is a great place to vacation. Yours in Darkness,
x x x