To a most remarkably handsome Brit,
First of all, please forgive me for not having hand written this; something I really wanted to do. I originally wrote the letter back in June (2012), and have since touched it up. Well, a little. The main reason I didn’t send it back then is due to laziness, really. And my dislike for the Post Office – it’s always so hostile and sterile and bitter. Bah! I digress.
On a day roughly three years ago, I was perusing my roommate’s book collection for something to read. And thus, my first meeting with the name Stephen Fry was instanced.
I asked him about this book covered in shades of azure and white and whether it was a worthy read. He told me that it was. Unfortunately, though fortunate for other reasons, I plucked another. And truth be told, I’m still yet to read the chronicles of yours truly, or anything else written from your flying fingers for that matter (aside from Twitter updates and a few blog posts). I, to the contrary, am writing you, to share how delightful it was (and very much is) listening to you cleverly weave strings of prose and poetry together during various videos of yours on Youtube, including, The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive.
Having suffered, or as I prefer to phrase it, having habitually experienced bouts of enthusiastic sadness since as long as I can remember, learning about your story has been tremendously comforting. I, unlike your terrific self, never got diagnosed with depression. At fourteen I was diagnosed with what’s commonly known as CF (chronic fatigue) syndrome, which is a rather self-explaining condition. Only later, in my early twenties, did I discover that what I was experiencing as an adolescent was more likely to be a form depression; a form of which I’ve recently figured out is probably of a manic hue. Being the naïve youngster that I was, I merely assumed that all adolescents woke up every morning hoping for it to all just end. I didn’t always want to die, per se; I just wish I hadn’t ever been born at all. Most days. For years on end. Apparently this is not the case.
Anyway, my tale isn’t of a particularly interesting sort. I was your typical teeny tot (maybe not), deathly afraid of humans, bullied daily growing up on account of being a little strange (up until about nine years), lost in a reverie every moment of every day, achieving highly without any effort but bored as fuck from the routine curriculum, yearning and burning for a day to come by and change it all around until later realising that this whole, wonderful chimerical fantasy was being induced by a chemically imbalanced body. Quite the relief, I suppose.
Fortunately though, because I was never officially diagnosed with depression and thus was never medicated or subjected to psychology of any sort, I was able to manage this demonic, juggernaut of a psychosis on my own, by developing a sort of psychological web to rest on whenever the ghosts of my past decided to paint me in grey. This web was composed of the various philosophies and thoughts that I’d developed over the years. Ones that I’d unravel and piece together, out of necessity and loneliness above all else, whenever one of those unfortunate pangs of grief would wave over my being.
For this reason, I’ve come to almost love this disease of mine; if it weren’t for ‘it,’ I don’t think I’d have pushed myself so ardently to burst the bubble that I’d grown up in, nor would I have, I don’t believe, fallen into the sort of lifestyle that has become mine. I’m very happy playing the role of a contrarian, and am grateful that this depressive disorder – or, more pointedly, my general brain – sculpted it out for me. (As you might see, I’m quite brilliant at making lemon juice out of stuff that’s inherently hideous).
Obviously, this story has a happy ending because I’m writing to you, and not yet a mere fragment of the past.
During law school, which I was unfortunately fortunate enough to climb into straight out of high school, it dawned on me that I had no real passion to become a lawyer. It was a double-edged sword type revelation. On the one hand, the conjectured path that had long ago been ingrained deep into my psyche was blown out of the water, and a sense of confusion, loss and fear dawned over me. On the other, less coordinated hand, newer, greener pastures presented themselves as loose threads in a crescendo of progressive realisations and insights. In meeting a wide array of people at school and over a year’s period in NY (having intermitted my studies to discover and galvanise my true interests), I came to understand that life could be lived beyond the frame environing the norm. I learnt that it didn’t have to consist of suits and ties, insipid business people and nine to fives. It could be full of colour and excitement, vibes and rays and incandescent delights, not comprised solely of petty consumptions and the next family holiday.
You, dear sir, are one of those people whom I hold closely to my heart when I question whether or not this path that I’ve had no choice in choosing has been the right one. According to your good self, one of the reasons you came to adore Mr. Wilde was not because of his gigantic wit, but because of the fact that he was able to spark it so in others. I can honestly say that just by watching you loquaciously twine together such eloquent brooks of phrase in videos on Youtube, I myself feel cleverer. Your humility and sincerity distend from your pores so effortlessly that it is impossible not to feel humbled even if only through a cyber platform.
Sometimes my girlfriend gets jealous of you because, to turn her phrase, my many ‘man-crushes’ often distract me from fully lavishing my attention on her beautiful little soul. She understands though, and, I’m happy to say has not come to resent you or my other ‘man-crushes’ (or me, for that matter) for it. And to a large degree, because of you, I feel no compulsion to succumb to a path that isn’t mine, merely because the future of an aspiring artist is too shaky a one to rely on.
Currently, I’m writing this letter whilst on a study exchange in South Korea. And, as far as I can recall, am experiencing one of the longest, most floor-ridden episodes of this beautiful, crippling disease that I can recall.
I didn’t intend to so narcissistically divulge so much of my own thoughts and history, but I suppose what else would I have to talk about? And, funnily enough, today’s my twenty fourth birthday, once again, predictably falling on June the 14th. I’m not typically a fan of celebrating my own birth, perhaps one of the reasons I’ve decided to write you.
Well, I suppose I should bring this letter to a close. I’m sure that you receive thousands of letters of this nature, and I don’t expect that this one will spark any more interest than the next. Though, I do hope that we can someday meet. Probably a rather fanciful hope, but hell, I’m am biologically inclined to delusions, so why not?
Alas, until then, please know that you’re an inspiration to more people than you can possibly envision. I’m sure that there are many like me who have for whatever reason chosen not to write thanks; I very easily could have been one of them. And though when those days arrive that are filled with the bleakest of goo, and consoling messages such as this mean to you what Prada means to an ant, know, at the bottom of your despair, that there are people, complete and total strangers all over the world, perched in the most unlikely nooks and crannies, whom have you silently rested in their hearts. Spoken as a raging heterosexual, you are an outstandingly beautiful man. Thank you dearly for being you. And thank you for sharing yourself so liberally with this desolate world.
Much love, an admirer, a manic, a weirdo, and a Wilde soul,