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How the Universe was Originally Meant to End

A ways back, looking at the world I was building within my books, I imagined this rather definitive ending to what was then the very last in the series—approximately the fifth book or so. In it, the main character would be dying a slow, painful, anguished death and so, inevitably, instead of succumbing to the cold silence, he would decide to meet his end in a manner he considered more fitting—by his own hands.

Although I’ve long since changed that ending and all details surrounding the actual circumstances, there was another aspect of that conclusion I’ve never once divulged until today: as planned, the very moment readers came to realize what had occurred in the blank white emptiness of the page following that book’s last sentence, I, in what I considered a mark of poetic genius, would be following a similar course in real life.

It’s hard now to divulge that, but for a time, it brought me a great deal of comfort. I would continue to write, continue to read, continue with life as I knew it—but with a predetermined expiration date hanging just above the horizon that I could look to as an end to all my troubles.

For an even greater time later, I would look back on this notion and wonder if I should not have abandoned it.

All of this is well behind me now, so I can look at it with a bit of circumspect indifference. This was a different time, a different me, and though I continue to openly battle rather strenuous bouts of depression from time to time—including, from what I can tell, at this very moment—none of these can compare to the utter hopeless despair that grew like a seedling within me and helped spur my creative enterprises beyond what I’d always imagined possible. From what I’ve been told, such intertwining emotions are not rare; are, in fact, altogether common, but learning to juggle them effectively nearly cost me everything.

I’m not sure of the reason I’ve decided to put this into writing presently. The book for which that end was conceived is not currently in my planned schedule nor will it be the last of what is shaping to be a never-ending series, and the end itself has been massively retooled—and added to.

Perhaps it was the look in my son’s eyes yesterday as I held him in my arms and rocked him to sleep—that pure sense of wondering, loving trust. How could I ever do anything to lose that?

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