Body and Mind
It is a terrible thing when a brave person becomes afraid of you. It wakes you up. You see that, in Hemingway’s great phrase, you have “gone beyond where you can go.” It is unlikely you can save yourself, and unlikely that any one person — lover, therapist, friend — can save you.
We don’t have a “drug” problem. We have never had a “drug” problem. We will not have a “virtual reality” problem. Past, present, and future, we have a consciousness problem — today compounded by the fact that it happens to be occurring in a Neanderthal political landscape.
Water will not put out a reality fire. Those little red extinguishers are useless. A reality fire will not be tamed. As the eyes move from object to object each bursts into flames and is consumed, gone forever, and no smoke either — for a reality fire will consume so thoroughly that nothing is wasted. No smoke escapes. Never any smoke. From a reality fire there is no smoke.
In a man of his size and complexion, however, many found the reserve unnerving. Mr. Cody, the history teacher, referred to him in private — with more than slightly nervous humor — as “My Bad Conscience.” Also, as “Doom.” Most people called him Elmer, and stayed out of his way.