Dearest Anna:

I have disappeared --- again. This time nobody will care. They have seen it all before: Mr. Vithano disappears, Mr. Vithano writes a book, publishes and sells it, Mr. Vithano comes back, a couple hundred pounds richer. Cyril will write his column and laugh about it; the world will play along, just like the police will play along --- a charade of simulated hysteria. And a few days later the cry will die down.

I do not know if I shall come back. I shall spend my money on all the whores I can find, and then see what I can do. All my life I have wanted to write, but now, having written, I find all my words fled, hidden from me in those books which I wrote and were once mine --- now they belong to that monstrous place they call the library of human knowledge. When I am gone and turned to dust (and even now as I draw my last unhappy breaths), I will still be there, snarling, cheerful, dancing with the words that make my books --- a different, immortal me. And these letters, too, compose me. Every word that I have ever written writes me, because when I am gone they will be all the world has left of me. Living, I was nothing but a writer; dead, I am everything written.

Know that I love you. Know that when Vithano draws his last breath, this love will compose its length. I do not know if I can face you again after what I did. Drunk as I am in these final days, I am at least sober enough to not ask for forgiveness, because I deserve none. Perhaps I shall never come back.

As Always,

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