In my late twenties, I went into hypoglycaemic shock in a hotel room in Atlanta while attending a conference; luckily, a friend found me unconscious, called the paramedics, and thirty minutes later, a line of glucose was being transfused into my veins. I’d known this intellectually before, of course, and had already written a good deal about the illusion of an afterlife, but this intimate flirtation with my own mortality taught me that existence really was the equivalent of an on/off light switch. And what a shame, I thought, if I squandered the rest of this absurd gift worrying about making people uncomfortable. It’s time to live an honest lifeyou can call it a life of sin if you’d like. It doesn’t matter; you’ll perish all the same.
And so, eleven years after I’d last seen him, my great smouldering sin, my limerent lust, finally saw daylight. I’d heard through the grapevine that the object of my attraction had become a rather pale haze of his former glory, an average, married man and father living a very traditional lifebut still I wrote him a letter. I purged myself of my feelings for him, sympathizing with the strangeness he must feel as the target of someone whose passions are so misplaced, explaining that this was more a letter for me than it was for him, that it was an exorcism only. I tried to articulate how, in spite of all this, it was important for him to know that I’d loved him.
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