In the Book

I want to make one thing perfectly clear from the beginning. You read this at your peril. The only reason I am taking pen in hand and putting it down on paper is in the ardent hope that by affixing it to an inanimate object it will somehow be permanently expunged from my mind. My ability to destroy this recounting, once finished however, is simply not possible. Ripping it asunder, or burning it, would only multiply its evil and spread it more rapidly. It is, however, my fervent desire that this manuscript never be found. That is why I plan to bury it. I shall entomb it with the rest of the dead and rotting detritus of the world. If, for any reason, you come upon it in the future, proceeding beyond this initial paragraph would be a grave error. Best to return it immediately, unread, to where you found it. I caution you for the last time. Should you continue, you are likely to find yourself not only in the same wretched state in which I currently reside, but more importantly, the responsibility for dealing with this all consuming malignancy will become yours, and yours alone.

You have been warned.

Mine was a life of no particular distinction, an insignificant commoner toiling in an inconsequential profession. I was one of countless bureaucrats laboring unseen in the bowels of government house. My title coincided with the task I was compensated to perform, file clerk. I was by no means the only file clerk. In my department alone there were four of us. We were responsible for separating, cataloguing, and yes, filing a seemingly endless number of documents, reports, forms, letters and memoranda that members of parliament initiated, responded to, or simply wished to have available in the future, should the need arise, at some undetermined time for some unforeseen reason. The state, in its infinite wisdom, felt that maintaining mountainous volumes of correspondence was absolutely essential to both the preservation of history and the orderly operation of political authority. I saw no reason to disagree as this afforded me a stable, if somewhat meager, income.