September 16, 2016 by David.Groveman
In this sample, the narrator is beginning to recap his tale and how he finds himself in so miserable a predicament. Released from an asylum he is going back over all the facts he can find surrounding the events that led him there.
As of this November it will be nine years since I was discharged from the hellish confines of my cell at the Bellstowe Asylum. Though, in many ways, my imprisonment started long before my necessary internment. So much has happened in the span of years that it seems a lifetime has passed since I’ve had full mastery of my own thoughts. Now a man of middle years, I look upon the sallow youths of the nearby university with no small amount of envious contempt. Living now on the scant sum of money left to my inheritance, after the vulturous fiends of the State department had each devoured their pound of flesh, I pour over the notes of those who treated my condition to find some profound reason why my life should have come to this.
Know this, should you wish to glean anything from reading the journals of a reformed madman, no good deed goes unpunished.
A lifetime ago, when I had been as young as the very youths I now despise, I had thought to enter the clergy. Having secured for myself a scholarship with the Anglican college of New Bedford. My days were filled with study and what little time I called my own was spent in pursuit of charity. It was in this very pursuit that I found myself attending to the swarthy vagrants who clustered near the docks and wharfs of New Bedford and it was there I first met Sydney Lansett.
Sydney had been two years my senior and a theology major whose father was a well known minister in the cloistered town of Wallham. Sydney was a plump red faced man with a cherubic countenance and an unrivaled zeal for helping the downtrodden. With his constant prodding I soon found my free hours teeming with breadlines, clothing the naked and evaluating the very refuse of society for the greater glory of God.
Looking back on my journal from before my troubles, I am astonished to see how much I admired the round-faced young man from Wallham. He was not particularly bright nor scholarly and he didn’t curry favor with the social elite, but he had a halo of divine providence about him. It was as if he sought to do good for goodness’ sake alone and not for the cathartic pleasure of helping others. It was because I sought to be seen as such by others that I endeavored so steadfastly to promote his charitable causes.