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And in The End...

I still donít know what to think about this sad story. Is it merely the story of an unstable person that got himself into a mess he was bound to bring upon himself one way or another, or maybe this story is actually a warning? An allegory that bears a moral, a lesson to be learned about how thin and elusive is the line that separates reality from illusion, actuality from imagination.

He had finished his service about a year ago, and had spent the last few months thinking about his future. His friends were starting their second year at the university or returning, full of experiences, from their long trips to the Far East. He didnít go anywhere. In fact, he probably didnít go beyond the confines of his own neighborhood during those long months. And now, after weeks of segregation and reflection, he was more confused than ever. It seemed there was nothing out there for him. Nothing that could make him leave his room. No goals to achieve, no ambitions to pursue. And he wasnít even 22.

It was then when that thought of writing a book emerged. Arising from desperation. Not a lifelong ambition, no evident talent or proven aptitude. Just the gloomy realization that he may be good for nothing except that. A last resort.

He had no previous experience, no creative writing course, no characters, and no plot. Not even a title for his new creation. He did have, however, a good idea for the location where his book should be written - Paris. Heíd never been there before, but he knew that was the right place to conceive a masterpiece. Thereís no better place to get the inspiration. Surely not here.

Paris was cold and lonely that winter and when the inspiration refused to come he walked the streets seeking for his muse. The plan was to build the characters first. Strong coherent characters that would forge themselves into a powerful plot. The story would create itself into an ingeniously woven tapestry.

Inspiration turned out to be much closer than expected. A young student who rented the small apartment on the ground floor of the building, three floors underneath his small room. The writing began. He cast himself as the main male character, and Paris as the setting. He was writing in frenzy. 16 hours a day. He was hardly eating or sleeping his writing was beginning to be less and less focused. Reality and fiction were starting to collide into an unclear, hazy state of mind. A few months later the defense would display the scribbled pages as evidence of his insanity, pointing to the incoherent plot, the terribly confused mindset and the clear inability to distinguish reality from illusion.

Days went by and his book didnít seem to come to a conclusion. The inspiration ran dry and a terribly frustrating writerís block took over. He couldnít come up with a good ending, with a sophisticated climax to match and conclude his brilliant story.

The police records we received were dry and official. Brutal assault. He ambushed her inside her apartment, waiting for hours in the dark. Neighbors heard her screams and called the police. It took four policemen to drag him out of her apartment. She described the madness in his eyes, his Ďsatanicí rage and the viciousness of his beatings. As he was pulled out and handcuffed by the cops, he was mumbling words in an unknown language and seemed to be oblivious to all that was happening around him.

How thin and elusive is the line indeed...

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