“Hypothetically, in theory, I can, or, say, one can, ward off encroaching insanity by the application of reason, by carefully thinking and clearly writing one’s way out of dark corners,” he said.
“Stipulated, hypothetically and in theory, for purposes only of this conversation,” said his friend.
“But say that a necessary part of this warding off process is the acknowledgement, by at least one other person he respects, that these efforts could indeed ward off encroaching neurasthenia,” he said.
“Sounds like the poor devil may have already gone round the bend, if this is his condition for trying to heal himself, a compassionate partner, so to speak, in warding off the inevitable,” said his friend.
“Well, that may be so. But what if the person has gathered around himself a small group of people so niggardly in this attribute of empathy, so challenged by their own lives, so easily wearied by the eternal demands of this struggling devil, that his efforts, by the very design of his own little support network, are doomed?” he said.
“Well, it would appear, then, that he’s doomed,” said his friend.
“Oh, dear,” he said.
“Yes,” said his friend.