I tried to scream bloody murder and regain control of my quickened and unusual gait, but little escaped other than a mumble and I only succeeded in stumbling over a loose cobblestone. Perhaps it was then that I began to have serious doubts about my growing obsession and increasing madness.

Daylight light had long since drained from the perennially dripping sky and so few were present to witness my largely internal struggle, so mercy had not completely abandoned me.

So complete was my subversion up until that point I had given my downward spiral more than a passing thought. I had not devoted much brainpower to it up until that point thinking it was my intellectuals mind doing what it was trained to do. I did have an over zealous tendency when it came to my studies, but this was altogether different. This was an obsession that burned me, a jealous one that wiped knowledge from my mind and replace it with desire and a subject that was up until that point unknown to me.

I steeled myself. At first I could only gnash my teeth and increase my grip on my messenger bag, the contents of which had suddenly become incredibly heavy. Slowly my mind shone through. It happened in a glorious burst. One moment I was in a bondage of thoughts and lust, the next a cold sweat and free.

I would not be truthful if I said I was not equally as terrified. I celebrated the occasion by vomiting what little I had eaten that morning. Several stared, but they were unimportant orts to me still.

With my new freedom I carried myself to my dorm. It took an eternity.

When I arrived home I immediately discarded my messenger bag at the door and disappeared into my lavatory. I spent the better part of the evening purging, shivering and cleaning. My skin felt alive and livid, as if I had been infected by the plague that I had found so interesting what seemed like a lifetime ago. I scrubbed much of my chest raw in an attempt to feel clean.

The next morning I felt drained and exhausted, but with a new license on life. I felt as if I had accomplished something elusive in a blitz. I emerged from the closet that passed for a lavatory into my usually spartan dormitory. With new eyes I could see the havoc which my devotion had wrought. I had always been a neat person, but my personal items were scattered. Dishes had gone uncleaned since my spiral began, the floor was littered with filthy clothes and less important but still relevant archeology and anthropology texts. My home had been wrecked in my madness.

So large the mess I thought that perhaps I had broken into a neighbor's suite by mistake in my earlier panic. But no, I discovered unopened letters from home stacked in what had once been a rubbish can.

I did what the only thing I could. I cleaned as if the emperor was paying me a visit.

It gave me some semblance of normalcy. I ritually scrubbed moldy plates and sorted clothes. It felt that with each article that returned to its designated space my former self regenerated. I had accomplished only a fraction of the job prior to lunch, but it made me feel normal. It gave me a sense of self worth that the books and the enigmatic "A" seemed to had taken from me.

I eventually grew the courage (mostly through hunger pangs and a depleted cubbard) to take a lunch break. I showered and dressed in what little remained clean before departing. I deliberately abandoned "Progenitor Theology I: Collected notes, a field journal" in my bag beneath my bed.

Outside the sun had broken through the storm clouds, painting everything in an optimistic and sunny light. To say that my mind wasn't still reeling around "A", the Progenitors and my unusual decline would be an outright lie. But I suppose the illusion of control at that point was still better than its alternative.

I made my way to my favorite off campus bistro. It felt good to focus on food.


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