I wish you could have bore witness to the hell you’ve raised from beyond the grave, beloved. I’d imagine that even a short glance at your now iconized legacy would provide you with an epoch of catharsis. If you were part of the Yith race, from your writings, it would be menial task to throw your consciousness one hundred years into the future and see all that you have become. But alas Howard, you only ever were human, which heartbreakingly, makes you susceptible to the curse of posthumous fame.
Who would have thought, that twisted imagination of yours, which made you into a social deviant of your time, cemented you as a linguistic juggernaut of mine? That the convulsing bodies, tentacles, and insanity you gave birth to would make you the pioneering forefather of a generation defining horror genre? That the nihilism and existential dread you flirted with in the early nineteen hundreds would set you atop a podium in the zeitgeist of the twenty first century? I hate that the world couldn’t have loved you sooner, but the one you were a part of was riding the coattails of the war to end all wars. Sadly, nobody in a nation united against malignant forces wishes to feel scared.
Regardless, I wanted to pay my respects to you, beloved; as you have impacted me in a way I doubt you ever fathomed you could. You’ve taught me droves about this life, not only through your magnificent prose, but also in what you never bothered to scribble onto a pad or declare aloud. In the end, it’s what you didn’t say that leaves me awake on this particular evening, typing out a letter with cosmic, flaming eyes, and the erupting mind of a supernova. I’m sure you understand what I allude to, but let me clarify nevertheless.
I feel like I know you, better than most would ever be able to. Y’see, we’ve both shared berating anxiety and self-doubt as a common ground. I know how it feels to see people as menacing aliens, shapeshifting into fuel for neuroticism; and laughing from afar at my inability. I understand the misanthropy that comes from walking unnoticed through a world of gleeful souls, surrounded by joy you can’t empathize with. It’s easy to become meek, or bitter, when it seems like the rest of the world gallops through an ecstasy trip you’ll never have the pleasure of feeling. Moreover, I too have glanced up at the constellations of an infinite night sky and felt my own existence was a squandering flame. Nothing saps the spirit quite like realizing you’re such a small cog in a large machine that it will still function with you missing.
Anxiety, dread, timidity – they create a twofold effect in a person I think, Howard. One in which you envision yourself to be the lone sect of mankind suffering from such afflictions. You end up craving an even playing field, you want to feel exactly how you imagine that everyone else does, or for everyone else to feel exactly how you do. Believe me beloved, when I say that I also understand the lengths one will go to, to try and make such an ethereal fantasy into actuality. I too, have reached into the dark caverns of the mind at some point to find the strange little hobbies that replace bleak reality with comforting warmth, even for a moment.
I write now, just as you once did. It used to be comic books. Super powers. Godlike beings. No one who can warp molecules to do their bidding would ever have to feel inept or afraid.
The thing is, you actually succeeded in making the human race crawl with unease similar to your own. Those weird conceptions you’d scrawl about on isolated nights have been the catalyst for many to feel as if they were a speck of dirt lying in the corner of a monkey house. You took the one activity that gave you shelter from a desolate universe and made the universe believe there was no shelter from desolance. You are not alone Howard, you were never alone, humanity has always felt a pain similar to yours. It saddens me to think you never knew that.
Eh, then again, it makes me happy one in the same, to know you had enough of something in you to get by without them there. You’ll always be a genius in my mind’s eye, and I’ll probably mill over your brilliant, adjective-saturated works until the day I die. But when I think of you, I’ll never think of the forlorn vacuum of space. I’ll never think of odious sea trenches, cult ridden shanty towns, Azathoth, Nyarlathotep, or Cthulhu. No, no, I’ve moved past that. What comes to mind is a beautiful soul gleaming over a freshly scribbled sentence, in an ambient amber room, in the solemn hours of the night, feeling more alive than he ever has in the company of others. I’ll think of all that you accomplished, in spite of all the melancholic Rhode Island afternoons you endured, where despair lurked outside of every window. I’ll think that I can do the same. Thank you for that.