I still remember the first time I entered Dr. Hawthorne’s office after his mysterious and sudden disappearance in the unfortunate incident of ’67. I had not yet recovered from his loss when I was forced, almost by an animal and primitive instinct, to dust off the ancients and cramped volumes of his very extensive library in search of answers. As a puny and dust-allergic individual, I must admit that it was not an easy task at all and that on more than one occasion I was tempted to go out in fright from that place that so many memories evoked my feverish mind and my heart pierced by the loss of my best friend and teacher.
However, in the frenzy of searching, among ramshackle shelves, stacked bundles and strange stuffed specimens I came across something truly unusual … something that would change my perception of the world for life.
When I laid my eyes, still muddied with tears, on that old rowan wooden box I knew immediately that something was about to happen, something big, crucial and unfathomable was moving to subtle levels that I still could not understand, but that certainly some I could feel in the depths of my being. As I approached that artifact I could perceive a slight murmur coming from inside me, a kind of deep sound similar to the cooing of the water and mixed with a rhythmic drumming , a tribal or ancestral sound, I would say, and that accompanied the beats of my aching heart.
I opened that box, yes, very much in spite of the clear warning of not doing it judging by the closures and locks that guarded its contents jealously and what I found inside it left me speechless -literally- for three days and three nights. The grotesque, mummified head with parchment-like complexion, rough features and huge ears watched me impassively, almost defiantly. That being, to call it somehow, was not for me, nor do I believe that for the science of our time, a creature known or previously cataloged and suddenly I felt a chill that ran my tremulous body from top to bottom. Although the vision of the chimerical creature was a real shock to my – then tender and inexpert understandings – I remember that the greatest earthquake for my mental schemes came to me when I read the little beautifully handwritten letter , undoubtedly by my dear Professor Hawthorne, that accompanied that bizarre specimen which said:
“To you, dear reader, that you have discovered my secret, if you hold this missive between your fingers, it is because either I am dead or I am lost, do not fear, you are ready for the truth and the circle narrows with each step you give in. Welcome to my world … “