You were a stranger to yourself for most of your life Thomas. What say you now?
I have returned to my somber place. It holds the solace of constancy. I no longer live here in the physical sense, yet I have lived here all of my life. This life. Here I am Jack Torrance in the Overlook Hotel. You have always been the caretaker here, Mr. Torrance…
What say you now, Thomas?
I think I died here Fritz.
Yet you live and breath here now. That can not be.
And why not? You are dead, and yet here you are.
I am not here, Thomas. I am only in your head.
This was true. I had not admitted this to myself before, but in that moment grasped the truth of it.
My former self then.
Ahh, I see. You believe this, do you? Is this the reason you insist on returning to this place?
I am not certain what I believe Fritz. I suspect that you know, but will not say.
Not will not. Can not.
What is it that prohibits you from saying?
Because I do not have this answer, my friend. Only you do.
What say you now, Thomas? It occurred to me that as I am yet confined to the living it is only I who sense the immediacy of the question. Fritz is dead, so he may wait an eternity for my answer. It is only when I find the answer that our timelines may agree.
I have been a stranger to myself for most of my life and now I say that I am still a stranger.
I think you believe this.
I do. But…. it is not true, is it? And that is why I return to this place.
Are you asking?
We do not deal in maybes, you and I.
A hot wind stirs the trees today, the leaves sigh in that timeless symphony. The waters of Darby Creek flow still and everything else moves in this place where time remains still. I decided I should sidestep the question.
When I was a boy, Fritz, lightning struck in the same spot up on that hill. On the 4th of July. Once, and then again in the very same spot, a year to the day later.
Yes, Thomas. I recall it. I was here.
This surprised me. I don’t suppose that it should have, but it did. I had been there, but was then unaware of his presence.
Are you God?
I am God as you are God.
But….God is dead.
He is indeed, for we have killed him.
No, Fritz. Not we. I have killed him.
You have answered the question then, Thomas. You are no longer a stranger to yourself.
But what does that mean?
He was gone again and I had only the sighing trees to answer me.