TO MISS LANTERN
My dear friend,
Believe me that I was sincerely afflicted when I learned of the loss you have suffered: a steam-powered urinal is not easily replaced. Yours, which had among other precious peculiarities, the ability to sing the Marseillaise when in use, was certainly worthy of the esteem YOU bestowed upon it. So, it is easy for me to understand the despair that your sister felt when it became evident that the urinal was definitively lost. Nevertheless, from that to suicide is quite a step! And, although I know that many fond memories were associated with its possession, I cannot but condemn such a fatal resolve. But this censure does not prevent me from profoundly deploring her sad end. A suicide is always, for those close to the deceased, a tragic and agonising event; but when it is accomplished by means of jam, one cannot be less than terrified, Never would I have believed that your sister could resolve to die embedded in a vat of jam! And yet, all those unlucky enough to befriend her knew of her almost morbid attraction to jam, even in jars. Do you remember how she could not contain herself when she saw it with desserts, how she had to caress it even before serving herself. Numerous incidents of this nature should have aroused our suspicion; but, blind that we were, we never understood their profound significance. Her love of jam was in the end but the love of death by jam; and it took the completion of her fatal gesture for us to understand it all. Nonetheless, I shiver at the thought of how her last moments must have been.
Please believe that I share your pain, and approve of your decision to banish jam from your life. This is a healthy reaction and I can only commend it from the bottom of my heart. It demonstrates both your determination, and your courage in overcoming pain, as well as your instinct for self-preservation. I am truly glad that without jam, you do not, indeed, risk letting yourself be compelled to follow the example of your sister.