By an Idiot | Episode 8: What Is Love?


Good evening, denizens of the asylum. Night falls upon another Friday, as it has, since countless ages, fallen upon our ancestors, and it is time for By an Idiot. I am your idiot, Mr. Clown. It is in our present age, and at the state’s magnanimity, that progressing beyond our forefathers we sleep in heated rooms lit electronically, and upon beds of cotton; not curled up in the dirt struggling to see by the embers of a dying fire.

But in this progress some longing, perhaps nostalgia, for what’s been left is felt in our hearts. Never more so is this desire realized than in our very own Manic Tyler, the resident pyro, for it is his love of fire that has earned him his maintenance in this Sanitarium, which is the next best thing our state has to the honor Greek athletes knew in the Prytaneum.

Who among us cannot say that he has also felt a love for the flame? That man who has not sat in spellbound wonder, not lost hours staring into the heart of a campfire or fireplace is a man sorely lacking. He is as a man who has never seen the ocean and felt her song in his heart, as a man who has never fallen in love; he is not a full man.

Yet every love not in moderation, not somehow tempered, well, it is like a fire, and it will burn you. Take Tyler’s story for instance. For whatever reason, he was prompted to start a fire. If we are to heed what’s written in Dr. Agonson’s books, we’d better not reference that reason publicly, however, it would suffice to say that Tyler was cold and wanted to be warm.

So the fire was started, but a fire must be fed. Here poor Tyler had a problem, his lovely fire was dying of hunger, and he had little to feed it. What pangs he must have felt at the sacrifice when he grasped at anything to keep the fire going. What sorrow, what loss must have been his when he began grabbing books off his father’s shelves, furniture from the dining room—already he had thrown in what cash he had, but knowing where a few hundreds were kept by his parents, even these he fed to the flame.

All things should be in moderation, fire most particularly. Soon, Tyler saw that the fire was once again dying, asking, pleading for him to feed it. He had nothing left to give, he thought, nothing but himself. Yes, it was no accident. That disfigured form is the image of true love, the deepest devoted passion. He gave himself to the tongues of flame that they might burn forever.

Ah, someone is at the door. That’s all for tonight. This has been Mr. Clown.

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