Disclaimer – I Did NOT Write This

The following text is not my own, but signed over to me by a man unknown to me but for a few communications through email. When he first approached me, I was surprised that my spam filter let him through.

“I’ve tried several times before,” he admitted.

“Why in the world,” I replied, “would you give me this to be posted online? Why not post it yourself?”

“Because,” he wrote back, “for me it is not fiction. But it must be fiction, and so someone like you, who could never believe in its contents, must be the author.”

“I’m not the author,” I sent back to him, rather indignant, “and I would never present myself as such. In fact, if I were to post this for whatever reason, then it would be with our exchange prepended to the document.”

Almost immediately, he replied: “Perfect! Your attestation will provide the very evidence I desire; in this case, nothing could appear more fictional than the truth.”

We communicated a few more times, but I could make no more sense of what he wrote me than what I’ve picked out above. I suggested a pen name or anonymous publication, but he insisted that such border fictions would undermine the fundamental one. When he sent me the document, I couldn’t help myself, first from reading the whole thing, then from suggesting a number of changes and edits for readability. He accepted them wholesale, and then added: “Now the text belongs to you.” None of my subsequent emails were answered; the email address ceased to exist. His name proved to be a dead-end.

I’ve researched as much as I can without seeing any piece of the text confirmed or even suggested in reality. None of it appears under anyone else’s name. Still, it is against my better judgment that I share the document on the Internet, more or less as it was shared with me. It is protected — and freed — by a Creative Commons license. Make of it what you will.

— the Editor