Midnight hour. I just dreamed that I was searching for clues to my identity in the pages of Conan and Kane books. The twelve of the one and five of the other formed the encyclopedia of my soul. I read them all between the ages of thirteen and sixteen. Now, their contents are quite a mystery to me, and the images I projected onto their pages. They went down with the sinking of Atlantis, down to the bottom of my being. What obscure codes of ethics might I have learned from the pulps? They couldn’t have been much more sophisticated than the one of courage to face and fight the enemy, or the wisdom to turn and flee. And these books, plus a couple by Lovecraft, dealt a little with the subject of madness. Did these authors hold the secret to insanity? And could the way in also be the way out? The last pulp era story I seriously entertained before I started drinking was The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, an arabesque by HP Lovecraft. I never finished it, yet I remember how Randolph Carter mastered his dreams and sort of lived in them. There was one scene where an ocean he was crossing was so still and transparent that he could look over the side and see to the bottom, where some strange things were going on… That would be like my own dream of poring over old books from my adolescence, questing for a clue to my existence.