I’ve always found it strange how I think I’m a nice person until I do things that are cruel. And then immediately after I’ve gotten over feeling bad for doing them (even if I haven’t done anything to make up for them), I start feeling like a nice person again. In a way, that might be somewhat admirable; at least I understand that nice is as nice does, a truth which seems to be too plain for some people. But there is no other purpose to having this understanding because I still won’t hesitate to be wicked and I’m somewhat okay with that, not to say that I hate doing what’s right, I just like being good on my own terms. That is to say, I know what to do; I just won’t do it unless I’m comfortable. My behaviour is a symptom of laziness to be sure but a deeper analysis also reveals that it’s born of stupidity too. I have the worldview of a slothful cow; I can’t delay gratification enough so that I gain in the future for that’s a huge part of doing what’s right—a belief that good actions will result in some kind of future fulfilment or happiness. In other words, I’m living without faith (which simply means I’m a certain type of idiot) but perhaps in this case I’m being a little too harsh on myself—too quick to judge, cruel even to my own self. Still, it pleases me to call myself an idiot so I will continue to—yes, it pleases me to say I’m a self-aware doofus, a sensible idiot, a man who is happy to put himself in harm’s way for no good reason.

In 1912, something marvellous happened. Franz Reichelt, a fellow idiot (but a higher kind), also known as the Flying Tailor had a splendid idea, a vision of flight. Reichelt announced to the press in early February 1912 that he had finally received permission and would shortly conduct an experiment in which he would jump from the Eiffel Tower to prove that his invention works. On Sunday, February 4, at 7:00 a.m. to be exact, he arrived at the tower by car with two friends. He was already wearing what he called his parachute suite. His friends continued to try to talk him out of the jump, but Reichelt was very determined. At 8:22 a.m., watched by a crowd of about thirty journalists and curious onlookers, he prepared himself—looking towards the Seine—on a stool placed on a restaurant table next to the interior guardrail of the tower’s first deck, a little more than 57 metres (187 ft) above the ground. After adjusting his apparatus with the assistance of his friends and checking the wind direction by throwing a piece of paper taken from a small book, he placed one foot on the guardrail, hesitated for about forty seconds, then leapt outwards. According to some reports, he was calm and smiling just before he jumped. His parachute, which had seemed to be only half-open, folded around him almost immediately and he plummeted for a few seconds before crashing into the frozen soil at the foot of the tower.

Reports further say that his right leg and arm were crushed, his skull and spine broken, and that he was bleeding from his mouth, nose and ears. It was also noted that his eyes were wide open, dilated with terror and that he was already dead by the time the onlookers, which were close by, rushed to his body.

puffThe amazing thing is that he had tested it on dummies quite a few times before and it never worked. So it was only right that he died. He had too much faith sensible people would say, a little less faith would have extended his life a little (but what’s the real difference between dying at birth and dying at 70 years old?) and perhaps he would gone on to perfect his parachute, which would mean that we would have learnt very little from his life. But perhaps I’m speaking too liberally and generally, perhaps it is I alone who wouldn’t learn anything from Reichel’s life if he had been more sensible. Perhaps it takes a man who has been lonely to the point of sickness to see value and beauty in another man calmly jumping to his death.

Now there’s a young lady, a lovely one, a modern woman with an eye to both the past and the future. She has the following characteristics: a great sense of humor which “…is a good prognosis” (Erich Fromm, Psychoanalyst); a temper that is moderated by reason; an artistic sensibility; a rare freedom with compliments; an aristocratic sense of pride—a willingness to earn everything she has; a love and lust for knowledge; a blunt communication style, etc…In my estimation, she’s about a year or two away from curing the angst that she must be feeling while working amongst ‘normal’ people who must necessarily appear silly and trivial to her, which means that she’s making amazing progress in her psychological development; I’ve only met one or two people who have made similar leaps and bounds and most of them were older than her when they were approaching the final stage of their psychology. Luck it seems has brought her into my life and quite obviously that scares me.

Well it wouldn’t be obvious to those who do not know me or know of my circumstances. See, I’m a man that is on a great mission or in other words I’m slightly suicidal because anything great will require your  willingness to sacrifice your life. In fact, in any sport, or in any field, in any discipline, I am willing to put all I have on the assumption that the difference between the legendary and the mediocre is the willingness of the legendary to die for what he or she represents. I am no legendary man, I’m much too young but I’ve already had my fair share of putting my life on the line for my art (or at least I think I have). But I digress.


See I fell in love quite quickly and not because she was beautiful, I fell in love with her because I thought that she was strong—aristocratic, loving to herself…but there’s a problem and it is solely mine, my mission might be too much for her and it might burn her as it has burnt me, should I ask her to help me with my mission, should I ask her to have faith in me and my abilities and the goodness in my heart or I protect her by staying away

Perhaps earlier when I said that I did cruel things I wasn’t entirely truthful, perhaps what I meant to say is that I do cowardly things, perhaps I’m not an idiot, perhaps I’m a coward.

something not to be missed in this idiot’s story and it is link between irrationality and passion. His action makes no sense to a reasonable man, the kind that seeks a happy, straightforward life. But to me it makes perfect sense. For a reasonable man would say “there’s hardly anything in this world that is worth dying for.” And an idiot like me would say make a choice, any choice and stand by it even if kills you. Up till today nothing great has been done by reasonable men.

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by Mark Hutchinson

Featuring artwork from Wellington Sanipe,

photography from @_mayfleurs

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