Saturday, March 05, 2005

131. Richard Grayson (letter written two weeks earlier)

Dear Bruce,
By the time you read these words, we will both be beyond the point of direct communication.

That is why Dr. Tanhoger has assigned me to write you this letter: to convey certain very important things that he wants you to understand. As I write, you have not arrived here at his office, but he promises that you will be here soon, and Dr. Tanhoger is never wrong.

That, in fact, is the first and most crucial lesson you must learn, Bruce: Dr. Tanhoger knows all, he sees all, and he controls all things. It follows that you do not. In the past, you may have believed, as I once did, that you have some degree of power over the world around you--but this is an illusion, and a dangerous one. Like me, you are nothing more than a speck on the face of the planet.

The time has come for you to quit pretending that you are any kind of "hero." Under that mask you are nothing, Bruce. You may think you are a "Batman"--just look at how ridiculous that name looks on paper!--but you are just a man like anyone else. A weak, pathetic man. You were wrong to pretend otherwise.

And you were wrong, very wrong, to try and drag me into your madness. You forced me to dress up in a silly costume just like you; you convinced me to call myself by a made-up name; you put my life at risk with your absurd, misguided beliefs. Fortunately, Dr. Tanhoger has helped me come to my senses. He has shown me the light. He saved me, just as I hope to save you by writing this letter.

You probably think I was tortured or brainwashed in order to write these things. That is completely untrue, but I understand why you might believe it. You have simply been unable until now to accept the truth: that it was I who sought him out, not the other way around. I hated myself when I first went to see him; now I understand that I was incomplete without his care. I know, too, that it was fate that brought me to him, just as it is fate that has brought you to this time and place.

There is still hope for you, Bruce. But only if you put your life in Dr. Tanhoger's hands.

To signify that you have read and understood these words and are ready to take the next step in your own journey, remove your cowl--the last remaining evidence of the lie you have been living--and place it with the rest of your discarded costume.

Obey Dr. Tanhoger, Bruce. You must trust me: he will do for you what he has done for me. He is here to help you. Please do this, Bruce, for my sake if not for yours. Do what he says. Put your life in his hands.

Your friend,