This is the first page in my current fiction project. I’ll finish drafting, rewrites, and corrections sometime close to the end of the year. Some details will change, but this Foreword (graciously provided by my protagonist’s daughter) will probably be the same.
My father, Martin Lindeman, vanished a few weeks after the Great Disruption. He more than once mentioned that he had played a role in bringing the Disruption about and that his life was in danger. I found this manuscript on his laptop when, with the help of a friend, I was finally able to access the files on it. My mother, Simona Butacu, his former wife, never agreed to let these writings become public; that’s why I had to wait until after her death to bring them to light. The text I’m handing to publication is exactly as my father left it. I only corrected obvious errors in spelling and punctuation, of which there were very few. I believe that his words can help shed a small, personal light on the time of the Disruption and an unusual, oddly composed personality. I understand that my father is a revered figure in the Emerald Religion, and some of the Speaker’s followers may be very interested in his own words. Against all probability, I pray that, wherever and whatever he is, he may see and bless my effort in bringing the manuscript to print. Dad, I love you and have not given up hope for your return in whichever form you choose to take.
As I read through these occasionally disjointed pages, I realized I didn’t know much about my father. I had never heard about his youth or the murder he supposedly committed when he was thirteen. He never spoke about his life before he and my mother met. I experienced him as a quiet, but restless man who never revealed anything of his inner life. Sometimes I and mother belittled him for that, I’m sorry to say. Given the odd jumps among disparate realities he writes about, it is possible that my father suffered from an undiagnosed mental or other illness, but he certainly never gave any signs of anything worse than boredom. People who met him often had the impression he was shallow and superficial, and I always said he was just really uncomplicated. I understand there was much more to him, but what exactly, I leave to you to judge.
I am painfully aware that my own role in my father’s life was not that of a loving daughter. For many years, I did not respect him, had no interest in his experiences and views, and avoided contact. As you will see, I was instrumental in the ruin of my parents’ marriage. I’m surprised and saddened when I grasp, even in his guarded descriptions, a tenderness and caring regarding myself that I do not deserve. I am thankful to my father as a stranger; maybe in another life, I will have a chance to begin again and have a different relationship.
In particular, I wish to express my unceasing gratitude to Martin Lindeman for having introduced me to the love of my life.
May Eternal Light shine on his path forever and ever.
Roxana Morley Lindeman, Executor
Olympia, Washington, April 2029