Dear Princess Celestia,
I want to thank you. And I suppose wanting to will be as good as actually doing it given the fact that you're not real. But the fact remains that I want to, and very, very much. As it turns out... I did not fail my friends. Somehow, and I'm not quite sure how, we've managed to pull through without all of our connections collapsing. It was the storm to end all storms, and now there is a calm.
It is a very eerie calm. Or it was. Something came in to fill it, and now I'm even more disoriented than I was previously!
As I write to you, I am presently in Richmond Virginia, visiting with friends. Old friends. One old in particular. She is, in fact, the oldest friend I have ever known in person. I won't use names here as it is rather rude, but she'll know who she is if I refer to her by Fluttershy.
As you might expect, anypony one might actually call Fluttershy would possess a number of attributes. A zeal for caring for animals and sometimes talking to them. A soft voice. An extremely caring nature. Yes, that is indeed her. The closest a human may ever come to the pegasus herself.
...Seriously, she has like a bajillion birds. 12 budgies, at least 6 conyers, and two... I forgot what they were. Or perhaps more! And what's even funnier is that her "special somepony" is basically Discord as a human. His tendency to confound me with argument for argument's sake while remaining somehow likable certainly seems to fit the M.O.!
Over the past seven days (goodness gracious has it really been--yes, today is Wednesday already! wow...) They have kindly made a place for me in their home, allowed me to drink their beverages and eat their food, and perhaps most regrettably, play their X-Box. This past Saturday was the airing of the episode, "Make New Friends, but Keep Discord", and the major event within which I came here to participate was a high school prom dance... quite a lot like your grand galloping gala. The coincidences don't stop there.
The prom king wore orange, like discord ever so happened to.
And like the other discord and fluttershy mentioned above, there was a bit of a dispute as to who was supposed to be going with her to the gala. As it turns out, I got to be the Tree Hugger. Yet another instance of gratitude from me to you, your highness.
You see, I wasn't taking the situation very well at all, that situation being IRL Discord taking issue with someone coming between himself and IRL Fluttershy. I wasn't taking it very well at all. I was hurt, and worried that I would be harming them. Note that this is in past-tense because I did not understand something that I thought I had, and know now that I do:
I am not a threat to them. I am not interested in whisking Fluttershy away. The thought causes me much discomfort and... painful twisting sensations deep down. As per the usual, I needed a reminder to not take things personally. I also needed a reminder to engage the elements of harmony. Naturally Discord is unimpressed with the technique, but nevertheless it worked. I was honest with them. I reinforced my loyalty to them. I strove to be kind in bearing the strain. I strove to be generous in helping clean up after the event. And because of these things, the night didn't turn out to be a disaster.
But only just.
Now, living in Fluttershy and Discord's home, I'm ... feeling at a loss. I don't belong here and my presence is starting to chafe, starting to rub wrong. If not for them, then for me. There are some fundamental issues that are proving toxic. Discord attempted to engage me in theological discussions and were I to actually take his bait, I'd only make him even more stubborn on his point. And while he'd love to change my mind, I know I'll never change his, and so it seemed to me as though there was no point to engaging in an argument.
I won't debate evolution.
Not with someone who classifies science as a religion. A person who makes that kind of error isn't very likely to understand what science actually is.
But it did make me think about something else, something I really didn't want to think about.
That trick he used was a very old one. Undercut a stance by associating it to a weaker one and then dismissing the weaker one hoping to suck the target down with it. I realize I may very well be guilty of doing the exact same thing, and it's very disappointing to me.
You see, Princess, I believed I had come to the conclusion that all minds are fictional, but that doesn't make them less relevant. A fiction has a place in life if it is useful and benevolent. But that doesn't change the fact that I was trying to weaken the stance of the "real" mind by calling it "imaginary".
I still feel that impulse inside me to continue defending the idea that identity is imaginary but useful. But it's the same trick. I've tricked myself into a faith. A subjective observation that cannot be disproven through empiricism or experimentation. And tackling these is a terrifying prospect, because if you go too far, you wind up in a downward spiral of solipsism, doubting even the most basic concepts. Still, the fact remains that ... maybe it's not okay that I don't feel real.
I .. don't. I don't feel real. It's not that Sparkbloom or Wildflour feel as real as I do when they're here, but more so that I feel fake. All the time. I am not real. I'm a hallucination. I'm a ghost in a lost, confused, frightened ape. But that's not the problem. The problem is that I believe it.
And I'm not sure how to stop. Or even if I can. All of my friends and loved ones may very well be more real than me. I could cease to exist in an instant while this body continues to live on. Sometimes, I fear I even have. Sometimes time will pass and I won't realize it or understand. More recently, an entire week has. I feel like I've only been here three days, but as of tomorrow morning it will have been seven.
I'm not sure what to do, Celestia. I'm starting to feel like maybe I should ... go home. But is the place I was before I came here actually home at all?
I don't know...
With vain hope,
Your loyal Subject,