Chapter 6b

Every truth I've ever known, every shred of evidence, has continued to fail me. I am pushed forward on the hunt for answers to a riddle I can't recite. I feel that I walk in his own foot prints. I see evidence of him everywhere. I have seen his name, an adopted name I could not recognize, in guest books. I have heard him cough on the subway train as it pulled away from the platform I stood on. I have seen pictures of hundreds of people who might have been him in the thousands of wallets I've sifted through.

I have come to a sad yet final conclusion. The years of research and investigation, the interviews and journal entries and newspaper clippings, all of these have been a waste. Erwin Packard is a myth. Admittedly, Packard is a special sort of myth, the kind that must actually exist, but that applies only to to world at large. In my world of seeking and questioning, he's only a little more available than a unicorn, perhaps slightly less available than big foot.

For the last decade or more or maybe less (I am unsure, I have been much less apt to track my own movement through time than to track his) I have been searching for the holy grail only to learn that it's nothing more than a story told to children. Except his story isn't even told. Any why would it be? Why have I sought answers to such meaningless questions for so long? Packard's last entry said that he was dead. I said that he was alive. In some way I imagine he must be both simultaneously. If he is found the two realities may converge, he may begin to be only alive, but for now I am following the footsteps of a dead man.

I have grown old while he stays young. I cannot keep up chase with one who does not age. Though my limbs grow frail, his do not. His do not grow at all. He is captured at one age, a walking photograph of a person. It's not fair. More than that, it's not possible. As such, I have decided to finally end this and finally surrender. I have been bested.

For years I have lived in hopes of finding my answers, perhaps even my questions, and nothing else. I am alone, cold, strange, pointless. If I were to continue at this point there could be no benefits. I will not continue. The mystery will remain exactly that. Maybe one day after I'm gone I'll become a mystery, too. Maybe not. Only time will tell but time is exactly what I've run out of.