A few weeks ago I read The Tunnel by Ernesto Sabato, a novella of the “this is why I am so crazy” genre of first-person fiction. After reading it I decided that when it’s done well these kinds of narratives can be really compelling and I started to wonder what other kinds of stories like this are out there.
Then a real-life one surfaced. You might have heard about this story. A psychopathic man walks into his gym, shuts off the lights and starts shooting. Three women died, many others were critically injured including a pregnant 26-year-old aerobics instructor and her husband. Then he killed himself. Turns out the guy kept a journal and a blog and even posted confessional videos on youtube.
I’ve been going back and forth about whether or not I should even post this here. I decided that I would because as creepy and sad and strange as this edited version of his journal (pdf) is, it’s still perversely interesting. Literature it is not, but somehow it makes the case that “this is why I’m crazy” fiction is only that. Only fiction. The minds of the truly deranged, I think, do not make for good reading.