Hatred is different from paranoia. Hatred can engulf a nation in a millions-strong frenzy of self-righteousness. Hatred can be held by one person all the way to the grave. It can be suddenly relinquished (sometimes beautifully); or it can just wear itself down like an overused axe blade.
Paranoia, on the other hand, is a matter of self-defence: it assumes malice on the part of the other. My department chair, Torrone, wants to fire me. He’s planted a graduate student in my Latin class. I’m thinking primarily of schizophrenic paranoia, such as my own. It is a red-hot drive that inhabits an individual and feels like it wants to take over his mind.
When I’m paranoid, I travel on the horizon’s edge, the line between all and nothing, between ‘them’ and me. That student is to observe me, to report back to Torrone. I travel that edge alone. Aloneness is of the essence. Paranoia has nothing to do with loneliness which, after all, seeks union. And it’s seemingly forever. Paranoia doesn’t dissipate, run down, run out of steam. Logic is almost always pointless against it: I can no more will my paranoia away than I can will my thinking straight. Just yesterday I saw Torrone, out walking, all these years after the incident. I ducked down a side street.