TerribleMetaphorGuy: Matt,would you describe yourself as nervous during that Rams game a few years ago?
Matt Ryan: TRUE!--nervous--very,very dreadully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses -- not destroyed-- not dulled them.
TMG: So you were diseased at the time, but still played through? That is madness!
MR: Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded --with what caution-- with what dissumulation I went to work!
TMG: You played more cautiously because you were ill. . . how,then, did the infamous 'event' come to pass?
MR: Presently I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief --oh,no! --it was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight,when all the world slept,it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me.
TMG: Thanks for elaborating on your feelings, Matt, I'm sure the rest of Atlanta is waiting for you with a big box of tissues or at least Charmin, but that doesn't explain how you let more than a little slip in what you described as a state of sharpened senses.
MR: When I had waited a long time, very patiently, without hearing [The Rams] lie down, I resolved to open a little --a very,very little crevice in the lantern. So I opened it --you cannot imagine how stealthily,stealthily --until, at length a simple dim ray, like a thread of the spider, shot from out the crevice and fell full upon the vulture eye.
TMG: Lantern? Well that is certainly not a euphemism that I have heard before for that particular function. Unless it isn't a metaphor and you are on some new agey diet that makes it phosphoresce. Anyway, how did you react to this unexpected turn?
MR: I smiled,--for what had I to fear? I bade the [Rams] welcome. . . My manner had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. They sat and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things.But,ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached and I fancied a ringing in my ears: but they sat and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct: --It continued and became more distinct: I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definiteness --until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears.
TMG: Sound, it was that loud?
MR: No doubt I now grew very pale: --but I talked more fluently,and with a hightened voice. Yet the sound increased --and what could I do? It was a [high, shrill,and moist] sound --much such a sound as a [whistle] makes when enveloped in [slobber]. I gasped for breath --and yet the [Rams] heard it not.
TMG: Oh,that is terribly disgusting. We can end this interview now if you wa. . .
MR: I talked more quickly --more vehemently; but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the [Rams] --but the noise steadily increased. Oh God! what could I do? I foamed --I raved --I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder --louder --louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly, and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! --no, no! They heard! --they suspected! --they knew! --they were making a mockery of my horror!-this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! and now --again! --hark! louder! louder! louder! louder!
"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! --tear up the [pants]! here, here! --It is the [bleating] of [this] hideous [shart]!"