So I went before him and said to him that I have been a very nasty person; not because of my actions but because of my thoughts. All of my thoughts have hitherto been nasty thoughts – but not childish nasty like those libidinous teenagers, no – they are the ‘underground man’ nasty. I won’t tell you what those thoughts are because then you’ll think I’m a nasty person. My nastiness is only something I should know about; I want to remain nasty in the dark. What – but didn’t I just say that I had told someone I was a nasty person? That is because that person will not speak about my nastiness to anyone; he can only keep it to himself. So I torment him with my nastiness; I tell him everything he does not wish to hear, and I paint myself the inverse of good, the first immoralist, the destroyer par excellence! I say all of this to him so that he will think gravely of me, and be even frightened of me. He tries everything in his power to cure me – bid the pillars of providence to try and vindicate this estranged soul – but nothing matters to me; I sit there and continue to laugh at him. And the more I laugh, the more frightened he becomes; and yet he cannot tell anyone; he alone must suffer my absurd character. How hilarious it is to see a man dancing because he thought he was on fire.
This reminds me why this afternoon, when I was on the bus and there were two people behind me talking about morality and the fabricated ode, I felt like turning back and telling them that I am the A-