Neil sometimes thought that he had multiple personalities. He became aware of the possibilities when his friends noted that he seemed to disappear into his music. When he finishes it would take some moments before he was receptive to his audience. They of course were right, for he was completely cognizant of his having slipped away to other places in his universe. They are a places without stress. It's a place of creation where only abstraction and imagery could possibly exist. He was an explorer in a diaphanous world surrounded by sounds that took on a lifelike presence. He often wondered if he was being schooled there by the authors of the works he was playing. His instructor Dr. Steingart had told him he must befriend his cello, finding out what it expected of him and then let the instrument know what he had wanted it to give to him in return.
In the world of his books he became a different Neil. There he was meeting new minds and he explored and participated in their plights and successes. They become a part of him. He took on their realities and only when he finished and put the book down did he admit to it being fiction or another mans point of view. This of course applied only to substantial works. Having read trash novels and seen movies of the same caliber; knowing it was only to entertain, he decided to move away from that format but Devin convinced him that would be tragic. Devin's doctor back in Colorado always watched old westerns. He told him they are always the same. Cowboys never loss their hats in a fight and the villains were always captured and jailed, always wounded, but never killed. That's not real life, but after a day of the real stuff it was fun to escape into nonsense sometimes.
His mother had worked tirelessly to eliminate the effects of her dark behavior, but it did climb into his being. It was the personal reality of his relationship with his father that stayed with him. He privately talked to him, he'd written dozens of letters to him and even visualized his father's aging. He saw his father with gray hair, his athleticism receding and as Neil grew, they spoke to each other in a more man to man tone. He did become aware of the unreality of all this, and thought of it as play acting with his wish dreams.
He began exploring his arrogant self. Devin was the instigator of that challenge. He wanted to make sure that he was not an anti-social clod, hating people for what he assessed as their stupidity; for that only results in isolation. “Education,” Devin declared, “is a private undertaking. As soon as it I used as an advertising tool, you alienate yourself . . . oh you might attract someone to duel with, but that soon becomes tiresome and when it does, your just a lost and lonely soul meandering about planet earth.”
The High School dream soon took on the form of a possible nightmare for Neil. He found himself in the midst of primitive creatures he had no idea existed. They were his peers in age only for the...