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Better to Curse the Darkness than Light a Candle
by Joseph Cusumano
They mockingly call me “Diogenes,” believing my lantern is carried merely to illuminate my path each night through the dark streets of Philadelphia. Yet it is not an honest man for whom I search, but a scoundrel, a liar, an adulterer, a thief, a murderer – ideally someone who has been all of these – for I must find a soul darker than my own.
This quest resulted from an earlier and more innocent one, first undertaken while I was a young man blissfully wed to Patience, who brimmed with optimism over what heaven had apparently planned for us. Not content with the considerable success that I enjoyed as the proprietor of Silsbury Shipping Company, I sought more wealth, the respect of Philadelphia’s business and merchant class, and especially the adoration that Patience showered upon me with each step my growing business took. On the occasion of my boasting to her that I now employed upwards of fifty men who labored on my behalf, moving goods from our warehouses to multiple sites hundreds of miles west, she swelled with pride in my accomplishment and even her passions were aroused.