EUGENE, OR—Unsure how to break it to him that they didn’t exist, sources in the head of local man Marshall Horbol confirmed Monday that no one had the heart to tell the 32-year-old they were all merely figments of his untethered mind. “I’m worried he would take it really hard if he found out that everyone in his life was nothing more than a delusion conjured up by his warped psyche,” said the hallucinated image of a man who Horbol believed was his best friend, but who in fact had no corporeal form outside his brain. “I just don’t think he’s ready to accept that none of the people he has interacted with—his family, his friends, his teachers growing up, the bartender who just handed him what he thinks is a bottle of beer—was ever alive. He was always a sensitive boy, so it would crush him if he suddenly found out that his subconscious had fabricated everyone he loves out of thin air. I mean, just look how happy he is indulging in the fantasy that the world is real.” Reached for comment, Horbol confided to reporters that he was well aware his loved ones were only a product of his own raving madness, but that he felt it would be cruel to tell them so.
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