I'm not making this up; my little traveling clock read midnight. I got up, shaking and quivering; I went to the door, yelling "This is the bravest thing I've ever done!" I thought Satan had come for me. I was raving mad.
It was the dorm advisor, Prof. Arnold Weinstein. Someone had notified him of my condition and asked him to check on me. I asked him, "are you related to Alexander Weinstein, up in Boston (old family friend, retired geneticist at Harvard)?" "Why, yes, he's my brother," Arnold Weinstein replied. He invited me down to his apartment to talk. (As it turned out, Arnold's brother was another Alex W. in Boston.) I thought, later, that God, rather than delivering me to the Devil, had brought me a "winecup" (Weinstein).
My panic subsided, but my paranoia was not over. On the advice of school officials, it was decided I should go home for a few days (classes hadn't even started yet), and speak to a psychiatrist. I agreed to this, but was secretly afraid that in my absence, Harry Howe would break into my room and steal my poems! Over the next few days in Minneapolis, I devised a terrible test. While convincing the psychiatrist that I was OK, I was secretly plotting & calculating what I had to do. (When I showed the doctor one of my recent poems, which was a narrative about the Hamilton/Burr duel, not very flattering with regard to Burr, I was surprised at his response. He said, "Well, actually, I'm a direct descendant of Aaron Burr.")
You have to understand that, to my mind, the fate of the world was at stake. I was living in a realm of spiritual forces, not everyday common sense. I went and bought a revolver. If (and only if: this was a weird sort of test of my own paranoia), when I returned at Brown, Harry had stolen my poems, I would shoot him and myself. ("Religious gunman", indeed - cf. Crane's "For the Marriage of Faustus & Helen".)
On my last night in Minneapolis, I was overcome with sadness. I felt myself regressing to a childhood state. In my basement room, I lay on my bed, weeping. I remember so clearly, my father coming downstairs that night, laying his hand on my forehead, telling me gently that everything would be all right.
Early the next morning, as I was waking up, I had the strangest experience of all.
Just as I was waking, I "heard" a voice. It was coming from my chest, from my heart. It was not my own. It was reciting the Lord's Prayer. "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
I was feeling more calm and peaceful; nevertheless, the gun was in my suitcase. Arriving back at Brown, I discovered, to my relief, that no one had broken into my room. I threw the gun in the Providence River.
For a few weeks, I tried to resume classes as usual. But it was impossible for me. In early November I packed my bag, took my guitar, threw away my record collection(!), and headed out into the country.