I have to take certain sounds back, have to retrieve them from whichever woman held me enchanted when I first heard them – the dull ring of a brass bell or the throb of propellers moving through the air like a flock of big-bodied and somewhat surly seabirds. This is something I have promised myself so as to avoid sinking someday beneath the weight of everything that belongs to other people, belongs to my interaction with them, particularly if that interaction had something to do with the flesh of the thigh or, more accurately, the renaming of the flesh of the thigh to something less clinical sounding, something more personal, even informal. Like “George.” Or “the tabula rasa.” We love complication so long as it functions like oregano and doesn’t make us wish we had spent the day in bed as we had originally intended. Thumbing through out-of-date newspapers, hoping to find in previously overlooked passages information about the other people who happen to live on our block, or the coming of the circus, which can not help but be of interest now that we are old enough to purchase tickets for ourselves and for whoever else wishes to accompany us (but which, in actual fact, somehow fails to be of interest after all). I think sometimes I will spend the rest of my life (and God grant, if it’s not lengthy, then it be amusing or at least chock full of leeks and brandy) longing to inhabit a moment that happened toward the very beginning, when everything was still in flux and nothing was certain. There was no way of determining which moments were of value because they all came and went so quickly. And let’s be honest – our judgment when we are younger is judgment, really, in name only. It actually more accurately resembles knee-jerk decision making of the most irresponsible sort. Tossing colored stones onto the ground and trying to discern a pattern. Saying the opposite of whatever has been uttered just moments before. This is why it’s probably best if I simply accept what has been given to me by fate as if fate were an actual thing. As if you could see its outlines in the mirror if you were standing in the other room and you just happened to glance in that direction. Of course, should you insist on examining the mirror more closely, on going into the room to search for yourself in the closet and behind the door for whatever it was that had been reflected, you would most likely be confronted with nothing. Why? Because there is something that finds bald curiosity of this sort anathema. It thwarts it at every corner. And who can blame it? Some things you just shouldn’t know, some things you just shouldn’t see. These are rules that have been established for our benefit and we violate them at our own peril. The moment we turn our backs on them, the moment we decide it’s better that they had never been formulated in the first place, we find we occupy a world so perilous and primeval and odd we have no way to even give it a name. We run entirely dry of appropriate designations.