Well, Jacques, I wish you could be here in person instead of watching us on the prison television, which, at this hour after lock-down, I understand you had to have special permission to use. Say hello to your guard for us. Being here and not being here in many ways sums you up, a god-like figure to many of us in spite of your readymade suits and thrift shop neckties. “Where else can you get anything, never mind something of this workmanship, for a nickel these days,” you once said to me, apropos your neckwear. But I understand that in there you’re not allowed to have a tie, shoelaces, or a belt.
Your wife, whom I had the privilege of sitting with tonight though we hadn’t previously met, tells me she was instrumental in getting you to relinquish the raspberry beret [in the famous photo], pace the artist formerly known as the symbol for misleading androgyny. Though I know you less well personally than many others here do, I know a side of you that they may not. Everyone knows about your famous charisma, that a man of such ordinary appearance [at least without the beret] can dominate a room full of people merely by walking in, and generous to a fault. Sure you have lots of money and can afford to drink Chateau Le Pinot Puerperal like this every night, at least when you’re at home. And you’re tall and need to lose a few pounds, but that doesn’t explain your A-dog charisma. For that you have to sense sharp teeth. Teeth.
But few here have experienced your ruthless side, a side some orphans and intellectually challenged types know to their emotional cost. Yes, you give away lots of cash, but very little of yourself; I’m tempted to say--nothing. Though I understand you gave your wife the name “Merino,” after you rejected “Alpaca,” “Cashmere,” and “Red,” then spun out a yarn about her about her life before she settled here with you.
Your own early life is a similar mystery, but I’ve learned this evening that after golf-ball sized hail destroyed the town of Pitchdark, you secretly provided major funding toward its reconstruction, and in a spunky act of nature defiance the town council got a referendum passed renaming the town Medicine Ball, which is why people trying to explore your past in Pitchdark on the web can’t find a clue.
Cletus Poise Pine, D. D. S.
In relation to that charming story about time as a magic carpet, I’d just like to say, the accumulation of all time is stashed under a train station platform in New Jerusalem, Idaho. Time takes up no space at all.
I have the honor of being Mr. Wool’s dentist. Though he had ghastly teeth as a child, the problems of his teen years have been ameliorated. He’s quite meticulous about oral hygiene and regular professional care. He was reluctant when I suggested bleaching treatments, but I believe he has been happy with the results. He’s one of my few patients who have learned to control the floss with his forefingers rather than the thumbs, which are much clumsier for anyone, not just for him.
Why should you not report your destiny to yourself using these cards?
[from Tom Lisk]