The Whale Is Behind You

The voice in my head said: “So. Would it be possible to document a family?”

[Equally soundlessly I replied:]

This family?”

The voice nodded.

“The only way to do it honestly would be to melt the spoon. Jump in after them. Tell the whole truth. Otherwise you’d get too much power and that would be terrible.”

The voice said nothing.

I left myself in the chair at El Malecon and went for a walk around the block with a new person who was not carrying decades of unwritten accounts, and who was much more pleasant company.

“Ok,” I said to her, “how then would you do it, so that it was a thing of beauty, form, and function, not necessarily in that order, but more or less?”

She took her time answering.

Squinted toward the sun coming right at us on Amsterdam Avenue at high noon.

“Tell the truth.”

I stopped.

“Excuse me? The what?”

“But tell it slant.”

We walked in silence for a few blocks.

“You know that’s my weakness–the slant part.”

Silence.

 

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