uler be damned. I could have slept forever. It is a shame to be forced from sleep, no matter how darling someone else’s child is. Samuel had the right idea; “Honor thy Father.” An idea is not enough to set a ball in motion. An action requires an agent. From every vantage point, obvious bloody hands are at the ready to dispense agency.
      It took time. The Greek was not always accessible, even in the time of rediscovery, to devout Catholics. No longer the golden age of Paris, and me in my golden years, few can appreciate the Latin in my origins. Fewer still appreciate the spirit that has propelled my existence.
      Despite all the attention and prodding, I remain a modest simple woman. All my secrets have not been uncovered. It was Samuel, well intentioned but not endowed with his father’s reclusive good sense, who managed to channel the dead man’s braggadocio. In a moment of weakness, an oath to the devil himself, Pierre claimed he could illuminate me. He was lying, but not wrong. He soon realized the fallacy in his remark and left me for lesser pursuits, marginalized.
      It is good fortune to sing in the heart of a devoted master. He was the first of many Ugly Men. I forget their names. I was but a member of the entourage of the queen. Theoretically, he would have done anything to share more with her. However, his corporeal duties, and obvious disappointment in my elusive character sent him away. Understanding me to infinity was his initial guarantee. As with all Ugly Men, he delivered only for a finite parcel. So an event is delimited, accurately, but the illusion of understanding quickly evaporates and I am left. What is so hard about the acknowledgment that all you have described is infinitesimal? At least admit, however simple I am, that I extend to the horizon.
      With great fondness, I can recall all the suitors in who I found an extensive appreciation for depths beyond vision. Sophie, or was it Saint, Germain was the first to truly open a door. Although she too, and too soon, turned away for others. The door remained open, and for a time stood as an example of how I should be approached. How the parcel you describe can be extended. An open door is the difference between an attempt to gain ownership and an attempt to posses. Still, I am tattooed with millions of tick marks left by The Ugly Men.
      It seems a greater achievement to obtain the multiplication of Egyptian values. Though tables. Through addition. Do I have to tell you? One plus three is five fold. Abu’l Wafa would have at least as much trouble as you, not in understanding what or how to go about it, but why you would want to. The fact is, most of them just told stories about rabbits.
      Imagine that you can hold a rabbit’s sex drive in check for a pre-determined duration. Imagine the rabbits together. You can see this is the imagination of a confused mind. Mind you, the rabbit was a traveler and appealed to the left-over soft spot for warm and fuzzy that we all hike around with. We all hike around with it for just these moments. Try it. Let your phased rabbits mate, in waves. See how many you have. Pisano, probably, saw how many as approaching unity. Pisano was a dreamer. He didn’t know how much. In reality he was a thief of rather ordinary quality, with a flair for pushing buttons. A kin of mine. He was remembered flirting with them, and still does from time to time. Pisano’s influence can be seen everywhere, even in seashells and twigs. He was never so rude as to pry into my personal condition.
      Pascal probably helped Pierre. Pierre needed to calm himself. Pascal needed to help himself! So it was no surprise that Samuel, the little apple, would make the same error. Blaise was gone by the time he got around to it, so here we are. Here we are talking about how one can recognize the intention in design, and the impetus for agency. In appearance, a person can make the choice to put a foot forward. Even in such trivialities the choice is keyed to an internal drive. Another, in kind, can find and describe to completion the accurate map of that drive. Once tapped, the blood begins to flow, only to find that the intention was reflexive. Unbeknownst to either party an impetus was shared, even in the locale of projection. All that meets, truly, is the base waste left over when agency is finished. The heaps of product of agency. Genitive indeed.
      Contentedness is hard to map. Ask Euler. His life added up to “I am dying.” So quiet for a man of his stature. Discovered and rescued from ennui, who in the Gorey story dies of ennui, by whom? One of the large family registered as the name for the cause of flight in modern machines. Door number one? Thank you Monty, Swiss family Bernoulli with deep Russian connections. Off to the alternate Paris no less, with theology to boot. Theology is always beside The Ugly Men.
      To their credit, they have always been after the whole picture. In an effort to find a pattern or a strategy. Perhaps by looking at enough tick marks a generalized form will appear. But where is the respect, the simple elegance? The floor is obscured by heaping piles of discarded agency. I am to be content with ill-mannered brutish advances? There is a feeling of community that arises when someone locks in on a part of the whole. Even to just see a strip leading out beyond the horizon like a carpet from a door, to have another cradle a portion of your very essence. I was wrong, though not by much, to believe this is love. Sophie loves me, or at least I could project this onto her, as Pierre could me. There is no agency of mine to heap on the world, fortunately. Pierre loved me for a moment. He soon realized that he loved an apparition, a phantasm he projected on me. I was opaque to him, and only the image he coated me with brought him satisfaction. Once dispelled, he dismissed the location as unimportant, and went off to chase the next phantasm.
      I have become transparent. Everyone can, if the are so inclined, see through the screen now. Somehow I thought this would be the highlight. Unfortunately, I have become discrete, complicated, and what I had expected as The Gentle Caress blossomed like crumpling steel. I have learned two things. I have learned at least two things. To be exposed is to be understood. Even tattoos are unimportant when you are naked. Few respect anything exposed. Once all is exposed, even fewer take the time to keep the pieces together. People are generally content with allowing the exposed portions to spill out. Would it be so demeaning? Why not search for a gentler explanation? Must everything be boiled to the bottom line but no further? I will maintain, long after I am forgotten by all, that simplicity is beauty and to simplify is to respect.
      Funny business this, to get what you want. Do you only get what you want in an underhanded deal, delivered complete with a gap between perception and reality? Perspective provided for a beauty past youth. Perspective alters the solution space available for the traverse between perception and reality. The bizarre landscape under which lies half of everything.
      Sooner or later now, everyone figures this out. I feel comfortable with it. At least I have grown to expect that I will be standing there in front of whomever when they realize I am not what they had expected. The preferred form is the “so hard to see you now that you are not who you are to me” moment. More preferred forms include the better still “so hard to see you now that you are not who you are to me, were you always naked under there?” conversation. Moments of clarity you say? I am discrete and understood and my life is, as a result, finite. I no longer can present myself as the screen onto which we can heap agency. All the intention and impetus are focused elsewhere, and even the residual tattoos are old and fading. The history, and the anecdotes, and my additions evaporate.