It’s Tuesday, October 8th, 2019, and today
I’m on page 62 of The Adaptable Man. There was Jenny. Something would have to be
done about Jenny. She was sympathetic, and so definite, geometrically
definite, like a clear line drawn upon a blank page, with the same clear line for arms and
legs and a circle for a head; children understood when they drew men and women as fleshless
lines and circles with their feet wanting to walk in opposition to their bodies and
their eyes, amazed, like suns that never set, and their hands like starfish poised to sting,
and their mouths extravagantly ear to ear, greedy to swallow and vomit what they swallowed,
and to kiss, deeply, like knife-blades. Scientists, Alwyn thought, were truthful in
their masculine and feminine symbols – the circle, the arrow, the straight line.
He thought: Jenny compels me. She gives a precision to my life.
An acrobat, I tread the high wire; an arrested drunk, I walk the white line.
She confirms my cleaving power, like the sea arranging its waves and foam about the bows
of a ship; she provides belief in my physical presence.
As a ship, I’ll travel on and on. She and I are not safe together.
I agree with Aisley that it’s a good thing to be safe, as long as we’ve worked out
an ~intelligent~ scale of perils. Only someone living at the beginning of the
world of civilization could say with truth and dignity, “I’m not safe, I’m in deadly
“Because the sun disappears each night, and the world grows dark.” What are you reading today?