Once upon a time there was a man named Birdy, somewhat younger than he had been in an episode just a moment previous, who gave the lie to epistemology and remembered the exact contour of every pain his body had ever suffered through, beaten into shape, even, perhaps especially, when his mind had been on something else. Sitting in the dark and hearing, from a door or two down the block, soft blowing on soprano sax, he experienced someone else's clarity out of phase.
"I was afraid he was going to eat me," a particularly disingenuous character in the family drama was just then reciting, in rehearsal with the cop with whom, arm in arm, he or she was coming up the walkway of half-buried railroad ties that kept the path from parking slab to painted steel front door relatively dry and passable during the summer floods. Of course, since there was no air conditioner, Birdy had propped the window open earlier in the evening with a stack of crank pamphlet literature, and so heard every word, but refused on principle to believe in the reality of any of what was said under such circumstances, and was maintained in his condition of exemplary, self-consuming skepticism. By the same token, though his skull was perforated as proof of the most certain kind, he could not grant the veracity of reports that told of a mutant, cannibal freak lying just beneath the surface of the duplex and chewing on the sleeper's head during the sticky night, but maintained that this Mr. Article was, if anything, a fiction of grammar granted temporary substance by the growing thickness of ideological descriptions of landscape. Meanwhile the sax was licking lascivious promises into his ear from distant, microscopic horizons, so that, when his one hand found his other hand scrabbling around his lap in the dark, his first impulse was to turn on the overhead bulb and find a window envelope, write a check, and mail away his first adjusted payment.