From infancy I was surrounded by music. . . . To hear my father play the piano was an ecstasy for me. When I was two or three, I would sit on the floor beside him as he played, and I would press my head against the piano in order to absorb the sound more completely. . . . When I was eleven years old, I heard the cello played for the first time. . . . When the first composition ended, I told my father, “Father, that is the most wonderful instrument I have ever heard. That is what I want to play.”
It is terrifying to look in the mirror and realize that our identification with the form we see is the first and grandest error of our lives. Paradoxically, it is the error we cannot completely undo as long as we are here. Hating that error can be as painful and unproductive as never perceiving it.
I was aware early on that we were on separate vacations, you in a sun-drenched country on the cusp of the rainy season, and I as lost as a piece of luggage, fallen into some dark, sludgy place, a certain waxy glaze over everything.
This is the part where Karen Wheeler jumped in and turned the world around, whether because Karen Wheeler is one fine bowler herself and enjoys as much as anybody kicking the butts of the folks over in Greensboro, or whether, as I’ve said, her heart has spots soft for Gus, I don’t know.