Jim is a man, who chooses his word carefully. Strike that. He choose his *thoughts * carefully, and I suppose that the words which ensue come out with the same care as do his thoughts’ composition. But the thoughts are worthless, so the words, in the words of T.S. Eliot, are “meaningless as wind in dry grass or rats’ feet over broken glass in our dry cellar.” What in the hell was he talking about? I mean, everybody, including me, makes such a big deal about Eliot, but I think there might be some “emperor’s new clothes” mojo going on.. You evere read “The Wasteland?” All these allusions to myths, foreign language thrown in. OK, we get it – you’re well-educated. I guess i’m just kidding. He *is *a big deal. Anyway, back to Jim. Thinking about Jim reminds me of Gogol. I don’t feel like explaining why, but I’ll try. The little I’ve read of him smacks of a kind of meta-fiction, where he psychoanalyzes the character. I’m doing that now with Jim, or is he doing it with me. Am I doing it with myself, obsessively turning over and over the same rock of my mind? I guess I am. But I’m being self-effacing. My thoughts are *not *worthless. Or maybe they are. It depends on your perspective. There are plenty of folks who think they’re nonsense, and their opinions haunt me constantly. I know I’d be better off not caring what they think, but I do, and this cloying possibility that they might be right – that my life is a waste, makes me chocked with anxiety and uncertainty and fear. This is ugly stuff. Untidy, stuffed with bad craziness and unhealthy rumination. I am compelled to explore this. But back to Jim. He was in the kitchen. It was a sunny day, and the sunlight was shining through the window over the sink and leaving squares of brightness on the linoleum. He was sitting at the table staring at the floor. A cloud obscured the sun and the color of the squares dimmed. Outside a bird chirped. It was spring, and he wondered if it was migratory.