---- ‘THE DROPS OF RAIN fall on the leadwork of the roofs below the window of the room in which I used to sleep. There are lakes and puddles in the leads, where the boards beneath are bowed; the rain was ceaseless in the winter when I came. The raindrops fall and make the everchanging patterns, whose variations fill the mind beyond the time that one may give to them, and the mist obscures remoter sight, the rain beginning in the dewy cool of changeless hours, no sky nor clouds, and the woods a shadow on the memory, all formless in the play of rain and water, where the sense of sight begins and ends. This was at the year’s turn; I can see the drawing-in of that first night, the subtlety of motion, time which changed an outlook; borrowed days had gone. It is the end of childhood.
----- ‘To those who lived here it was a day as any other. Down below the commotion of a less-than-ordered household. Just outside this door I met another person of my age and sex, and even as she spoke I saw she knew the pattern of the house, she took me to one side and said, ‘I have been here a little.’ She was no older than I. Her name was Martha, a kindly person, even at that first meeting, no time at all has passed, it seems, she said, ‘I will take you to what you have been given, have you seen it yet?’ ‘Not yet.’ ‘Remember the way, or you will lose yourself. ’ She began the journey, a kindly manner, in that first encounter, she hasn’t changed, no questions in her eyes beyond the questions to a stranger, of the tongue, and not the eye, the tongue within the rule of thought, the questions given for no more purpose than to tell the common tongue that gives the stranger peace of mind, a stranger at the edge of being no more a stranger, but the less familiar one, I find the questions coming to my lips, when I see I have a little time’s advantage, one day’s light ahead, beyond another, of a little knowledge, a small advantage making for nothing past an apt humility, for the ease-engendering questions are answered with a gratitude more powerful than any sense deserves, yes, I feel my limit closely when these times arise, one leads another for the shorter hour, alone in front, one follows with assurance, alone behind, from the tongue’s tone, it stills explanatory speech, a fleeting thing, a property within the lives and limits of a property, gained and put aside, never taken up again: the intellect of form: the newcomer, the person whose case has been extant a little longer than one’s own, there’s little more to add, I saw compassion in her manner as she led me through the house, no great journey now, never was, lost perhaps only on the moonless night, the room beneath the eaves, narrow door within the profile of the roof, carefully and solidly made, panelled, joiner’s work, ‘I am opening the door of the first room I might call my own,’ and, inside, undisturbed to look out through its window, to measure out its boards with a child’s pace, ‘you seem pleased with it,’ said Martha, from outside, never would she enter, ‘I am,’ ‘It is your own,’ she said, I have never known much in the way of privacy, how much I looked forward to being in my own presence alone before the mirror on the chest, she listened, we were shy in one another’s company, that day, when people understand each other they are often for the first time shy and underplay their feelings, each seeing something of their presence in the other’s character, ‘this room will be important to you, then, look upon it as your own, even if it is only for a little time, when one has little, no little thing is unacknowledged,’ she said, with some perception, ‘one is asked to move as needs arise, regret on leaving a chamber known to every sense, to the property of seeing it as your own, never in a strict sense true, the room to which one goes uncertain, feelings of anxiety, some small thing clouds the way one might see ahead, a little while, but at the end one always has a room, were there no house one would have a room, more certainly than one might have a name. I must go back now. ’ She left me to unpack my few belongings, all inappropriate. I had not known where I was going. ‘I hope no-one takes advantage of you,’ she said, ‘you are a listener by nature, and you listen when you speak. I have watched you while we have been together. How in this world the listening ear is used and how it is changed by what it hears.’ The last words spoken to me that night, the last words, at the end of childhood, and now I see that I have rearranged and changed her phrases, for what reason I do not know, perhaps that’s how they ought to be, and perhaps that’s how they were, beyond my listening, she closed the door behind her, I stayed up in the room, one hunger driving out another, looking out of the window, at the leadwork and the rain in everchanging patterns, time within a time, repetitive but everchanging, I had never seen such expanses of a roof before, the same deep greyness as the sky, a low mist, the ground, the trees, they could not be seen, the pattern of the raindrops held me, unforetold but never strange, the bead of rain upon the winter bud, of the little thorn tree, three years of growth and anchored to the moister dust at the window’s edge, shaken by the wind, the thought stayed with me, I cannot grasp the difference between the familiar and the strange by using words, they are not enough, I sometimes look towards my going, from this house, not that life is dull, though one can predict the change, a little way ahead, that’s as it were to tell the story, and when one keeps one’s own reserve it means that people don’t know how to take you, and consider you as they think you are, in their speech and in their actions, soon you would be pressed to believe it for yourself, many do, without a thought, I am too shy to put them right, or have no will to do so, it’s why I talk a lot, that’s true, it’s out of shyness, I can’t reveal my mind, as you see, it would not be true, no play of feeling where none is felt, as you will see, Gesso, in time, that’s not to say I wish to spare the truth.
I can’t reveal my mind. It would be best to say, I distrust the statement, it falls beneath presumption, the footings of an unknown depth, one would like to dwell in it, as though it were a house, but self approval lies in that same place, cannot be removed from it, goes out with one, in the blunt statement, the unornamented recital of the mind, and what is the nature of oneself?
----- ‘I do not know. I can’t speak out my mind, and, Gesso, you’re the same. You are an enquiring man, and the way you see the world which surrounds you is little different from my own, or we should not be here together in this room. A question came to me in that journey, a pace behind my guide, where she led I followed, at each turn she looked back towards me, her patient eyes following my steps and following my curiosity as I looked about me, she knew at each corner the sight which lay ahead but all was hidden to me, yet there was nothing in that sight unusual, all was that which might have been predicted, all as is predicted, in hindsight, the forward memory, it makes one wish to ask the question, were not the answer which might follow seen with hindsight, the tract remembered and the way predicted, from a distance one sees only that which has been expected and all else has no form, truly I don’t know the answer, Gesso, no thought in my mind on that first afternoon, no need, as the rays of the passing sun grew parallel with the ceilings and the floors, I have never seen it like it since, the first-sight gone, little of importance, how prediction finds the word I cannot tell, however well I came to know the house. Martha works in the kitchen, as you know, she would not have it otherwise. It is her life: yet she is curious as to what goes on in the rest of the house, but does not like to leave the place she knows to find this out; and so her curiosity has narrow limits; beyond, she has no questions. She sleeps in the house, but in a room close to the kitchen, in fact an alcove at the kitchen’s end, with a curtain in front of it; or maybe she was given it, and has grown to like it, the room such as it is never being required by any other person; in fact, Gesso, dry goods are still kept in it, on the shelves, amongst her own belongings, biscuits, oatmeal, flour, spices, strings of garlic and onions; there’s usually flour on her clothes, even in the evenings when she waits for her boyfriend, and one has to smile because he has formed a habit of brushing her down while they sit in the kitchen together. He gets fed well. But she does not know much about the house, and as for the world beyond it, that’s another universe, but she is no different from the rest of us, it matters little where the lines are drawn: but how did she come by so much knowledge? Perhaps she remembers, retentively, what she saw of the house on her first day; I would be surprised if she has walked its upper storeys since she was my guide; but she knows what she has heard, so much of what she knows is based on her attentive ear, the rumour has only to be said once in the soft and natural voice, and the shrewd glance at the reaction of another to a string of words, it’s how all worlds are made, action follows, sometimes I ask her for her opinion - she has a sure and able mind, and is free with what she knows, it is clothed in a certain kind of practicality, but to my ear what she has taken as important is something like the furniture of rooms whose whereabouts are never known; sometimes the stories she has listened to, she mixes, in her mind, keeping the drawings of the imagination as ornaments to make an unknown house more homely. She is like anyone in doing that; it comes down to the nature of unanchored self, and I hardly know what that is, nor how its thought may be best explained, save to say that it’s a protection for I know not what.
-----‘So there’s little enough to say, as I stood at the window of that room, looking outwards on the end of that first day.
-----‘Given for a little time, short but indeterminate, unknown the time it would be taken from me, asked of me for another use, unknown to me, at that day’s end, of no interest to me, no, nothing further from my mind, I was grateful to be there, feelings of gratitude and praise, grateful for the silence, which was profound, the day was bearing away, slowly, it had been long, the dusk advancing slowly, breaking into the deeper shadows, in the further places, distance first, then nearness, all going, no limits known within that long day’s sense of time, for its end was not within its life, the sight from the window, the distant range of hills beyond the seedling thorn, mortar-rooted, to close the eyes for a little time was to open them and see a change in nothing, the raindrop on the winter bud shaken by the wind, the distant hills had gone, distance first, then nearness, that is how it is, darkness closing in.
-----‘Now, when I am given a room, on the heel of the sentence comes the thought ‘when shall I give it up?’ That’s the cause and sentence of routine, a sad thing, and not one that I care to dwell on: I am telling this to you now for one purpose alone.’
-----‘I was listening to you carefully,’ said Gesso, looking at Mima’s face, and into her eyes’ darknesses, his legs spread out to either side of the table; he looked more extensive than in fact he was.
-----‘I knew you were listening, and that was why I spoke as I wished. You would not have interrupted me.’
-----‘That’s true,’ said Gesso, who had not altered his strange position in the slightest, ‘I like your voice; I’d be happy to listen to you speaking all day, all evening, and on into the night.’
-----‘I said I spoke from nervousness and that I gave little of myself.
-----‘I am speaking for a purpose now. And that’s as best I can to give an intimation of my nature [not that this is in itself of any lasting interest to you, I don’t fool myself in that, Gesso, there’s no reason why I should be of interest to you, born enquirer that you are, and even as you look at me I know that in the end you will look beyond me and leave me as soon as you feel that you have all that I can give you, it needs no perception to see that; my very form will irk your vision and you will, I know, dismiss me from your sight in the moment that you find my presence strains you] and there is nothing for me to do to help myself; to look ahead; as you see for yourself so well, the first longsight of the man who went before you is denied you,; and therefore you are forced to seek the mediation of another; and you’ll want to know the best you can about the person who will mediate for you and who will act on your behalf, and record their actions truthfully; for there’s nothing proved unless everything might stand upon a proof, and you can’t assume that I’ll act as you would have me act; people aren’t like that - and that was why I talked of Martha’s guiding journey - beneath that line of sight which you take to be significant I may see the clear thing that you do not,’ said Mima.
-----‘I’m listening to you because you tell me of yourself,’ said Gesso, his hands still behind his head, ‘I could not listen to you were that not so. I don’t need any effort to penetrate your meaning; there is no strain; the sense seized the attention for its own sake and I penetrate your design. You are open to me.’
-----‘Remember that my name is Mima. That which seizes (a strong word) the mind is that which fills the lack and finds the need; you were listening to me closely, Gesso, and I was as closely watching you. What I have said is surely of no interest, not even to myself, no general drift within it; I was making plain the person that I am; so that you can swiftly reach the end of your use of me. What will happen then I do not know.’
-----‘There’s nothing of the present in that, but as I watched you I saw that you were searching me, with a comprehensive sight, though your gaze never left your hands.’
-----‘I was listening to you, Mima, because there was so much in your words which applied to me.
-----‘I know little of you.
-----‘Where were you before you came here? To marvel at something given which must soon be given up?’
-----‘I was brought up in a caravan with my mother and two sisters and I was a child when I came here. That colours my view of everything, and it is why I am speaking to you as I feel for the words, no restraint, and why I like to sit here with you, and why I feel so much compassion for you, for we are in the same place, common ground, and when you say that you find my story interesting, then my heart warms to you, Gesso, it really does, and it makes me want to help you all the more, now that I know that you are listening to me for my own sake, and not for the furtherance of some cause of your own, though even if that were the case I should still be here and ready to help you, and shall stand at the door and see you out of sight, if that is how it has to be.
-----‘Neither you nor I could find the substance to a motive, whether you listen for your good or mine, nothing can be brought out before the view of oneself or another, two strangers, and in the end no act is based on reason. [Gesso, there’s no difference between a person known well and a person who appears for the first time at the moment of one’s speaking, to be present is to alter, without a word, two people in the last light hour, the last streaks of colour in the western sky against which the hairs on the head stand out with clarity, the first streaks of colour, behind the other’s head, together, the breath hanging in the coldness of the air, the fall of dew, who was here in the dead of night, I looked up, the presence of another.] Yet you sit there, Gesso, so placidly, in such a strange position, even in the way you sit you are asking something of me; you sit placidly, at least with the outward appearance of placidity, at least for the moment, as though you had all the time in the world, which is in some ways quite true, I wouldn’t deny it, and it makes me think about the vanity of my own nature when I say, to myself, I am pleased that he should give this brief, this soon-over time to listen to me, to find the order, perhaps this little time is valueless, but, Gesso, I hope that it is not.’
-----‘Mima, the room you were given, the first. There was something in the way you told me of it. It took my heart.’


[Long pause.]

Gesso]----- What do you see for the future?

Mima]----- Why should I look into the future?


[Gesso, who quits his exaggerated sitting pose, now rises to his feet and in a pace stands silently before the fire, as though it had been lit, his back to the room, his arms resting on the mantel, a plain slate mantel, somewhat roughly made, its surfaces uneven to the touch, taking the heat from his hands.]

Gesso] -----Will you stay here always?
[indicates the house with his hands.]

Mima]----- You are taking you mind away from the present. I’ve not thought of the future, not as it affects me. One might as well ask me, what have I to look forward to? Well, the question’s asked, and now it’s in the open I don’t know how it’s to be answered, not if a truthful answer is required. I think of nothing. Sometimes I sit here after the day’s work has ended, the smells of the day going from the room, cooking, eating, emptying the bowels, all the smells together, stage-stop in the travel, thirst and weariness, all smells, never go entirely, from this room, in the summer the windows open, the night scented flowers, physiology of birdsong, note, pitch, space, sequence, coda, the listening ear, change within a time, Martha’s boyfriend violinist, knows no music but his own, the improviser, mind in sound, the question, true enough, what is to become of me? another variation, antiphon to the song unheard, finger on the unique string. All comes together, swift as light, lasts a life.

-----Will you stay here always?

-----That was the question put to me.

-----Should I stay or should I leave?

----- What is the number and the nature of the places I have never been?

----- Give them a name.

Gesso]----- I see your argument.

Mima] -----It is not an argument.
----------It is what I am.

-----Gesso, I must go. Martha will be waiting for me. She will make work for herself to make me feel guilty.

-----Before I leave you for the last time let me speak my mind about your predecessor here, the man who was here before you, and who has set the pattern for you, which nature you wish to learn something of, whose person you so desire to see, as it were yourself and face to face, whose intentions you wish to hold so firmly in the forefront of your mind, his mind’s cast yours, this way of looking at things, yours, his purposeful step, yours.

-----My father does not recall him with any personal truthfulness, as you have seen for yourself, my father has made a composite of him, nothing like the truth of a unique man, but he has rendered to him the natures of all others he has met, a smudge of recollections, nothing sharp. But he was not like that; a person is not reduced to forms, and all that you have, in drawing as close to him as you can, is an intuition of your own. My father’s words mean nothing, but through them there may be something, and, for all I know, my own words also.

-----What else is there? He left nothing. He brought nothing.

-----Not reduced to forms.

-----Once he stood. Stands no longer.

Gesso] -----What am I to make of him through you?

Mima] -----Why does this make you anxious?

Gesso] -----I am not anxious.

Mima] -----You are very anxious. Sometimes I have thought: one day he will kill someone.

-----Gesso, I shall give as good an account as I can in order that you may make the best of what you hear, though it’s difficult, and I shan’t know myself the truth of what I say.

-----My father was a forain.
-----He was travelling entertainer. He was non-jurable.

-----So much you may have judged from my manner and by the way I let things slip in my talking to you, I am a forain’s daughter, I don’t know where I come from, and difficult to know where I might go, I have seen my father act and no doubt I act as he might act, praise and pleasure for the little child, not from this locality, no vicinity, for the acuity of eye can never be a witness, never called to stand, nor to let a finger point, move from place to place, often at an anger’s end, generations of unknowingness compressed to single lives, sees what others do not like to see, emotions’ magpie, generalities which hang from village to village, words so pitched, said, withdrawn, said in some other place, a smile.

-----The witnessing eye is unacknowledged.

-----And who is different but pretends that he is not?

Gesso] -----I had begun to think that the tenant was your father.

Mima] -----Aside the name, he’s a forain, too.

-----I can pass myself off as being truthful. I don’t like dishonesty, it’s seen by intuition in an instant in others as in oneself. So I don’t know my father and I don’t know whether to call the tenant father or not. I am as you see me, and you must make the best of what you see. I use the word forain because I am as I was made: there’s nothing insincere about that wish, let me try to get to the root of it, Gesso, and try to explain myself as best I can, you have listened to the tenant and you know that with your absence the thought of you will leave his head, fragments of you will be garbled with the remainder of the general sense, you and your predecessor together, perhaps, though he does not stand apart, present or absent he is beyond the general use of words, but I shall not forget you, I shall do my best not to forget you, not that my remembrance of you will do you any good, for as a forain’s daughter I have a certain way of recollecting things, so many days compressed to one, lives drawn to the single fact of journeying, though I wouldn’t try to make of you what you are not, to fit some fine idea, for I think too much of you, one doesn’t truly know oneself in matters of this nature, and no doubt you have a view of me from the few sparse-chosen things I’ve said about myself, no doubt I’ve made an untruthful view.

-----I call my father a forain, the word not his.

-----Wide landscapes reduced to little journeys.

-----Pasts diminished to the little days.

-----I call him a forain, but what is the nature of the measuring eye? I remember my father in a place remote from here, I could never find it and I shall never see it once again, another country, another style of speech, another mode of thought, a broad river’s flood-bank, water-meadows filled with flowers, poppies in the new turned fields beyond, June, blue flax-flowers distantly, had been raining, sun now shining through the chasms in the clouds, the pyramid of searching bible-light striking down upon the earth, soon the sun would go, soon it would begin to rain again, a heavy air even in the light-beam’s warmth, my father was walking on the winding flood-bank path, manner easy and composed, prospect of the changing weather, rolling waters of the high brown river to his back, the strolling man, entertainer to himself, no set place of home, clothes the old clothes from the mingled places, at his ease in places foreign to him, no doubt at his ease at the grave’s edge, the emerging townscape familiar to his eye, though never seen before, nothing known beyond some half-truth of its reputation. What stable ground supported him from day to day? What were his wife and three daughters to him? Did I think as he?
-----Was he known to me?

-----So how shall I begin to make the man, here, in this place, who came at the dead of night?

-----Gesso, this man, who was here before you, has not left but goes before you always. One wonders which is complete and which the shadow, at first I thought you were a kind of aftermath of him, but now I am not so sure, doubt, yes, but hardly sure enough to find a place in words, there seems so little for them to rest upon, that’s always true, speaking of things which are hardly material, always near the edge, always one foot across the threshold in the dark at midnight, always the silence of deafness when one looks out, one calls. Always at the limit. The mind’s idea of itself is only known when one is put in jeopardy.

-----By your expression that’s already found its response in you.

Gesso] -----I don’t know what I am searching for. [Stretches out his long arms to their widest span along the mantel top so that his far-reaching and extensive fingers curl around the ends of the slab.]

----------I am searched for.

Mima.] -----That’s true. You are an honest man.



[Scene: the same.]

[Gesso measures his words to relieve the pause, looking down at his hands, held just below his ribcage.]

Mima] -----Can you not tell the limitations of travel in what I say?

Gesso] -----No, Mima, and I don’t believe you when you call yourself the daughter of a travelling entertainer.

Mima] -----Have you met another Mima? Have you talked to a forain’s daughter? I was born late in my father’s life: he is an old man now.

Gesso] -----Describe again that day, when you saw him by the river. How long ago was it?

Mima] -----Do you want to hear that story again? It’s simple enough and comes to my memory easily, but I don’t know how it will end. It was in my childhood, long before I came to this house, and before I learned to put a cipher in the things I said: what to make of it is an idea which now escapes me: if I tell you, there’s no design in my doing so.

-----It won’t be as before.

-----The river was high, but by reason of its depth and age it was not fast flowing. It had overflowed its banks and had reached the foot of the flood walls, made of earth, a path along their top. The river meandered, perhaps, across the plain, though the little that I saw - the features of the land were hidden from me, and the meanders are imagined, though they must have been there, below the shallow ridge with trees along its top, hardly more than a small incline, though in the flatness of the place it made the skyline. The path along the bank was much used, making its way between the tall grasses which grew in clumps in the trodden reddish earth, many footprints, away across the empty landscape beyond the floodplain there were two lines of poplars. A drive, perhaps. The sky was low. The full-bellied clouds, made ragged by the wind which traced them, fled across the sky, their course direct; the recent rain was still wet across the grass; now the sun shone, clear and hot in the rain-washed air, soon the rift within the cloud would seal again; soon the rain would begin once more, the bands of rain already falling on the further waters of the river, but, now, for a little time, the sun was hot, the earth clothes in mist, spirals of white vapour from the southern-facing bank, moving in the eddies of the air, the wet earth smelling strong. Then I looked across the line of the sky. He was walking along the path, following the higher course, near the river, his footsteps quick and sure, his tread light, his face in the sun, his back to the wind. I took him to be my father. This walk the lightest in his journeying life. Direction known, but not in mind. Decisions made, but the deciding moment done as it was mind, as on a handshake. Black trousers and black jacket, of different materials; trousers of serge and jacket of barathea. Grey and black. One could tell that they were different by the folds and creases. Nothing could be heard. His figure was youthful. He wore light shoes, of black, rarely cleaned and now covered with the mud of the river-path; no, his shoes were held in his hand. His feet were long and slender. His shirt was a white shirt, clean but old, clean from a distance, with no collar to it, taken off, too small, constrained his neck, delicate neck, of a youth, smaller collar, collar in the pocket of his coat, from its ends stuck out. I have called my father an old man, but this was a youth who had arrived, my age, this young forain, where was he from, his face clear, bearing no expression, eyes grey and neutral: his walk a youth’s walk, taken without effort, nothing weighing on him, here I am, the voice within my mind: he paused, silently, to let me look at him, as though in recognition, pausing, by the river, behind him the deep purpose of the sky and the downfalling light, the heaping clouds; his shadow was long, and fell across the rough meadow grass, the disk of the sun was already half obscured: the bells of a distant church, the unseen village, began to chime across the fields, familiar enough to someone. One day they will ring for the last time. Was this youth, direction unknown and destination unknown, my father? How strange to put the question to the mind. I had been watching him for some time, the generality of his approach, yes, as a man, as yet distant and beyond recognition, then, the sense of fine familiarity, felt for without a name, the moment of clear sight, my father, one his drawing closer, his youthfulness. The rain fell; the day was warm, he held his shoes, knotted by the laces, in one hand, and the other he put into his pocket; he began to whistle a tune, some local tune, the roots of it unknown, the past, the province long lived in and now gone, his own. This young man my father. Gesso, true or not?

-----Gesso, who might he have been?

-----I think about this many times, in the hours when I need a thought to comfort me, in this place, which is not my own and which to be truthful is still strange to me, if there are calls on the room which for the moment is my own, so not my own, no guest is ever turned away in this weather and this season.

Gesso] -----I have an image of the scene in my eye. It put my own matters in a selfish light. I see your father as you have described him, as clearer as if I had been there.

Mima]----- No doubt you do, no doubt I cast the scene somewhat, for your hearing. To someone looking on it would have been a commonplace: the strangeness was in the mind. Perhaps it is only clear to you because of my embroiderings, importance, dry sand, a day gone, rain fallen long ago, the life upon the causeway, I don’t know why I tell you the tale, it seems I hardly saw him, as I might describe him, the nature of his presence, perhaps I gave him my father’s clothes in the way I gave your predecessor a message and a book.

-----Were the tenant my father I would give no recognition of the youth walking by the river that day.

-----And by these means I ask the question, as though it stood clearly for drawing the answer: what is the nature of a person? It is no easier to divide oneself, and to ask, what is owned and what is borrowed, for the one will not easily be told from the other, and he walked away.

-----The young forain walked out of sight. The rain came down more heavily, warm, summer rain, coming from him to me, his shoulders shining with the water, his hair to his skull’s shape, the raining rebounding from the earth, he invisible downward from the waist, the bare footprints filling with water, the heavy drops of rain displacing, in seconds, the prints that in a cave’s sand millennia unchanged, the prints of men, of children, women, wild birds, geese in double file, the single swan, the fallen ivory feather, in the last light hour of the day, the hollow of the path a little river of its own, no shadows now, the place from which the sun had shone was indistinct, from the river to the distant town, my dress a summer dress, close to my body with the rain, and to my legs, the steady chiming of the unknown building’s bells,
-----then ending.

-----I saw myself within his character.

-----There is no examination from a high eternal plain, and the imagination of the high and all-encompassing view - for which you look - is one of the last recourses which we invoke when we see that the familiar is no more familiar than the strange. Permanence is fractured; and at the place where it will break some small thing forewarns us and tells us to prepare ourselves.

-----Whether this story has any continuities with your own I do not know. I believe there are no generalities, and what makes resemblance is hard enough to put into the frame of faith: we conflate monsters by the comparison of the experiences of many, and would do better to keep our silence. I cannot make a general statement from what I have seen, for, Gesso, I no longer believe that there is such a thing as a generality; try as I will, I cannot see that one event stands representative of another.

[An extract from Days and Orders by David Wheldon]