“As Lie Is to Grin” by Simeon Marsalis

Talking to her was against the rules, but, as I saw him smiling, I realized there were no rules. Meat had laid out the “carnival plan” as a game; now as he was acting on the will to quench the simplest desires, a frequent occurrence in adolescence.

How do you control your mind? Rather, how do you force your brain to stop remembering?

They read “Keep,” “the,” and “Faith.” It stated neither to whom nor in what.

I searched some bookshelves, in a very ineffienct manner, for the late author’s work, discovering what I hoped to (nothing).

To view artwork in a hospital was too close a reminder that art is created out of others’ misfortune.

Was my desire for Melody caused by a desire to be whiter?

All books do two things. They open and close certain valves of understanding. If you read a math book, you learn that one plus one equals two. Yo get the system of numbers, thus opening your mind to a new world of understanding. Nevertheless, it does something else. Every time you see the markings, one plus one equals two, you recognize it within the context of a mathematical system. The numbers no longer have infinite meanings – just the ones humans have assigned them. Now you are closed off to the world of questions about numbers, like: What does it mean if I say one is not a whole number?

The reason to continue seeing Melody no longer made sense to me. I was being carried forward by habit.

I began repeating, “curiosity, openness, honesty,” things I did respect, in a way, bu did not entirely practice.

Her frown turned into a smile, and what I had seen in her before, awareness and intelligence, had been her self-conscious prodding, searching for approval from me that she did not find in herself.

Still, I could not discern what was good from my past if I continued to lie in the present.

Not realizing it would eat at him, in small bites, for the rest of his days.