Charles Freeland

The People Had but One Neck

It's always like that — the content of our speech somehow wrapped up in and smothered by the style of the delivery. As if we concentrate too much on the flowers in someone's lapel and fail to determine what a lapel is good for in the first place. I mean, she has never actually seen one on those suitors who keep reminding her that her beloved has gone missing for more than twenty years. And maybe it's time already to move on, to pick someone from the field who doesn't have eczema. Who doesn't spend all day at the gym trying to make his arms look like aluminum attachments. With unnumbered tattoos snaking their way down the triceps. Each meant to illustrate some important moment in the past of its owner. Or at least suggest such moments have, in fact, occurred. In other words, you don't have to worry about the climax. We've got all that covered. Whether or not nightshade is involved, whether or not some plot to unmask the imposters will play itself out as part of the process, it's only necessary to remember that you will be expected to do the hard work of exegesis on your own.