Another “Bagatelles” Outtake

16 Apr

It’s hard to remember, 30 years later, why this one didn’t make the cut, but I think the tone just didn’t work for me when I was deciding on which pieces to keep in “Bagatelles.”

She was showing signs of illness. Symptoms. She was exhibiting manifestations of something not quite right. I began to take stock of these symptoms. I catalogued them with relish. I considered the implications of these manifestations. I considered them in great detail. I considered the relationships among the symptoms. I systematically separated those symptoms which appeared to be truly symptomatic of her condition from those I deemed less relevant. I then reconsidered this vast system of symptoms and the considerable effects it was having on her own system. I was making great strides in my consideration of her symptoms, in my systematic symptomatology, as it were, when she interrupted my thought processes with a particularly vulgar utterance.

I feel sick, she said.


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