The Four Stages of Development
Why are there so few women arsonists? I asked my wife.
My wife said that’s the wrong question. Rather, why do men
pleasure themselves by starting fires? Hmmmm, I’m not sure,
I said. My wife said, Okay, on a related theme, why do boys
enthrall themselves, in tunnels, by throwing echoes? Or further,
she went on, why do you search for splendor via alchemy?
I don’t know, I said, but I bet you’re going to tell me.
You don’t want to know, she said. Yes, I said, I do. Don’t I?
I should think, my wife said, you’d have it already. I took a pull
of my beer and finished cleaning my gun. Tell me, I said. Well,
my wife said, her hands falling onto my back like birds falling
onto the rim of a well in a village where women gathered every
day thousands of years ago to draw water, I’ll tell you as soon as you
procure for me a painting by a man of a pregnant Virgin Mary.