The house flies I had killed I felt worse over than the people I had hated. The sea urchins whose spines had stabbed my feet, I felt less anger towards than those who’d done me wrong. The zoo camel that spat its disgusting tasting spray into my face once in Central Park, I had forgiven more easily long ago than those who had in their own ignorance hurt me. I think the universe had itself exploded, and I was still playing with a loose sack of glass marbles spilling out somewhere I hadn’t seen, hadn’t imagined, could not believe. The smallness of it all, the dwarfed pettiness of human emotions and human motives—the misdirection, the misguidance, the maledictions that poured forth were, they all were in the end, no less amazing than anybody’s once believing in Peter Pan’s Neverland.
I had been hiding overnight in my make-believe overnight camper. There were all sorts of things I never saw: a yellow tiger without stripes, a circus tent as high as the sky itself, a perfect diamond as large as outer space. It was a dream of dreams of course, and in my dreams of dreams there wasn’t any sorrow. I admit: there wasn’t glee there either. There really wasn’t a soul left in all the world herself except of course me sleeping in my little cot. I mustn’t, I had believed, write a moment of my mind down anywhere—neither on birch bark nor on the aluminum sills, lest thieves arrive and take from me what was yours, and what was mine. It’s all mixed up now the soot and all the sweetness, the campfire paradise I once had known with broiling devilish heat; good sense with nonsense, apricot juice with turpentine. One day soon when I had woken up, I saw upon the marble bust of tomorrow, the people there were all chatting, some cheerfully enough and others merrily too, even if, upon that waking, the rest of life was cut off from them, severed, like a head chopped perfectly from a torso, and they apart from me.