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.
His friend had once declared that he had had the fantasy to remove by his death any evidence that he had ever existed. Imagine, the friend had once said, how in the past people strove for immortality. Now, he insisted, everybody—from the day people are born—they are followed by and create strings of numbers, identifications, and identities by which they will be known down through the ages. Poets, politicians, philosophers, the people who live next door, everybody who’s moved away! The whole world! Everybody’s immortal! What everybody used to strive for today is unavoidable. And the friend’s laughing friend would say to whomever he had managed to collar when the two friends bumped into each other in public: My friend here wants to erase every trace of his existence! Then, he would kiss his embarrassed friend on the cheek, and wander off, still laughing.