The Socratic Method
—Do you remember when, as a child, you would read in the car at night, your parents in the front seat? You would try to read a sentence whenever the car passed under a streetlamp. Stopping at a red light was an outrageous luxury: You could finish a whole paragraph sometimes. You’d finish entire books this way, as your parents drove on. Where were they going? Why did you think it was normal that there should be so much traveling by night?
—[Gurgles. Raises eyebrows in alarm.]
—Have you noticed that all babies have Brooklyn accents?
—Walking along the beach, the sand silver from the sea, we noticed that seaweed had left delicate impressions before being pulled back by the waves. We’d never seen this before. OK. Now this might sting a bit. Do you want bubblegum or mint?
—Later we walked along the canyon on a paved trail. Cracks had been caulked over in black. The lines branched wildly, like diagrams of sentences out of Proust,
—[Drifts to sleep.]
—You have a cavity the size of the San Ysidro Valley. Microbes are snapping up real estate.
—[Eyes widen. Nostrils flare.]