The End of the Tunnels, 1

A Passage from Luminous Airplanes, or Things As They Were: A Hyperromance

Again I am seeing this from two points of view. I am inside the tunnels and I am outside of them; I am eighteen years old, following Momus, and I am forty, aboveground and alone. From the inside perspective it looks like something terrible is going to happen at the end of this tunnel which goes on past any reasonable purpose. From the outside I see myself stalked by my own guilt. Momus was harmless; he was only trying to scare me with a good story. He would have done the same for any tour group.

If I could just have said, nice story, it would have been all right. Not so much for Momus, who went on to great things at Bleak College, and, for all I know, afterward, but for me. I would have had a little adventure to embellish later on. More significantly, I would have stayed friends with Momus; when he put on his graveyard Othello, the following year, I might have had a part. I might have become a braver person than I am. I might not be back in New Haven now…

Also, and not incidentally, I might have found out what was at the end of the tunnel.

© 2008-2023 Paul La Farge. All rights reserved.