Walker Percy Wednesday 72


Music ransoms us from the past, declares an amnesty, brackets and sets aside the old puzzles. Sing a new song. Start a new life, get a girl, look into her shadowy eyes, smile. Fix me a toddy, Lola, and we’ll sit on the gallery of Tara and you play a tune and we’ll watch evening fall and lightning bugs wink in the purple meadow.


“A perfect example of Homo Americanensis politicus paranoicus, would you say, Max?”


The Heavy Sodium ions hit his pineal body, seat of self, like a guillotine, sundering self from self forever, that ordinary self, the restless aching everyday self, from the secret self one happens on in dreams, in poetry, during ordeals, on happy trips—“Ah, this is my real self!” Forever after he’ll live like a ghost inhibiting himself. He’ll orbit the earth forever, reading dials and recording data and spinning theories by day, and at night seek to reenter the world of creatures by taking the form of beasts and performing unnatural practices.

I even fancy that I see his soul depart, exiting his body through the top of his head in a little corkscrew curl of vapor, as the soul is depicted in ancient woodcuts. Or was it no more than a wisp of smoke blown from the bunker?

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