My mind works like those balls on a string I would study at the dentist, a series of hollow clicks diffusing towards the impossible. I was eight. His fingers were hairy links, threading the point in and out, as music the color of filing cabinets gassed the room with cheer. Afterwards, if I were lucky, we'd go to the restaurant by the river and wait to order tortoni. Maybe that's too American to italicize. The wallpaper wasn't. Tell the truth, but tell it slant.