The thing is, and here we come to E. Gorey's Great Simple Theory About Art (which he has never tried to communicate to anybody else until now, so prepare for Severe Bafflement),that on the surface they are so obviously those situations that it is very difficult to see that they really are about something else entirely. This is the theory, incidentally, that anything is art, and it's the way I tell, is presumably about some certain thing, but is really always about something else, and it's no good having one without the other, because if you have the something it is boring and if you just have the something else it's irritating.
I just got a rather nasty shock. In looking for something or other I came across the fact that one of my cats is about to be nine years old, and that another of them will shortly thereafter be eight; I have been labouring under the delusion they were about five and six. And yesterday I happened to notice in the mirror that while I have long since grown used to my beard being very grey indeed, I was not prepared to discover that my eyebrows are becoming noticeably shaggy. I feel the tomb is just around the corner. And there are all these books I haven't read yet, even if I am simultaneously reading at least twenty...
Mr Earbrass was virtually asleep when several lines of verse passed through his mind and left it hopelessly awake. Here was the perfect epigraph for TUH:A horrid ?monster has been [something] delay'dBy your/their indiff'rence in the dank brown shadeBelow the garden...His mind's eye sees them quoted on the bottom third of a right-hand page in a (possibly) olive-bound book he read at least five years ago. When he does find them, it will be a great nuisance if no clue is given to their authorship.
Neither mine nor other people's prospects seem particularly pleasing just at the moment, and I have fantasies of going to Iceland, never to return. As it is, I tell myself not to remember the past, not to hope or fear for the future, and not to think in the present, a comprehensive program that will undoubtedly have very little success.