Orson Welles was born in 1915, which, in my view, was both lucky and unlucky. Unlucky because it was too late and too modern a year for someone like him—and I’m not referring now to the curious boundary drawn up by my reader, because I think 1914 and 1913 would have been equally wrong and inappropriate in more than one sense.
I navigate an illness that makes me a protagonist of clichés. Sometimes, the thought of release is a dream of falling through clouds. My friend excitedly speaks about watching the northern lights from the cockpit of a plane — the whole kaleidoscopic spectacle, every inch of that cursive diffusion.
This afternoon I’m nested in a striped comforter, looking out the window at four snowy oaks. In the foreground, the shrivelled leaves of the hydrangea, mostly buried in drifts. The television screen is static, paused on a scene in the game I honor before every other, Metroid.
In a 60-page essay I wrote on the nature of a “morbid curiosity,” I struggled not only with the ethics of viewing actualities of death found on shock sites—usually, the premature deaths of non-white victims of car crashes, industrial accidents, drug cartel violence.
Today because I am sufficiently connected here in my book-glutted home in Boston I have decided to make my little room an everywhere. As it so happens, I am hovering now above an area of greater London known as Mitcham that four-hundred years ago was an outlying village backwater away from the teeming intrigue and bustle of King James’ city and his court.