Three-Handed Engine

Imagine if you were J S Bach and any little musical scrap you could build up into a six part fugue in your mind, effortlessly, like water coming from a cloud.  If you were J S Bach it would be impossible for you to hear a boring phrase of music.  Why impossible?  Because your mind finds so much interest in everything, your mind can work everything up from a brick to a cathedral without you even noticing it at it work that everything seems fascinating.

This was the characteristic epistemic stance of SHELVON.  To Shelvon, nothing, nobody, no moment could be boring, because she built it up into a geometric hall of mirrors in her mind.  “Shelvon, I’m not sure if I love Louis.”  Boring, right?  To Shelvon it was not — it was the tip of the iceberg of a complicated story of love, betrayal, forgiveness as it echoed and ramified through everyone we knew.  Shelvon was the J S Bach of life.

Taenae was the opposite.  I don’t know — call her Bartok.  She could only tolerate the purest melody, and everywhere she turned she saw bullshit, fakes, margarine masquerading as butter.  “Taenae, I miss my mother.”  Yeah, right, thought Taenae.  You miss feeling like you was important.  You wish to be someone who misses her mother and is embarrassed you ain’t.

And Motari just listened.  Where Shelvon saw bricks and built them into mental cathedrals, and Taenae saw pyramids and pounded them back into Nile mud, unwrapping the mummies and pulverizing them to pharaonic dust, Motari was quiet and discerned and let them know which response was called for.

We called them the three-handed engine.


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