It’s this feeling of not knowing anything, X tells me, that’s what makes him afraid. Is it so much to ask, he says, I’m not exactly trying to build the Tower of Babel. He’d like to really understand something for once, he says. Nothing ambitious, just to grasp his own little corner of the world without confusion. Then he could put it to use, or hold a hand of peace over it, or trace its origins and effects, and from there move on to investigate other things, build up whole fields of knowledge! You see how I get ahead of myself, he says, that’s what makes me afraid. Because it turns on me, he says, the Unknowable, it corners me. If I could turn it around the way it turns me around and be done with it… turn my back on it… or learn to accept, like the mystics, learn to know what I don’t know, what a joy that would be… but no, X says, there are no mystics anymore, and besides, he’s too grasping, too childish, too exposed… exposed to what? he asks, what’s he talking about?… his worst fear, he says, to be known by what he can’t know… he feels disarmed, deciphered without being able to decipher, that’s the problem, he says… it’s cornered him, he says, cornered him like an animal! Maybe he just needs to get laid, he says.

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