June 10, 2005 8:59 AM

What is carefully invented is still simply destroyed.

To eager eyes: "It's great, I feel great."

A surprise, like a child's forgotten, unfed, dead pet, of shrill stupidity and sincerity intermingled: a gift, and what a gift, just imagine the benefit -- with a brittle calcium shell, cutting circles into acetate that signify; placed aside, copied and distributed, in fun, in glory, in glamour, so at a party, whether it's shelved or spinning, I can say, "That's not me at all." They stand, close, emitting.

In shrillness, it was decided: expectations begin precarious, when anything but a hair's breadth above renunciation; purposeless, anyway, at such a margin. Without them, they free you like the physical laws that bind you as well as save you from dissapointment. In the middle of a road, you can wait for it and experience it -- the trustworthiness of inertia, dilating lights, a meeting of delight, an impact of subdued, unmodulated elation and satisfaction.

With surprise I discover I can change the shrillness into a skirl, uncertain but faintly musical, not of a bagpipe but a primitive synthesizer, humming, emptying. I watch them and shudder, slightly and instinctively, shaking out of habit rather than true evocation. Is gushing intimacy what I want? I'm beginning to believe that even that microscopic kind of expression has somehow declined, faded, moving now with the same urgency as years before but without any of its brilliance. What is it I want, then?