It’s not always possible to draw lines between events, to link the moments. We try because continuity, however fabricated—as in made, not as in untrue—connects us to our/selves; and it connects us to a sense (however fabricated) that we are / “selves.”
We make these links in hindsight, in tentative, provisional stories—ours but not ours –that we piece together.1 It’s like re-assembling fragments of a broken vase someone we love has dropped. If we are bold, we allow the fragments’ sharp edges to draw blood.
It’s 1980. I am in Dr. Moody’s office on the first floor of the English faculty at the University of York. His window overlooks the lush gardens that surround the campus lake. (The famous campus lake, known for the discarded detritus hidden in the murky shallows into which...