He told me to imagine what is most wrong with my life as a person, a man, but to imagine him upside down as though reflected in a pool. And then he said to crumple that pool with wind, with rain drops, with incipient ice. And then calm it but leave the distortions on the face of the reflected man. He said to put his head in a small cabinet in the wall of an otherwise empty room, square, glass-handled, something like a dumb waiter but lined with black velvet within. He said to never open the cabinet and especially never to speak to the man. But to go into that room often and talk. Talk as though in a theatre, as though not to the audience but whoever actors speak to when alone, something high and upright and abstract and concave, bringing back to them sharpened and realized the sense of their words. He said the head would snarl and twist and try to beat against the door but could do nothing that made sound. That it would rot silently alone there over the years. That I must not think of it as dead but as contained. I would never see the whole of what was wrong, could never face it down, destroy it. But neither need I fear to see it suddenly one day, say in a propped mirror at the end of an alley across the street in or after a rain. Or the one face upside down in a great crowd. So long as I kept it near as that. So long as I spoke to the lathe at the door of the truth. The truth that cannot be until you speak. That cannot be if you cease. That changes if you go on long enough, until it stops changing, at a point where you're disturbed to hear it stop, start changing what you say to set it moving. But now it moves like you, now you like it, and liker and liker if never like enough. But like enough at last that you know what to say even out of the room. And leave to say it.