Some say I am a fussy little man. Fastidious. That it was no surprise to learn that,as a child I was exacting, even in childish acts of cruelty: I did not simply tear the wings off a butterfly, but very precisely dismembered it so as to understand its constituent parts. Of course, that was not always necessary, as I also wanted whole ones for my collection that, lepidopteristically speaking, grew quite vast up until the time when I reached adolescence.

I tended to hoard.
I tended to watch.
I tended to peer, to skillfully poke, to listen, ears secretly perked.

In my present situation, there are no mirrors. No, let me be precise. The mirrors do not work. I look and nothing returns my gaze. I straighten the collars of my shirt and I see no Oscar smirking back from that sleek mercurial surface. Mind, I saw a sort of Me, once. Like a cloud lifting from the mountainside, a face returned my unwitting glance. What I saw was not Me in the present tense, but Me shortly before this tale begins. Upright posture, signet ring on my right hand ring finger (the hand that adjusts my tie), clean shaven, curly black hair just beginning to thin out, full lips in a slightly sardonic smile. To be truthful, if I had met the Me of back then, I don’t think I would enjoy him very much.

But soon I shall become like the usual reflections one sees in mirrors here—absent. In this place where neither beginning nor ending exist, however, let me begin.

Indeed, I defer to the tale.