My masterpiece is still wet. It will not burn.
She is Sri Lankan. She keeps telling me I’m a great writer, which annoys me, but she insists. I say: If I’m a great writer, why aren’t I rich and famous?
I have a while to wait until it is burnable.
She says: Until the giant sleeps, the dwarfs play everywhere. That is both folksy and elegant but, in the context, doesn’t make sense. I lose my patience and say: Well, don’t call me great anymore. Truth be told, I’m one of the dwarfs. Besides, calling me great stimulates egotism and, as a Buddhist, you know that’s not desirable.
I have thus far left no trace of myself, of my “talent.” I have not given in to ego. I have thus not contributed to genocide or war.
Okay, I’m sorry. I won’t call you great anymore. She goes walking around the lake. When she returns she says: You know what I think of when I see cranes? I think of tying their long necks together. They have lovely long necks with tiny soft feathers. So white. So white.