single X, I crossed out "The Angry Child" before turning to
the more substantial story I was writing, "The Fat Lady." The
"Lady" was two pages as opposed to one, and she felt as heavy
as an ocean. I was breaking through barnacle, trying to unlock what I
thought was lost treasure, when the X that I had drawn over the "Child"
started to spin. Explaining the movement, the "Lady" said to
me: "The 'Child' whom you tried to kill is more mesmerized than angry.
On the map of survival, the X you made is a mobile above a crib. The 'Child'
under the X finds the mobile so fascinating because it is turning with
a skeleton key to understanding. It is conveying the little that the shocked
infant gets. With each turn, the X says to the 'Child': You are here."
"Key" is an attempt to write with precision about what it means to lack a sense of place and of home. The piece has been lost, recovered and revised many times. Over the years, I have come to see how the subject resists any home I make for it on the page. This resistance has become part of the story.