It’s all jokes Paul wrote in what he was now calling his Hymnal. He had been writing non-stop all day, because he didn’t count pee or cigarette breaks. All art is an inside joke. The symbology involved must be—and here he put down his pen and held his head in his hands. He could never think of the word—he said often that he had no words. He opened to a new page in his Hymnal. On the top of it was written in bold script HYMN 386: JOKES.

Paul scowled. Who had written in his Hymnal? he wondered. He said it out loud a moment after: “Who has written in my Hymnal?” He realized he was alone in his Writing Shack, which was really a shed in the back of his mother’s garden. He wondered why he had to say his thoughts before they became real to him (if this was a habit or an inborn trait). He realized simultaneously that

  1. he could ask someone and
  2. that this was something he wondered every time he spoke his thoughts out loud.

He resolved to put the issue to rest by asking someone.