Rémi and I go out for drinks: double, triple, quadruple our single malts.

I am watching myself change every day, Rémi says. Am I the Devil?

I don't say anything, and turn my attention instead to the glass in my right hand.

Perhaps, he muses, unaware of my unawareness. You tell me. And I'll smile, nod, call over the asshole that serves drinks around here to bring another round, and when it's over, I'll kick the fucking shit out of you in the alley.

Consider it a gift, he says.

I laugh.

And laugh, he says, yes, laugh! I will join in the chorus, it is what I am wont to do, anymore.

He sighs. No, he says, focus on the polygons, focus on the complex shapes, focus on the abundance of notions, focus on the mess, focus on the less tractable structures, then take the knife and use it properly.