A Plague of Locusts

You have lived long enough to know that every love story sounds apocryphal, especially when it’s true. The fact that Angie saw you in a crowded room, her gaze alighting, then flitting away, then returning with every intention not to linger—but lingering anyway—sounds apocryphal. The fact that you saw her, too, wrapped in a long pistachio sweater you now keep in a cedar chest, her cornflower eyes flashing heedful and keen, and thought green! blue! world! with such furious delight that you instantly foretold she would become so—your world, that is—sounds apocryphal. And the fact that this was only the first day of a ten-day orientation, summarily referred to as The Orientation—words printed in blocky chalk at the top of the board and in an officious font on the header of your handouts—sounds apocryphal enough to border on the absurd. Yet who could deny the way you oriented toward each other, leaning in almost to the point of tipping, desperate not to miss anything the other said or did, and in a manner destined to result in imbrication? That was in fact a word you both learned at The Orientation. The director said, “Think of the way tiles on certain roofs overlap to create a textured pattern. That’s imbricated roofing. Or think of the way layers of tissue overlap as they grow in and gradually seal a wound. That’s imbricated healing. We want our students to read and write that way, attending to the places of overlap between texts, between ideas. Fewer divisions and more connections. That’s imbricated learning in a nutshell.” It was also another way of naming love.