Kottman had scheduled, at that very moment, and previously, a lunch appointment with his mother. Kottman regretted his submission to her demand that they must meet at once to discuss an urgent matter. For then and always Kottman regretted his regret, for he knew regret, futile though not, an impoverished way of thought, of thinking, of true reminiscence radically elsewhere trapped in the calculation of time. So naturally Kottman had nothing to reminiscence about whatsoever when it came to maternal material. But this too he regretted as he stared out the window. Why all these cars lined the block he would never know. Certainly he could inquire, leave inquiries on the windshields, perhaps an invisible carnival had arrived, one preferably serving decapitations. Kottman tried to lose himself in this musing, he could concentrate on morbid possibilities for hours, for years even, following the consequent reasoning chains flawlessly, correctly, Kottman considered himself a scientist in these matters, Kottman could not now lose himself in the reasoning, the thinking through of the jam-packed block, inside and out, regret returned, he could not now control his thinking, incessant regret always bubbled up when a meeting with his mother approached like vomit. Regret for their gathering always unleashed regret for their original gathering, Kottman knew she had always regretted him for she had told him this countless times during his childhood, he kept tally and he felt the same, Kottman wanted to banish the regret or himself, he did not want to fixate upon regret in preparation for the regretful meeting with his mother, this would devolve into rehearsal, he always knew when others had rehearsed, so he refused always to rehearse. It was a matter of principle for Kottman for it was always a matter of principle for Kottman. To shift his attitude toward the lunch appointment, his attitude of regret that he regretted, Kottman commenced his mental exercises, whispering his canonized phrases out of earshot of the neighbors, always out of earshot of the neighbors. He was holed up in his apartment speaking to himself, if someone heard Kottman that would be the end of Kottman, he charted the canon, he charted all of his resentments, all of them, tracing them to his upbringing, to moments in his upbringing, they might have lasted not an instant, Kottman conjugated them all, linking everything, as Kottman always did. Kottman took pride in this capacity, the ability, in a sense, to synthesize the one with the many, the all with the one without atonement, there was never any atonement for violations that inscribed themselves, somehow, upon his heart of violation, deep within the violations were buried, deep within Kottman Kottman further traced by means of this microhistory his desire to not show up to the lunch appointment, the regret had already transformed, it had now become desire, a desire to abscond, here and there, to the hereafter. The realization of either would fantastically show up his always timely father who could no longer show up to lunch appointments following the recent refusal to resuscitate Kottman was forced to administer, Kottman did desire its execution but still felt forced, he felt it was his obligation to the world, to his sister, to his mother, this ruined everything for Kottman, nothing could force him, nothing no matter what. That the decision lay in Kottman’s hands must have constituted the final insult of Kottman from the father of Kottman, the Kottman of the Kottman, the sense of obligation Kottman felt toward others staved off his parricidal wishes, wishes he wished he could wish away not because he saw anything wrong with wishing these wishes, but rather because these wishes had not yet proven fruitful for his work. The work of Kottman was all that mattered to Kottman, even if he rarely finished it, actually finished it, any of it to completion, true completion, pure completion, a completed completion. Kottman never felt inhibited by his desire for completion, everyone else merely finished things, this was the key distinction between him and them, he didn’t want to attend the lunch appointment, his relationship with his mother could not complete, he had so much to say, sufficient time, let alone space, could never facilitate the listing of his complete list of grievances, the sufficiency could not materialize. Staring out the window, Kottman considered giving up on it all. But what about his work? And so the thinking of Kottman broke. Respite broke through. Kottman considered a run around the block of Kottman. And so Kottman started running. Kottman was running, he was trying to not think, not thinking was impossible for Kottman, he could not muster the words to classify the state he sought, here and there he achieved it, but the state would not last long, he would regress to thought, staring straight ahead he tried to quiet everything, this would be pure experience, the words would fall away, no words would take their place, what the monks described, what the monks experienced, this was not what he sought, other worlds meant nothing to Kottman, there was no real world to Kottman aside his work. Kottman was running. He felt heavier than he did yesterday, he began thinking through this, thinking through all the possible reasons he felt more heavy now than he did yesterday while running, nothing seriously plausible emerged, aside from the impending lunch appointment, it must be the lunch appointment, it could only be the lunch appointment, he would drag himself at gunpoint to the lunch appointment without preparing in any way whatsoever for the lunch appointment, if he had to, but he must not have to, his appearance across the table could only consecrate momentarily his volition. Kottman wanted to stop running. Kottman did not stop running. Kottman kept running. As his eyes traversed the hellscape, suddenly, he knew not why, though he soon would, everything came alive. From everything poured forth history, everything so alive, so significant, so vital. Kottman looked up, the infinite blue stretch summoned him, awed by the mystery Kottman almost raised up his hands, tilted back his head, and closed his eyes, but others were near, Kottman could never reconcile himself to the city, it was unfortunate that his work was only possible here, it was a travesty, but here there was no travesty Kottman knew deep within for the travesty was necessary and no necessity could constitute travesty, in fact Kottman was born in the city, but in any event Kottman would not die in the city even if it were fate, he could not, his last glimpse could only be quiet sky, this was all that mattered nearly. Suddenly the day felt different. This lunch appointment would be different. Kottman had not felt such a way for a long time. Since when Kottman could not remember. Feeling this way felt new, brand new, a new feeling, for the first time, the very first time. Kottman felt the desire to confess. To whom? To his parents, to these two figures with grand claims concerning his existence, claims he would never acknowledge, claims he could only pantomime. These parents of Kottman were not, then and before, the shepherds he needed, parents must shepherd their young through life until their young are young no longer, they must beautifully shepherd them, as if the day were perfect, a perfect day, few parents shepherd, the parents of Kottman could and would never shepherd Kottman through the workings of the world, certainly not through the worlding, only keen sight may behold worlding, if the shepherd lacks, so will his flock, at least at first, but this was not so with Kottman. The parents of Kottman completely lacked keen sight, Kottman was born nevertheless with it for somehow it came engrained in his constitution, it was always a matter of constitution with Kottman, the first glimpse of the world by Kottman was sharp, he first blinked soon after, such miraculous sight has since remained. Kottman nevertheless did indeed require shepherding, why Kottman did not precisely know, Kottman never received his shepherding, he was forced to shepherd himself through life, it could have been no other way, Kottman shepherded himself through life at gunpoint, this is how Kottman did things, this was how things must always be done to achieve clarity when the shepherds remain absent, these sorts of beings unique in this way, only they require shepherding, born prematurely for all time, these beings only. From approximately his eighteen month, when time gathered Kottman, threw Kottman forth into history, into his history, into the history of him, Kottman turned himself against the world, he fully turned on his own himself around, his soul, his being, followed, Kottman began to hate, to hate the world, his parents, all they represented, all that which the world represented alongside its representations. For a long period this hatred stunted Kottman’s development. But no longer. Hatred now propelled Kottman in spite of his parents, in spite of the world, the parents of Kottman begat Kottman how most beings do, thoughtlessly, without proper preparation, it was just one of those things that so happens, it seemed the proper thing to do. They attempted to rear Kottman for their own purposes, Kottman resisted completely for Kottman could not be reared for any purpose but his own, at first he could not completely resist, when he outstripped his prematurity he could, he did, Kottman really did resist completely. Kottman became his own shepherd in spite of everything. Everything tilted against him. Everything arranged to thwart his thought — the thought of Kottman, a world organized to stifle thought could not now stop Kottman. Kottman never relented. Kottman would never whatever occurred whatsoever. Kottman ran to lunch.