Narwhal Machine: Who are you?
Jacques Tomlinson: My name is Tullardo Jones. I have controversial theories about language. I have nightmares about giant catfish. I don't eat mushrooms because they remind me of my mother. When I'm alone I twitch uncontrollably and sing songs that have never been written. I want to be a slayer of demons, but I can never find any demons to slay?
NM: Why giant catfish?
JT: Well, the catfish is a symbol of the unfulfilled desires of humanity. It similar to—are you familiar with the concept of a hungry ghost?
JT: Well, a hungry ghost, it's hungry, you see. It desires food, of course, but its mouth is too small to eat.
NM: And so you're afraid of hunger? Or more generally, you're afraid of being unsatisfied?
NM: But what is life like with all hungers sated, with all desires fulfilled? Is it desirable?
JT: Perhaps it is desirable to the hermit crab.
NM: The hermit crab?
JT: Yes, the hermit crab, the natural enemy of the catfish.
NM: I thought the hermit crab was God.
JT: Only in the Mandolesian tradition.
NM: Well of course, but—
JT: The Mandolesians cannot grasp it. The hermit crab.
NM: They can't grasp anything.
JT: Of course not, they were all born without fingers.
NM: Can they grasp in a metaphorical sense?
JT: Perhaps if we view their actions, we who grasp, we can construe them as a metaphorical grasping. But, for them, they can't even imagine the concept of grasping. No words for grasping exist in their language.
NM: Is that a deficiency of their language or of their imagination?
JT: In both, undoubtedly. Just as my unsightly appearance is due to both deficiency of aesthetic sensibility and vitamin C.
NM: Deficiency of my aesthetic sensibility or of yours?
JT: Does it matter?
NM: That's preposterous.
JT: I didn't even make a statement. How can it be preposterous?
NM: Your question was preposterous. “Does it matter?” Does it matter if it matters?
JT: Can I answer that question?
JT: How can you constrain me like that?
NM: Fine, answer it if you want.
JT: I won't.
NM: That's how.
JT: I object. That constraint was entirely self-imposed.
NM: That's not what you—wait—
NM: I love you.
NM: I love you.
NM: I love you, Farik, I love you. Let's run away, let's go to the Azures where no one will find us, where no one can judge our love, where we will be free to run and laugh and play—
JT: You mean the Azores?
JT: You said the Azures. They're called the Azores.
NM: How can you let a detail like that get in the way of our love? Oh, it will never work. You always lose our love in details like that. Oh, it was never meant to be.