I’m afraid they don’t. It would be interesting to be there if they should begin to ask it, wouldn’t it?
Yes.... I’d like to be there when some I know ask themselves! But they never will. Why should they?
Don’t you mean how can they?
Yes, of course. They don’t ask the question because the big thing they are doing seems to be the answer beforehand. But it isn’t! Not compared with the Old Testament. So we have to ask it for ourselves. And that’s why I came here....
Oh. You want to know where they are, with their power, or where you will be without it?
Where I’ll be. I hate it! But what else is there to-day?
Why, there’s you.
But that’s just it! What am I for if I can’t join in? I came to you.... You don’t mind my talking, do you?
On the contrary.
Well, everybody I know is a part of it, so how could they tell me what to do outside of it? I’ve been wondering about that for a year. Before then, when I was just a boy, the world seemed full of everything, but now it seems to have only one thing. That or nothing. Then one day I saw a photograph somebody had cut out of a Sunday paper, and I thought to myself there’s a man who seems outside, entirely outside, and yet he has something. It wasn’t all or nothing for him ... and I wondered who it was. Then I found your book, with the same picture in it. You bet I read it right off! It was the first time in my life I had ever felt power as great as skyscrapers and railroads and yet apart from them. Outside of all they mean. Like the Old Testament. Those poems!
You liked them?
It was more than that. How can a fellow like the ocean, or a snow storm?
Is that what you thought they were like?
Why, they went off like a fourteen inch gun! Not a whine about life in them—not a single regret for anything. They were wonderful! They seemed to pick up mountains and cities and toss them all about like toys. They made me feel that what I was looking for was able to conquer what I didn’t like.... I said to myself I don’t care if he does laugh at me, I’ll go and ask him where all that power is! And so I came....