Jenny is eleven years old. She lives on a farm in Luxembourg, West Virginia. Today Jenny is collecting eggs from the henhouse. It is 10 a.m. She walks slowly down the rows of cages, feeling around carefully for eggs tucked beneath clucking hens. She finds the first egg in number 6. When she holds it to the light she sees it is the deep tan of boot leather, an old oil-rubbed cowboy boot, creased with microscopic branching lines, catching the light at the swelling above the scarred dusty heel, curled at the cuff, bending and creaking as the foot of the cowboy squirms to rediscover its fit, a leathery thumb and index prying at the scruff, the heel stomping the floor. Victor the hotel manager swings open the door and gives Cowboy a faint smile.
"Take care of yourself, dirt." And he is gone, as they are all gone.
Cowboy stands, almost hitting his head on the overhead light. He is again surprised by his own height, again reminded he is taller than he realizes. He is mildly dizzy, a subtle oscillation of the floor and walls. Suddenly across the room he spots his own face staring back from warped and dusty oblong mirror above the wash basin. His face looks empty, all the light drawn out of it, the lines tired, like slackened cables beneath the skin. He pulls on a jacket and a scratchy but warm poncho and takes a little silver folding blade from a back pocket and tucks it into the crook in his boot. He pulls a string on the overhead bulb and the room is sunk into partial darkness. He patiently waits until he hears Lor's pebble tick against the window. He counts to thirty and then quickly descends the back stairs to the street.
Who exists in metaphor? Who in pataphor? Who in reality?
What does Victor mean by "dirt?"
What is the meaning of the line: "And he is gone, as they are all gone?"
Is Cowboy a figment of Jenny's imagination or something else? If not, what else?
What is the relationship of reality to metaphor in general? Of reality to pataphor?
Who was Lor and why did Cowboy count to thirty?
Is it possible for a man to die but live on in metaphor? To die in metaphor but remain alive in reality? To die in pataphor but live on in metaphor? To get sick in reality, die in metaphor and in pataphor remain in perfect health?
What is the second question of this test?