Miss Lasqueti, recalling how the man she first worked for once lifted a corner of a tapestry and showed her how the colors were more brilliant on the back than on the surface, remembers him saying, “This is where the power is, you see. Always. The underneath.” Years into his adulthood, Michael visits a gallery that has an exhibition of paintings done by Cassius and discovers the underside of his time with Cassius on the boat, Cassius whose whisper Michael could never unlearn. The paintings, depicting the evening when the ship enters Port Said, are from a child’s perspective of the night and Michael feels he is watching “where Cassius was emotionally, when he was doing these paintings.” “Goodbye,” he recalls, “we were saying to all of them. Goodbye.”
more from Shastri Akella at The Common here.