My friend Aerobespierre comes over to fix himself a cheese snack. “Ça va?” he says, carrying off the knockwurst, too. He’s French, he’s revolutionary, and he’s the most oxygenated person I know: his blood-gasses must be epic. I could shrug, I could make a hundred gestures, but I shrug, ça va. (Last week, he ate all my ethnic chowders, and the week before that, all my ethnic filets!) His wife might be pregnant, he’s saying, between mouthfuls, and if it’s a girl, they’re going to call the kid Anaerobespierre, after her father. But that’s not the big news, no, his interview with the new Hiberno-English mope-pop band, Sinn Féin Young Cannibals, has hit the press. The piece covers a wide swath of territory, but focuses on the band’s debut album, When Domestic Animals Answer Lonesome Train Whistles. The band claims that train whistles offer a maudlin commentary on the nocturnal intervals of middle distance. He shows me an excerpt: “Ça va?” he says; “What’re you like?” says the band; “Pardon?” he says; “Christ on a bike!” says the band. There is (1) Work and there is (2) Pain, we agree, if one requires a simplified system of categories, in order to deposit the experiences of our lives. A human being is to bonfire as Pain is to darkness, we agree, if one requires a visual on how Pain (darkness) grapples with the human being (bonfire) in a person’s daily exuberances; all else can be classified as Work. Aerobespierre toils to avoid any mention of the guillotine, or words that rhyme with guillotine. I’ve caught him more than once in a cold sweat on Rhymezone clicking around between histamine, kerosene, Philistine, and nicotine, and I think, as a Frenchman, he fears all four transpiring at once—an allergic, gasoline-wielding ruffian (“Regardez!”) just about to Zippo a cigarette.