Although ‘twas the season to be jolly I was feeling anything but as I passed in front of one gaily painted storefront after another, most of them posh antique shops or art galleries, their gas-lit doorways draped with fresh-cut pine wound with ribbons, their interiors shimmering with holiday lights. While I’d read through only the tiniest fraction of the slave accounts, I’d uncovered a dark thread that seemed to coil up and around me as I marched down those delightful French Quarter streets, the wind gusting behind me as if to say run, run! Issues of physical fitness aside, however, there was no way I could run that fast. And if I couldn’t escape, how could I possibly have done what I did, this being to quietly expect—no, to demand—that Catfish break free, that he discreetly disentangle himself from that thread, a thread with which his very being was stitched through and through? What’s more, not until now—as I sit here scribbling these words—am I finally getting around to articulating this: Isn’t it possible that, on more than one occasion in Catfish’s past, it was in the process of trying to unravel himself from that infinitely malignant thread that, in that form of despair most desperate, he alternately wove it into a noose?