He got it, sure thing, the message that turned his timorous ears into putty. The words didn’t mean much to him (too many q’s, too many z’s and too many p’s), but he could sense the tone of the tome. Even letters on a page that hug each other closely like lovers alone at night to form words can have a tone, a timbre, a sound. A collection of ink spots on a page that make marks mean something. But then meaning is only ever fleeting. The semantic always descends into the asemic. Lines become blotches and spots become splats. He was terrified. He couldn’t answer it. The ringing, ringing note that blotted out all hope, all light.