“Used to be voices all round that place. Quiet, now,” Stamp said. “I been past it a few times and I can’t hear a thing. Chastened, I reckon, ‘cause Mr. Bodwin say he selling soon’s he can.”

As a matter of fact, Paul D doesn’t care how It went or even why. He cares about how he left and why. When he looks at himself through Garner’s eyes, he sees one thing. Through Sixo’s, another. One makes him feel righteous. One makes him feel ashamed.

“You your best thing, Sethe. You are.”

There is a loneliness that can be rocked. Arms crossed, knees drawn up; holding, holding on, this motion, unlike a ship’s, smooths and contains the rocker.

This is not a story to pass on.