When Wile E. Coyote steps off a ledge in a Warner Brothers cartoon, he just stands there for a while — suspended by dumbness in midair — unaware of the effect that gravity is supposed to be having on his body. He looks left. He looks right. Idly, he scratches his head.
Then the Road Runner points helpfully downward for him — once, twice. The Coyote glances around, then glances around again. Nothing. A mere nothing — what could the bird be pointing at? Then he looks down. With the look comes the realization. With the realization comes the fall. And so upon looking he is made aware and so he hurtles to the canyon floor, his body haloing dirt and dust when he finally splats upon the ground.
…So I felt the other evening, when I thought you were going to say something else, and then you told me that the two of us were breaking up. It took me a moment. A moment to get it. Once I got it, I would have liked to flip up a tiny handmade sign. The sign would have said this — “HELP?”; that is what it would have said. And you could have regarded me, standing there for a second. Before I plummeted to nothingness, in the fall.