Blake was born beautiful. No, really. His eyelashes curled up like bits of a butterfly, his skin never had any of those funny baby blemishes that make new mothers sad and nervous. Blake’s baby skin was an affirmation of procreation, of breeding, of copulation, as were his golden curls that sprung from his perfectly round baby head like morning glories. He was, as far as babies go (and I think I’ve made my point here) perfect. Other new mothers in the pristine little neighborhood they resided in practically dropped their own imperfect pimpled, squalling, colicky babies to scoop Blake out of his blue pram and coo like pigeons and narrow their eyes just slightly at his lovely mother. She was really, really lovely, so lovely that even if you saw a photo of her from that time, you wouldn’t be struck at the photo’s quaint antiquity but by her beauty, by her clear eyes and skin and blatantly pouting lips. Blake was born in 1909, and in 1909 women’s skin was quite porcelain, their hair flowed without conditioner (though they had their share of tonics), and they usually gathered it in odd mushroom shapes under bold hats. If a lady was troubled and came from money or married someone who invented something useful, she took a rest cure a far away place (sometimes a hundred miles by train way) and strolled by fountains and in clean white corridor-red buildings. If their cheeks flushed with emotion, temptation, or rapture, they were expected to ignore the urge until it died down or just buried itself deep within their tight corset. Blake’s mother belonged to this world, but was a cloud. She was vapor, blonde and blue eyed and wore her hair down most days. Her most prized possession was solitude, so she took walks by herself to a nearby stream (this was when neighborhoods backed up to wilderness and the wilderness stayed until Oklahoma) and swam in her underthings, and didn’t mind if parts of her showed under the flickering-through-the-tree-canopy light that were supposed to be a secret. Coincidently, Blake’s father found her like this once shortly after their perfect little wedding, and this was how Blake entered the Universe.