In Sitka, because they are fond of them, people have named the seals. Every seal is named Earl because they are killed one after another by the orca, the killer whale; seal bodies tossed left and right into the air. "At least he didn't get Earl," someone says. And sure enough, after a time, that same friendly, bewhiskered face bobs to the surface. It's Earl again. Well, how else are you to live except by denial, by some palatable fiction, some little song to sing while the inevitable, the black and white blindsiding fact, comes hurtling toward you out of the deep?
"Earl" by Louis Jenkins, from North of the Cities.