The trouble with choosing an essay title which includes a metaphor is that it generates a sort of Tristram Shandy of essays. Instead of Sterne’s digressions On Noses and such Shandean topics, I could have written On Beginnings that are Endings, On Endings that are Beginnings, On Association, On Uncanonical Canons, On Questions, On Mosaics Ancient and Modern, and, of course, On Metaphor.
I ruthlessly removed most of these essays from the assignment finally submitted, compromising somewhat with the expectations of the tutor (which I may or may not have guessed correctly), though I worked out some of the phantom digressions whilst daydreaming in the shower. Vestiges remain in the multiple drafts on file, and in the back of my mind. They will also show up later in my water bill.