Tonight the woman who always calls, calls. This time she asks me how to divide a beggar and an arctangent. What could I have possibly said to her? I think she is a keeper. "Stop trying to mix the humanities and the sciences. And go to bed." I nod to the phone and the phone clicks off. Outside, a noise sounds like thunder, though it could be a stray dog rolling a garbage can for shelter. I turn off my flickering bedside light (brown-outs, again, all over central Brazil) and tell the clock, "wake me at six am," attempting to sleep. I sleep.
An hour later she calls back. "But I can't sleep. I can't stand the fact that all across the Americas windows are opening and closing, opening, and I'm not looking out of them all of them, all at once." I have the vague feeling I ought to know her well; I can't remember a thing about her.
09 February 2005
"A Keeper" Online
Alan DeNiro's excellent story "A Keeper" is now online. I wrote about it last year in a review of Electric Velocipede #6, and it recently appeared on the Locus 2004 Recommended Reading list. Here's the beginning: