S. Burgess

Sense and Antisense


Though quashed by dizziness, I feel supersymmetric today, and I'm taking this microelectronic variance as a good sign. No point in blasting the moon just to control our nucleotides. So Idon't get along with computers. So what. You know, I'll never have to buy a light bulb again. Thank whatever, they're under warranty.

But how's your wife, Phil? Mine's praying for yours. Put a cross in our room. No more half-naked men in the bedroom, I'd say. But I'm not allowed. Wilson was right. Before you know it, they'll breed out balls.

The other night, we had spaghetti--the kid's idea--and she said, "You made this, didn't you angel?" I scoffed; I said, "I boiled it darling; I didn't make it." "So at least admit you had a hand in it," she said. "The spaghetti, pumpkin, was always there." "Well then," she grinned. "We shall forever by satiated, and dinner will have no help from me." So we had take-out last night before she and Tommy went to church. "Jesus Christ, Dad. I'm just curious," he said. Lost and limbic, I'm afraid. "Limbo, Dad. Limbo." The nerve of that boy.

Now look, I'm as soft a determinist as the next geneticist, but I was a mess. I dove back into old dissertations. Adrenal Glands and Defiance. Adolescence and Narcissistic Personality Disorder. And suddenly I'm thinking, if I love Thomast, what about Thomast+11? Are they the same? And when I found myself at ego-identity vs. role confusion I started crying. I mean, Erikson--he wasn't even a real scientist. I curled up on the floor, trying to maximize surface area, not rely so heavily on equilibrioception, and I just couldn't stop crying. It felt like the world was snapping back in on itself, furiously imploding intoonedark point of infinite density.

Tommy came in, via the direct route, and squatted down in front of me. "That's really not the way to increase blood flow," he said. "I'll get your some gum." I sat up, wiped my nose. "Histamine--" I said. He returned with some horrifically brignt hexahedron. It couldn't have been organic. I popped it in my mouth. "Enjoy church?" He didn't answer, but his brow gathered. This allowed a strand of black hair to fall over his eyes, all his mother's, that awful penetrating brown. "Did you pray?" He looked away. "Yes." "Well? What did you pray for?" He slid to the ground. I didn't realize how slight he is. You've met him. He seems so large. "Balance. For neurotransmitters," he said. Down the hall, his mother was looking for him. He moved closer. "Tell me about the big bang again, dad," he said. I choked out a laugh. "It's just a theory." "Yeah dad," he said, "but that's all we've got."

So I told him. I'm not sure he was hearing me, but I'm sure he was listening.

Anyhow. Phil. This kid, he will be the greatest thing you've ever done. I only hope yours turns out half as good. Although, I find it a genetic improbability.

Well there's always hope.


1 comment:

ofelia said...

This is one of my favorite stories of all time.