“Basketball at Quantum State U.” / Memorable Fancies #1757

Particles playing basketball: a frustrating game because each shot both goes in the basket and doesn’t. And both the going-in and the not-going-in occur both before and after the shot is taken. Whether or not the shot is taken. And the particles themselves aren’t quite sure who they are: collapsed waves, perhaps, or maybe just coordinates in a vacuous spacetime that might, or might not, exist. Whatever “exist” could mean. [musing after reading Peter Lewis’ excellent book Quantum … [Read more...]

“There Was No Yesterday” / Memorable Fancies #1145

     Yesterday, there was no yesterday. It should have been a Tuesday, but there was no Tuesday. We were confused, alarmed. Had God taken Tuesday off just to show us our need for Him? Critical power loads, water levels, had nearly reached crisis by early today, but desperate hard work finally restored events to their customary disorder. It had been close. Now we’re in a rush to prepare, just in case God takes another day off. We worry about the approaching weekend. <END> Buy it on … [Read more...]

“Dogs Bring Home a Bone” / A Memorable Fancy #196

Every evening after dinner, the neighborhood dogs packed together and ran up into the hills for an hour or so. At first, there was some concern they might attack chickens or livestock or people; and then Doc (that's me) would have to patch them up, except maybe the chickens. But none of that wilding happened that anyone knows. One day last week the dogs came back early. Rusty, my own dog, proudly carried a bone in his mouth, dropped it at my feet. Picking it up, I recognized it as a human … [Read more...]

“Gr … ammar” / A Memorable Fancy #319

At first, “he growled” followed “get out of my face,” or “You and who else?” in bad novels, as in “‘Get out of my face,’ he growled.” But teenagers took it up, you know like they always do, then Hollywood writers. It became a punch line, a trope. Losing some of its jungle allure, growling could be done with a smile, or a wink. A grammar of growls came about, more expressive than one might expect. Growling is pretty much our only way of speaking these days. Now will you just get out of my … [Read more...]

“The Meeting” / A Memorable Fancy #317

     Twelve faceless, identical men sit around a table in a circular room. Everything is white: room, table and chairs, the men themselves, still as mummies. One of these men is me. Which one? If I were to raise my arm, I would know which one is me. All twelve raise their arms; then they lower them. I want to know who I am, and who the others are. I speak. Twelve mummy faces open speechless lips. Air is moved in waves and splashes round the room; then movement dies away. Twelve faceless men sit … [Read more...]

“The Forgetting-Project” / A Memorable Fancy #316

     I did something so awful once, a long time ago, that I want to un-remember it, to un-know it. I went to a psychiatrist last year. He told me to face up to what happened; work through the memory; own it. Repression, he said, is not what I should be doing. But repression is what I’m looking for. The truth isn’t what I want. I don’t need to remember what I did; I’ve remembered that already, time after time. I can’t get it out of my head. Now I just want to remember something else, anything … [Read more...]

“Carousel Number Three” / A Memorable Fancy #315

            An alarm bell rings. Robert Morgan jumps from its suddenness; the sound clatters against his quiet thoughts. Carousel number three starts up with lurches, rattles, and a scrape of belts. Luggage from Flight 760 begins to pour and bump onto the moving belt as passengers subtly jostle for position near the baggage-disgorging mouth.             He waits. The belt stops. His own luggage has not yet appeared. After a few minutes the belt starts up again. More bags appear, pushing and … [Read more...]