The example essays in Kibin's library were written by real students for real classes.The first few times this happened, I found the dog trying to stand up, gazing with frantic concern at her own rear. The collie fell down the basement stairs. A friend named me. The phone never stops ringing, ever since the story hit the national news. Chris lets me work an eccentric schedule; in return I update his publications list for him and listen to stories about outer space. He travels all over the world telling people about the magnetospheres of various planets, and when he comes back he brings me presents—a small bronze box from Africa with an alligator embossed on the top, a big piece of amber from Poland with the wings of flies preserved inside it, and, once, a set of delicate, horrifying bracelets made from the hide of an elephant. Julene settles the dog down again on her blanket. I found her sleeping on the concrete floor in an unnatural position, one leg still awkwardly resting on the last step. The third bullet in the right hand, the fourth in the chest. We sit by the tub. We'll take a look right away. The planes and ridges of his face are more familiar to me than my own. She got to keep her head but lost her body.
This is an affront to the two younger dogs, who know the couch belongs to them; as soon as I settle in they creep up and find their places between my knees and elbows. Before I leave the building I pass Gang Lu in the hallway and say hello.
It seems as ludicrous as everything else. Christoph Goertz.
Lift her down the two steps. The first of his calls makes my heart lurch in a hopeful way. A few small drawings accompanied the text. He says O.
For now, the boxes and the phone calls persuade me that things could turn around at any moment. He nods and smiles at me and then stands at a respectful distance, waiting to ask Chris a question. I remind her of this.
At some point I go into the study to get away from the terrible dimness in the living room—all those eyes, all that calmness in the face of chaos.
Physics, University of Iowa, dead people.