Barking Kitten

Fiction, musings on literature, food writing, and the occasional Friday cat blog. For lovers of serious literature, cooking, and eating.


Close to forty. Not cool. Politically left. Atheist. Happily married. No kids.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Pink Microscope, concluded

Gong finds him sometime later, slumped over the desk.
"I find something," Gong announces.
"Not now."
"I find. You look."
"Gong, can't you understand English? I said not now."
"I understand English fine. You look what I find. You look now."
Allan turns. Gong is standing with his arm outstretched. Flat on his palm are a pair of small, dark rimmed spectacles, their temples slightly askew.
Missy's glasses.

Betty, it turns out, really is in Italy. She told him the Tina story to buy enough time to get out of the country. She has apprenticed herself to Marcella Hazan's son. She has also retained the services of an excellent lawyer, who will shortly serve Allan papers.

Gong has accepted a junior faculty position at Oregon Health Sciences University.

Gordon Knaffler's wife finds out about Sabine. She, too files for divorce. Gordon and Sabine, jubilant, are planning a July wedding. They tell Allan they hope he'll be well enough by then to attend.

Allan only nods. Later, driving home, Gordon says it's tragic that Allan must be so heavily dosed with lithium. "That brilliant mind," He says in his sonorous voice. "ruined."

Sabine winces, recalling the day Allan was removed from his office by the University Police, raving about tutu-wearing microscopes, Marie Curie, and unsolved murders.

Time passes. The pleat in everyday reality smooths. People begin to forget what happened.

In Korea, at Seoul National University, a box arrives at a scientist's office. Soon wondrous claims are emerging: cloned dogs, stem cells created from twenty-odd clean cell lines. The possibilities for alleviating suffering cannot be ignored. So much, it seems, is suddenly within reach.


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