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From The History of Zero:

On his way home one evening Graham noticed the city had strung its snowflake lights on the poles along Duckworth Street. Now Veronica would really be after him to install the illuminated penguin on the lawn. Did she think he could not hear her through the bedroom door talking on the phone to Gwendolyn Cardoulis, to her mother, to any woman who would listen, about this new man, this back-up singer who sang down at derelict holes in the wall like Roxy’s and the Spur? He would be alone again tonight, he knew, with her Zen fruit bowl and Toulouse Lautrec dining chairs.

He decided to go into Fred’s Records to get himself a CD that he himself might like, instead of Andrea Bocelli or the Finnish Vocal Ensemble singing Abba, but he was out of practice and he did not know what to buy.

"Could you give me some advice," he asked Alistair, who had worked there many years. "I want to listen to something wonderful. Something with profound majesty."

"Can you elaborate a bit more?" Alistair said.

"Maybe I’ll go look. Can I bring a few selections to the counter and get you to help me choose?"


Graham came back twenty minutes later but Alistair was not truly happy with any of his selections. He led Graham to the back and found Beethoven’s Sixth Symphony. "What I would recommend for you," he said, "is the fourth section. Do you have a minute?"


"Do you mind if I just tell you what Hector Berlioz said about it?"


"I’ve got it right here." He took out his personal notebook. "Listen," he read, "to those gusts of wind, laden with rain; those sepulchral groanings of the basses; those shrill whistles of the piccolo, which announce that a fearful tempest is about to burst. Are you still with me?"


"The hurricane approaches, swells; an immense chromatic streak, starting from the highest notes of the orchestra, goes burrowing down into its lowest depths and seizes the basses, carries them along and ascends again, writhing like a whirlwind which levels everything in its passage... Can I go on for one more little bit?"


"It is no longer merely a wind and rain storm; it is a frightful cataclysm, the universal deluge, the end of the world."


"So I think you might like that. I can open it up for you. Would you like to put the headphones on and give it a listen?"

"No, I’m going to trust you."


"I don’t want the frightful cataclysm to hit me in a public place. I’m going to unleash the universal deluge in my own private mausoleum."

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On April 19th, 2007 02:05 am (UTC), 534mu5 commented:
i'm caught up in the orchestral moment here. it's a fine snapshot of a moment, reminds me slightly of niffenegger's "time traveler's wife" somehow. good writing. keep going.
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On May 8th, 2007 07:34 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
explosive writing Kathleen. iLove it! Alison D.
On May 9th, 2007 01:05 pm (UTC), (Anonymous) replied:
Hey thanks, Alison, for visiting here! You should take WANL up on their offer of a webpage. All you do is send in a photo and text and whatever links you want there, and Kelly-Anne will do it all for you as part of your membership. WANL rocks!!! Go do it. Start a blog of your own. While we're at it, I mess around on Facebook too. You should join. We isolated writers need it so...
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