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Fulham Road

We prepared to cross Fulham Road--

me and a girl who’d picked me up

on the Russian freighter. It was the

fall of 1977, and we were in London

on our way to-- well, it doesn’t matter

now. It ended badly. She stepped from

the curb, looking the wrong way. I

saw the snot-brown Vauxhall headed

straight for her blind side.

Instinctively, I threw out my arm to

restrain her. Just in time. The buffeting

announced that we were still alive.

She said, “Don’t patronize me.

I know where I’m going. Never do that

again. And another thing. Stop telling

people who pick us up that you’re a

writer. That’s not for you to say.

That’s for others to decide.”

I looked her in the eye. She was

serious. And I wondered if I’d made

a mistake in saving her from the

Vauxhall. But then, this was 1977.

And everything was different then.


A Split of the Atomic

The physicist Wolfgang Pauli was

first to discover the neutrino, a

particle so small as to be invisible;

with his eye fixed on the theoretical

he never saw the possibility that

his wife might be drifting away.

When told she was leaving him for a

colleague, the distinguished man

could only think to respond, “A

chemist? You say that you’re leaving

me for a chemist?” But she did.

And history was still made.