Then came the Year of the Dragon. Changes in weather patterns, cloud formations no one had seen. When the I Ching came back it was with symbols we didn't recognize. Everyone thought this was strange. Still we pressed on, single point advancing forward in time -- this was Guy's theory -- "or is time advancing on us?" Angela wanted to know. We all had theories. I had set up shop in the basement to see if I could learn to walk through walls. Research in the behavior of quantum particles suggested it was possible under certain circumstances. But which ones? Angela stopped by with tea. She was worried about me, I could tell from the way she touched my arm. It was a different touch than before. The room was a mess of glassware and unlined paper.
"That's a beautiful photograph."
Time was running out. Meaning: soon there wouldn't be enough money to keep up the project. Guy was practically going bald trying to find donors, but what was sexy last summer had fallen out of fashion. "Explorations into the surface of being are in," he reported sadly. Sad sunset light falling through on his face. "No one wants to walk through walls anymore."
It is true that surfaces seemed sexier than the walking through them... and who can pray at the inner chamber without first loving the outer stone? "Fuck you," Guy said. "Fuck you fuck you fuck you."
We didn't see him after that. I applied for a Master's degree in hand-holding while Angela worked at nights. "My coffee is the best," she said when she came home. "Everyone thinks so."
"I think so, too."
So she made another pot. Eventually got hired to cook for the old folks home at the northernmost tip of the city. It rained a lot but the pay was okay and Angela convinced the higher-ups to take me on as a care-giver. The old folks were happy to have a new care-giver. "The last one hit us with bats," they whispered. It was hard to tell if they were telling the truth or trying to make me feel good. Many hung on to their old ideas, thoroughly unsexy and out of style, though this was once not the case. I listened carefully. Watched them pitch stones across the recreation lake. I even thought about calling Guy with an idea: When an event comes along that changes everything, under certain circumstances can we feel the aftershocks before it happens?
"Bah. When you get older you'll see how time works. In my day we didn't talk about such things. There was a Depression on, you know. You couldn't even buy bread."
Angela made the best tasting soup, everyone agreed. I lost two that first year but that was to be expected. Tried hard, asked good questions. The days moved by more or less evenly, despite reports to the contrary.