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21 Sep 2003

The telescope had been a present from his parents, twenty years ago. It was almost too good to look at the stars with. The magnification was so high and the picture so rich that the telescope almost gave more information about the atmosphere than about the stars beyond it. They fizzed and twinkled with the wind and air, light being battered this way and that by mile-deep currents far above the young Christopher. Perhaps if they'd lived higher up, or further out of the city....

Social Event

8 Sep 2003

I don't like parties. Well, I tell people that, don't I, because they don't understand otherwise. I like my own parties more, but I don't tell people that for the same reason. Better off sober at parties, really, because then I make fewer mistakes. I don't think I'm autistic or anything, but complicated social things pass me by. When I first heard about that quantum stuff, with one thing affecting another thing when they're miles apart, but you can't even look at what's passing between them because that spoils the effect...

Didcot Parkway

28 Aug 2003

Stopped in Didcot Parkway: engines off for twenty minutes now. Every few minutes the automatic announcements would apologize for the delay, out in the station and echoing across platform, and tracks, and platform.... The excuse had begun as a signal failure. Over time it mutated into vandalism, documented in its evolution by the occasional human announcer admitting sheepishly - but more reassuringly - to a lack of any clue.


18 Aug 2003

In Chris' social horizon (which was somewhat narrower than the far-off band of his spatial horizon) everyone had started meeting at dinner parties. At any rate, everyone who met everyone that does, does. The musical chairs that takes place there is no more structured or codified than the drunken spinning round each other in a club or basking in the stupid/great noise of a band at a gig. But the language is easier to learn. Pidgin Debrett's, filtered and creoled but still intact: start outwards, work inwards; pay no attention to your food; eat invisibly, and act charmingly.


10 Aug 2003

So high up. On the one occasion when he had dared open a window in the office - the air condition had not been conditioning anything that day - the glass panels below him had pulled his eyes to the ground. More like a floor than a wall, the side of the building had played jokerish tricks with the directions inside his head. It had suddenly clicked for him why traders traditionally leapt out of buildings whenever the markets dived: they weren't just taking advantage of the macabre convenience; every one of them secretly wanted to do it all the time.