Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Romance In My Kitchen

“How old is Jennifer now?” Norman asked, pleased to pull the name from his memory. And what was her husband’s name? He was a physicist, Norman remembered, something like that. Sandy blond man. Had a beard. Wore bow ties.

“Nine. She’s pitching for the Evanston Little League now. Not much of a student, but a hell of a pitcher.” She sounded proud. “How’s your family? Ellen?”

“She’s fine. The kids are fine. Tim’s a sophomore at Chicago. Amy’s at Andover. How is ...”

“George? We divorced three years ago,” Beth said. “George had a year at CERN in Geneva, looking for exotic particles, and I guess he found whatever he was looking for. She’s French. He says she’s a great cook.” She shrugged. “Anyway, my work is going well. For the past year I have been working with cephalopods—squid and octopi.”

“How’s that?”

“Interesting. It gives you quite a strange feeling to realize the gentle intelligence of these creatures, particularly octopi. You know an octopus is smarter than a dog, and would probably make a much better pet. It’s a wonderful, clever, very emotional creature, an octopus. Only we never think of them that way.”

Norman said, “Do you still eat them?”

“Oh, Norman.” She smiled. “Do you still relate everything to food?”

“Whenever possible,” Norman said, patting his stomach.

“Well, you won’t like the food in this place. It’s terrible. But the answer is no,” she said, cracking her knuckles. “I could never eat an octopus now, knowing what I do about them.”

from “Sphere”
by Michael Crichton

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