Halvard Johnson
Slow Curve

One person's prayer, another person's blasphemy. Together with
his snoring and his association with the Japanese Lunchbox Hoax,
this was almost enough to put her over the edge. "I know that neither
trees nor elephants are black holes," she would have said had she

had the words to say it. She was up to write her letters at four, when
the clouds had not yet lifted from the treetops, and then she'd spend
most of the rest of the morning with her collection of Gerard Depardieu
autographs, the ones she'd purchased on eBay, the house around her,

shuttered and still. Outside the house, the streets were cordoned off
with ropes, as though that would protect anyone against anything nowadays.
Around lunchtime she turns on the news. The camera catches a newscaster
who doesn't realize he's on the air snarling, "This computer broken or what?"

before grinning sheepishly into the lens and launching into his recital of yet
another morning's disasters. And, from there on, it's all downhill.