No one knew their child’s first word, but parents remembered their squalled first note, and whether it had been flat or sharp. The most successful business in town was one that sold hifi systems only capable of playing the inaudible portions of classic records, presenting the previously imperceptibly muffled coughs of bassoonists, and the swish of the conductor’s baton.
Hands had never known knives, and it was appropriate to offer the fork a small apology each time it was used, and when finished, lick it carefully clean, before placing it, tines down, on a cloth napkin. Precision guided them from epoch to epoch: different numbers of sneezes even denoted different ailments, and so could not be treated till the patient had gotten better.
In the ravine they pile their partial projects, an unceasing caesura of impractical verse, shifty stacks of Lincoln logs, the fragmented machines of unfinished manuscripts, half made cocktails rusting the gears of model trains, paint-by-number canvases with the primes part-filled providing shade. When youth come of age, they venture into these catacombs and return with one improbable possibility.