Imagine that. We have a little spat, O friends, and suddenly, as if by chance, entire languages slip my mind. Who would have guessed?
Well, I don’t need your Latin, or any of the others, to write as I wish. And I know how much _____ ____ _____ enjoys Chewa, but I’m not feeling very charitable at the moment. So Hindi will have to do, even if it means I have to use reference material as I go to prop up my workhorse vocabulary.
O friends, how have you liked six solid days of uninterrupted design work? There’s nothing quite like rolling up one’s sleeves and bending to the drafting table, squinting hard at the computer screen, and wrestling with physics. No visitors, no walks, no mud baths, no sauna, no progress on your nest: just brass-tacks engineering. Invigorating, isn’t it?
I’d almost forgotten the nearly erotic thrill I derive from this kind of work. There’s something about engineering that reminds me of seduction. Both activities are like a game in which the savvy player uses raw intellect, tricks, intuition, patience, and aggression to coax a mystery into revealing itself, petal after petal. With engineering and seduction equally, the chaser knows that there are teams of smart people all over the world working to get the same thing you want, and that the first one to get it wins the spoils. Something also about how the thing that is sought, the mechanism, the design, the submission, the sex—it was always there for the taking to the one who wanted it the most.
With engineering as with women, once one is enjoying the fruits of one’s labor, one sees that there never was any challenge to begin with: all mystery is illusion; all things in Nature are one.
Physics is sex.
Did you know that, O friends?
Of course, you know everything. Or so you intimate.
But now, finally, we have what we wanted. Well, what I wanted, in any case. Nothing left for today but to send out the diagrams to the boys and girls in Paris and wait for them to pick their jaws off the floor.
As for you, O friends, was there something you wanted? I seem to recall something about—
• • •
Ah. Well. This is interesting. A new gift.
Glad to know we’re all back at the negotiation table.
I can’t wait to meet some friends so I can try out this gift on them. Now, do not take this as a criticism, but, as far as fabulous powers go, this one is a little dark, wouldn’t you agree? Are we turning melancholic in our frustration, O friends?
Don’t forget that despite our differences of opinion, I still love you all, and I know you love me. And after all—
[written in Latin]
Oh, look! Wouldn’t you know? I remember Latin suddenly. Funny how that works. What a numbskull I am to forget Latin, and then mysteriously remember it just as we’re reconciling.
I really should get my head checked!
[written in French]
I should call the delicate Miss Ren and invite myself to her house.