Summer 1990 • Vol. XII No. 3 FictionJuly 1, 1990 |

Tooth

And tonight what was there for him to sample from the feast of knowledge? —if only his tooth weren't killing him. You never knew. Step into a classroom, scan the blackboard, and there it is: a bit of sociology here: maybe a graph of the divorce rate (Heaven help us, a miracle any two people could live together in this day and age); the structure of the atom there, a marvel to behold. Every year a new particle, you could bank on it. Physicists splitting their brains all the way to infinity. . . . Or Miss Jinero's Spanish lesson: a loving tongue—te amo, te amo. Some day he was going to make it to Mexico. . . . He had dreams of a warm climate, flashing wings of exotic birds, colors in the air. As soon as he reached the border, he'd dive right into the lingo: ",Como esta' usted, amigo?" Drawings of cells. Three sexes for the paramecium. Who'd have thought? He bet it was still not known to the general public. And poetry—he was a lover of poetry: "My words fly up, my thoughts remain

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