And you see, she continued, a little slower, when you stand in
the very center of a Geodesic Dome, you have the sensation of being
propelled right out into the cosmos. Like the universe is sucking
you out. This, as Bucky said, is really one of the most intriguing of
paradoxes: in order to expand outward, we must go . . . inward.
After inward, Nana stopped speaking and stared up at the
center point of the dome. We all looked up with her. The few clouds
that hung above us were small and gauzy. The wind was blowing,
whistling over the dome. A few feet in front of us were our kitchen
cabinets, hovering over the counter, hung from the ceiling by tension
wires. Nana coughed and tried to speak again. And that was
when it happened.
My name was all that came out. Only she ran it all together so it
sounded like Sebas-yan. Then she took an uneasy step backward.
I think I follow what you were saying, said Janice, still looking
up. Go on . . .
I observed Nanas face closely. It was becoming partly splotched
with red. And her mouth was tightening. Just as I noticed this, she
reached out a hand to grab me. It seemed to happen in slow motion,
but I couldnt tell what she was attempting. Her fingers didnt quite
make it to my blue fl annel. Before anyone could react, she let out a
long breath and then tipped straight backward, crumpling to the
thin carpet of the dome fl oor. The dull thump reverberated through
Oh! said Mrs. Whitcomb, looking down immediately. Oh
my God! Are you all right?
She bent over Nana. Nana said nothing. She seemed to be holding
her breath. I stood completely frozen. Next to me, Jared very
slowly removed his headphones.
Oh God! Mrs. Whitcomb yelled. Is there a phone in this
place? Wheres the telephone?
I pointed her toward the cordless phone, and she sprinted
toward it in her heels. A bit of spit was forming at the corners of
Nanas mouth. Suddenly, I felt a bony hand clap down on my shoulder.
I turned around, and it was Jared. He had a grave expression on
his face. Hey, he said. Hold her hand.
His voice was oddly calm. I didnt question him. I got down on
my knees and grabbed Nanas palm. It was warm and I held it tightly.
I was unable to think at all. I just looked over her anguished face,
and massaged the hard nubs of the knuckles. I couldnt remember
the last time I had even seen her resting. She was always up. Always
in motion. Jared got down on the fl oor across from me. He picked
up the other hand and pressed it tight. We looked at each other.
Sebastian, right? he said.
Yes, I said.
This is fucked, he said.
Behind us in the kitchen, Janice Whitcomb was starting to cry
into the phone.
We just came to tour the bubble! she yelled. I dont know
anything about her condition.
Meanwhile Jared and I held tight to Nanas hands, and I thought
for a moment that maybe, somehow, we were allowing life energy
to course through her spindly frame. Like she was the middle link
between our two life-energy links, and if we could just hold on,
everything else would be fine. I listened intently for a signal from
the universe. But all was quiet.
A Man Called Intrepid author dies aged 89(Dec 03 2013) William Stevenson, a journalist and author who drew on his close ties with intelligence sources to write two best-selling books in the 1970s, A Man Called...