I was never the wise child who, hearing a patter in the leaves, tilts his open-mouthed face toward the sky. I dreamed of powerful machines with banks of dials & buttons encased in gleaming alloys, beautiful & mysterious as cathedral windows. I practiced levitation by standing on one leg — it was better than nothing. Prophesy fascinated me because of the way it made otherwise clearly random lives appear significant. I learned two different ways to hypnotize chickens. What was merely a parlor trick at first turned into a new way to make them tractable prior to execution. Adulthood came slow as a summer evening in the far north.