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Elemental Love
park benches
Elemental Love

The scientist was a shy kid. Surprise. Even as a child he compared himself to inert gasses seducing other inert gasses. Today he is quite fond of the color of bromide.

The scientist has a periodic table of elements above his toilet. He doesn’t usually take people into his bedroom but he’ll do it for you, to show you the periodic table bedspread. He’s got a fine wooden box which was made in Russian. Everything that exists in this world is made out of a combination of things in that box. If you open it you’ll realize it contains a period table made out of all the actual elements. He’s just received that last in mail, shipped all the way from a lab in Estonia. Try not to drop the vials of gasses, please. They are not good for breathing.

The scientist tells you about his Siberian hero who looks like Rasputin and used to shuffle the elements around on a deck of cards and one day scribbled the entire period table on the back of an envelope. He found it, the scientist assures you; he did not invent it.

The scientist patiently explains to you that he used to eat liver once every day until he accidentally bought 20 kilograms of chicken livers instead of 2 kilograms and to avoid waste he ate chicken livers for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. After he finished 10.4 kilograms he threw the rest in the garbage disposal and hasn’t eaten liver since that day. Now he eats sardines and tabouli on toast every day. He’s never made the mistake of buying 20 kilograms of sardines for which he’s grateful.

The point of all this, he tells you sternly but not humorlessly, is to explain that he found love in 1964 when he realized that fluorine is a seductress. The point of all this is to show you he’s happy.


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