More Conversations


C: I’ve been reading about Crane and the others. The THESIS people.

B: Oh?

C: Do you think Crane was a bad person?

B: I don’t think he thought he was. But yes.

Claire seemed to expect a different answer.

C: It seemed like he, and Clemens, and the rest, were just doing what they felt like they were meant to do. I mean how can you tell a scientist not to invent something?

he nodded.

B: What about mad scientists?

C: I don’t think he was mad. (she was bolder now, almost defiant)

B: Just misunderstood? Brick chuckled. B: I’m sorry. It aint mine to say whether Crane is mad or not. Probably just someone satisfying his curiosity. Like Oppenheimer. He didn’t decide where the bombs would go, he was just “being a scientist.”

C: Did that really turn out so bad?

B: Ask Hiroshima.

C: I know, but… But that ended world war II. We haven’t seen a nuclear strike like that since. So didn’t he, in a way, save people?

B: This is different.

C: It’s your analogy.

B: I know.

His voice was suddenly firm. She hadn’t seen this side of him before.

B: We were lucky the nuclear bomb wasn’t the end of civilization. I hope we can be lucky again.


C: Do you have kids?

B: One. She’s almost your age, actually.

C: Is it worth it?

B: If you want something, work for it. If you don’t want something, avoid it. Whatever you do, don’t sit on the fence.


C: Do you have kids?

B: One. I mean, I did.

C: Oh, I’m sorry.

B: No, I mean… she’s fine. She’s about your age. Not exactly a child anymore, is all I’ll mean.

C: But she’ll always be a kid to you, right?

He nodded.

B: That may just be my problem, I think.

Take 3

C: How Did you know I as pregnant. Really.

B: Intuition.

C: Bullshit. You’re like a detective or something.

B: You keep saying that. I told you, I’m a machinist

Claire’s eyes narrowed. C: What did you used to do?

B: I used to find people.

C: Bad people?

B: I hope so.

Walk me home

C: Will you walk me home?

B: Why me?

C: Why not you?

B: Because you don’t know me.

C: I’m a good judge of character. … actually that’s not true, but I’m learning.


C: My shift’s ending. Walk me home?

B: Why me?

C: You’re the only one here.

B: That’s true.

C: There might still be those skinless people around.

B: They often come in here and bother you?

C: No, the time you were here, that was the first time. But I’ve seen them around. And I don’t want to sound prejudiced but, seeing constructs without their skin… they scare me.

B: As they should.