Myron by Ishmael Reed
MYRON We lunch at Spenger’s a Berkeley fresh fish grotto built on Ohlone bones and tall tales about marlins that fought for hours Dining in this place is like dining on “The Sea Hawk” (1940) but we aren’t moving, but maybe we are By the time we finish lunch the earth will have traveled 6500 miles and don’t expect Errol Flynn, in pirate costume, to swashbuckle across the floor, nor do swords cross at this site, only knives and forks, going at the mussels clams and shrimp It is rumored that Clark Gable once sampled the famous clam chowder of this restaurant where a a Polynesian wood “idol” greets the diners Myron and Sonya have joined us I’m having blackened catfish They pry their meals from shells They’ve stopped off in Berkeley on the way to SFO
His destination is Dallas He heads a department of physics there She’s going to Santa Fe to inspect their new home I overheard two shaggy professors, old, soft and retired argue about science in the men’s locker room at the Berkeley One said that science is only a method and that science can’t explain gravity I can Sonya is gravity And not even chemo or infusions can come between her and her students as she fights an invader like the Russians fought at Leningrad I imagine Myron as a youngster While his friends are trading baseball cards he’s reading Einstein and making experiments in his parents’ basement His Mom and Dad would call these experiments explosions He’s studying applied biology because soon he says they will be able to swab the inside of your mouth and with the DNA collected predict diseases to which one is prone and prescribe medication He says that the universe’s speed is accelerating and I read “If the universe continues accelerating, astronomers say, rather than coasting gently into the night, distant galaxies will eventually be moving apart so quickly that they cannot communicate with one another and all the energy will be sucked out of the universe” and I’m thinking, if this happens what will become of my archives? But Sonya reassures me “Cosmologists are given to hype as in hyperbole” I ask Myron about Michiko Kaku’s prediction that time travel will enable a person’s descendents to visit that person Hong Kong scientists dispute the idea They say that they have proved that a single photon obeys Einstein’s theory that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light I think they’re wrong because every time I talk to Myron I feel that someone is visiting me from the future.
Ishmael Reed copyright ©2011