“Future Theory,” by Andrew Hemmert, appears in the Winter 2019 Issue of MQR. Now let’s all take a deep breath and start over. Hello, my name is mostly water. My name is I have never known a world other than this one. You too? Maybe you
The transformation to bird woman happened so quickly in the past three years. Having my binoculars with me everywhere I go is surely the first clue that I’m always on the hunt.
Thirty years ago, when she was first here with her husband and two young children, they’d come in the summer—June—so that Otto could teach a study abroad course, and the city then was a lush racket of color. The pale blue and pink and gold ornamental bric-a-brac of Belle Époque architecture. Stoops cluttered with terra cotta pots spilling herbs. Window box gardens bursting geraniums the startling florescent red of she-didn’t-know- what. It was all exactly as she’d envisioned Paris since she’d first wanted to go as a sixteen-year-old sitting in a high school French class.
Hope misses the city, and I miss Hope. So every other weekend I buy a bottle of wine and drive up the valley to see her and Little Girl in their new suburban home, where they live with Hope’s boyfriend, a pilot.
The camp took place in the bucolic township of Yongpyong, a three-hour bus ride east of Seoul. Twenty professors from top conservatories convened at Alpine Valley Hotel with their flocks of protégés numbering about a hundred in all, predominantly girls. Over the next two weeks, we were to learn from the venerated masters and perform in the concerts held every other evening in the hotel’s grand banquet hall.
On some days, the news informs me of a school shooting, and I drive blind. My brain fixates on the violence like a new romance.