Outlandish New Ways to Punish Strangers HTML version

I told Matilda about my parents, I said:
‚My mother and father got together as kids. They actually lived in the same
house.? My voice changed. Lower, softer. ‚It’s one of the few stories my father ever told
me of his life. His stories always involved science. He got me into math and science
when I was young when he explained the beginning of geometry to me, that it was the
birth of math and that it came from using knotted rope to re-draw lines of plots after the
Nile would flood in Egypt. Created right angles and triangles. Greeks called it Geo for
Earth and metros for measure. Plato said was a geometer. He had a million stories that
like—ha, how could you not love it? That’s what would tell me, stories of scientists and
theories and the birth,? I extended my hands out, cupping, ‚of big, huge developments
in physics and yadda yadda. Never his life, though. Except about my mother. I got to
hear about her. My mother’s parents left when she was young and my dad’s family
took her in. This wasn’t Philadelphia, either; this was Chattanooga, Tennessee.? I
always pronounced the name of that town proudly, even though I had never been
there. ‚My father was there the night my mother woke up screaming. He was twelve
and she was nine, I think, and he came into her room and my dad said she just, she just
kept screaming louder, louder and louder and louder, changing pitch. He told me it
was the craziest scream he ever heard. She’d try to speak but it would sound weird and
she’d scream again. Different tone. Look of terror in her ‘wild, rambling eyes,’ my dad
said in a rare moment of description. He thought she was having a psychotic episode.