Jesse was always like I was some kind of genius, that sort of thing. That all got started when one of my roommates like freshman year in college found a few of those black Penguin paperbacks of Euripides' plays among my books and then when he saw me reading one in bed, he asked me how I got into a course on Greek drama as a freshman. When I told him I wasn't reading them for a course, he was stunned.

"What do you mean, you're not taking a course? What are you, reading them for fun or something?"

"Well, I wouldn't say fun. They're heavy. Euripides is cool. He's like anti-war, and this is Fifth Century. I mean, that's cool, don't you think?"

I still remember the look on his face. Why in hell I would remember that particular moment some thirty plus years later, that's one of life's mysteries. What makes some relatively unimportant moment get burned into your lifetime active memory, while other moments, moments which are by any conceivable standard more important, get lost or distorted beyond recognition? At the heart of long-ago memories there's something that probably actually did happen but almost everything in the recall is a matrix of impressions and invention. But some memories, it's like the moment gets etched in your brain: a moment in my dorm room, late afternoon, drifting toward sleep, dreamy, the way the light came through the window, the silence. Or, in this case, the look on my roommate's face when I tell him I'm reading Euripides on my own. That roommate's name? Totally gone. What he looked like? Very vague. That there was a look on his face that suggested a mix of wonder and confusion? Absolutely vivid.

That's where Euripides started. Truth is, I don't read all that much. I mean, more than most, but not all that much. Not half as much as Jessie, no way. I'm just an ace bullshitter. Runs in the family.