Sometimes she missed being on call (there were few emergencies that dragged a virologist away from her quilting), not the disruption of it but the constant sense of expectation. It was like being aroused, not all lathered and horny but the buzz along your limbs, the slight sensation of sinking like drinking wine.

Now that everyone on earth wore beepers (or so it seemed in a walk through the Galleria), she wondered had it lost its sense of expectation or rather was the phenomenon now simply more widely shared. It seemed as if the whole pedestrian world strolled with small plastic packets of electronics at their hips-- in shades of pastel now as well as basic black-- all of them pleasantly abuzz and mildly aroused, awaiting word of what would be, word of what had been.

The creek here likewise shimmered with expectation, more lake than creek, where swollen with tide, it met the river. The surface called to her in times like this, blue-white moonlight filling the slight chop with hundreds of pale mouths.

A lone heron cried, jarred from sleep, then flapped slowly to another bank.

Perhaps it was a little lust as well. She longed for Javier, longed to hold him down, pinning his wrists with her hands like ivory manacles against the river of the quilt, feeling it flow up and around her bucking buttocks like a wave. Instead she took the needles up, thirty silver spines in twelve colors, and looked for where she would enter the quilt again, thinking we are all night swimmers.