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2001-09-25

Julius Robert Oppenheimer
B. 4.22.04 New York City / D. 2.18.67 Princeton, New Jersey
Throat Cancer

The scariest of fortune cookie fortunes at the scariest of times. It just popped out when I was cleaning underneath the toaster oven.
“Soon you will be sitting on top of the world.” For once, I’m swiping a sponge around there and ka-boom.
Nothing to do but to paste the thing in a notebook and start recording observations. The happy thrill of casual conceit I felt when this message made its first appearance in my fingers, weeks ago—the vaguest recollection. But now I have to be taking the subway into Manhattan tomorrow afternoon. I picture my frozen-faced reflection in the train window watching the words flash among my last thoughts—
Soon—soon you will be blasted into moisture, matter, and a weightlessly ascending soul. (while there’s still time I must write something dense and vatic naming the Chinese fortune cookie industry’s anonymous copy writers as the creators of a post-modern literature both scriptural in nature and global in potential scope—and sell it to Granta)
Soon the weensiness of you which sees and knows will perch, an atom in the fire, on the rim at the top of a radiant wheel, looking down on eternity. —bracketed by little smiley faces.

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