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Alone With You in the Ether
Alone With You in the Ether
by Olivie Blake
Two people meet in the Art Institute by chance. Prior to their encounter, he is a doctoral student who manages his destructive thoughts with compulsive calculations about time travel; she is a bipolar counterfeit artist, undergoing court-ordered psychotherapy. By the end of the story, these things will still be true. But this is not a story about endings. For Regan, people are predictable and tedious, including and perhaps especially herself. She copes with the dreariness of existence by living impulsively, imagining a new, alternate timeline being created in the wake of every rash decision. To Aldo, the world feels disturbingly chaotic. He gets through his days by erecting a wall of routine: a backbeat of rules and formulas that keep him going. Without them, the entire framework of his existence would collapse. For Regan and Aldo, life has been a matter of resigning themselves to the blueprints of inevitability--until the two meet. Could six conversations with a stranger be the variable that shakes up the entire simulation?
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