William Vincent


Dear Ann,

I've come back to New York.

Some years ago you

asked me about myself.

"What are you doing,"

you asked

I didn't answer then

but I want to now.

When you've read this letter,

if you wanna come away

with me

if you want me to take you

from here, tell Victor

you can trust him.

He'll find me.

I'll start somewhere

near the beginning.

William is not my name.

A few years before I met you

I was returning from a place

I'd always wanted to visit.

Japan. I was transferring

in San Francisco

to a flight home.

Once I was back on the plane

I asked if I could go back

to the boarding area

because I had left

a book there.

By the time I found my book,

the gate had closed

so I sat and read my book

until the plane took off

without me.

I decided to take the long

bus ride across the country

to my home

in Connecticut,

just outside of New York.

Several hours into the trip

I heard on the radio

that the plane I missed

had crashed into a mountain.

I closed my eyes and slept.

The next day I learned

that they had not been

able to recover any bodies.

The plane and all

the passengers had been

incinerated on impact.

I got off the bus

in New York and decided

to stay for a while.

I realized that

for all anyone knew

I no longer existed.

For no particular reason

without really

thinking about it

I bought a passport

under the name

of William Vincent.

I took a class

and learned a trade

and got a job

editing nature videos

for use in the schools.

I think that's

what they're used for,

I'm not really sure.

I managed to find

an empty storefront

to live in

in a neighborhood

in Chinatown not far

from the East River.



From "They can hover

in midair."

They can hover in midair

by rapidly flapping

their wings

They can fly backwards

and are the only group

of birds

able to do so.

They can also

stop in midair.

Hummingbirds are continuously

hours away from starving

to death

and are able to store

just enough energy

to survive overnight.

Hummingbirds are capable

of slowing down their

metabolism at night

or any other time food

is not readily available.

They enter

a hibernation-like state

known as torpor.

During torpor, the heart rate

and rate of breathing

are both slowed dramatically

the heart rate to roughly

reducing the need for food.

The most astonishing

quality of hummingbirds

is their ability

to broadcast color.

Hummingbirds radiate

like hot coals in the sun.

The color

that reaches your eye

is created by pigment

which absorbs some

colors and rejects others.

Like soap bubbles

hummingbird's color

comes from iridescence,

not pigment.

It winks on and off

depending on the light source

and the angle of the viewer.

That's a nice dress.

Where'd you get it?

It's a kimono.

I know it's a kimono.

I like it.


You know you don't

wanna f*** with me, right?

Of course I do.

Of course you do.

So he says, " Hey,

you're right, but

"can we actually

do that, like

"who's in charge

of this project,

you know

"and I'm

like, listen

"if some noise needs

to be made, I will

make the noise.

Okay? All right?"

And he says,

"Whoa, Jason, whoa."

I'm like, whoa

what, Ted?

The problem

with Ted is,

he doesn't get it.

He's like,

pretty much like,

I can name off

three or four executives

in this company alone

who in a few

months are gonna be

redoing their resume

and who do you think

they're gonna ask to take

one of those offices?

But, I think that comes from

I've done a lot of meditation

over the years. I have to.

You would think that

in, like, the cutthroat

business that I'm in

when you're dealing

with derivatives

it's all crazy.

It's very chaotic.

But, you need to find

a time for peace.

When you're working

a job like that.

Because if you don't,

you're going to be

chaotic yourself.

I'll take it

one step further.

If you really wanna know

about financial markets,

let's talk about Per Bak



Let's talk about,

let's talk about, uh


If you wanna hear

really the theory

of turbulence

order of chaos,

phase transition.

And that's where

these guys should

be living right now

if they want

to survive.

But they don't,

they can't possibly

grasp that.

Economic crisis, my ass.

This is an economic


You should--

You know what? You

should check out a book

um, oh, what is

the name of that?

It's, uh, Per Bak,

How Nature Wor--

- I'll think of it.

- Okay.

- You know,

I'll be right back.

- Okay.

- And I'll think of it.

- Great.

I'll definitely remember it

before I get back, okay?

I can't wait.

H i.

Do I know you?

U h, no.

Sorry if my, uh,

staring bothered you.

It's, uh, it's okay.

I don't mind.

I don't like

your friend.

Oh, you mean Jason?

Yeah. Do you

like him?

I don't know.


Just asking.

Do you know him?


I'm Rebbecca.


What's your name?

The scotch is--

You're very beautiful.




I enjoyed tormenting

the man in the bar

and I think it was nice

that I might have made

the woman happy.

Even for a moment.

Even if I didn't

care about her.

There hadn't been many

that I had cared about.

Only two brothers

that I'd known

when I was a teenager

back in the town

where I grew up.

I'd lost touch

with the two brothers,

but I thought of them often

and saw them, in a way,

in parks, on the street,

different places.

And I saw them

as I'd known them

as young boys,

not as the adults

they would be now.

It was a lovely thing

to imagine, but I knew

it was just that. Imagined.

But I saw them as if

they were really there.

I wondered how they were,

where they were.

Anyway, wherever they are,

it's probably best that they

don't know me

given the man I've become.

I knew them

when I was this age

the age I am now

in this shot, 16.

I'm 30 now, so the things

I remember are from

a long time ago.

His name was Joseph

back then, not William.

He did some odd things,

but I think he was

a nice person.

Maybe a little--

He could run very fast.

We used to race.

He was a beautiful runner.

Really beautiful runner.

I'd been living as William

Vincent for three years

before I met you.

In that time, we might have

passed near to one another

and not known it.

I wonder if either of us

might have felt something

in the passing.

If it happened.

For instance

I wonder if you were nearby

that night I saw

that man wearing

suspenders and a bow tie?

He's just kind of

drifting down the sidewalk

looking at his phone.

What the f***?

The man just walked away

unaware that I had lifted

some things from his pocket.

Just a receipt and

a business card. Nothing.

But it seemed as if there was

something else in the air

that night.

Something odd.

It was an unusually

quiet, empty night.

But I felt as if something

had happened.

There was something wrong

that night but I didn't mind.

I might have

even liked it.

I went out to eat

still with the sense

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Jay Anania

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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