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Page 222

But wishes DO come true. You wished that oblivious
obstructive driver dead, then unwished it, but both wishes
took effect, the second only delaying the first. (That's why
you feel a little deader after such wishing -- some old agreement
to experience what you visit upon others.) How could he
NOT die sooner for it (his own wish according with yours),
he who turns himself and his car into a barrier, a stone
in the road, who makes himself oblivious enough
to shut out the feelings of all the drivers behind him?
When one has shut off all communication, one is dead;
when one has shut off a little of it, one is a little dead.

But you, too, have inhaled some toxic faery dust, wished
a wish you wish you could take back (and more secretly,
rooted for, a covert glee). When you wish against your own wish,
you create a stasis, an impossibly exact balance between wish
and counter-wish, between alternate futures, a part of you
standing still in time, a sea anchor that pulls you back
against the current of life, a small piece of deadness.

But our pro and counter and otherwise wishes overcome
one another, and, though encumbered, take effect,
leak into our lives drop by drop. The lover who flashed up
before you out of your knowing -- an approximation
shows up next day, ahead of you in line for caramel latte,
but ignores you. Next day, while you're thinking
you should have been more bold, an even better
approximation asks you for directions, and years later
(years after your painful divorce from Ideal Lover Mark III,
who turned out to have irritating qualities you -- literally --
never dreamed of) you meet the one for whom you now realize
the others were rehearsals, rough drafts -- at last the one who speaks
the words you would have expected, had you cared to know
your dream fully; but surprise was part of the plan,
so your lover comes to you like great music, each note,
each chord, an utter surprise that, instantly, has always been
and could be no other.

Death, too, comes in successive approximations.
But you have wished for something beyond death.
All wishes come true.

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