Wednesday, May 26, 2010

pneumatic tubes in literature 2

"It was over a draughtsman's drawing that my parents met. My mother was sitting across from him on a train. He had a drawing tablet open across his bony knees and she praised his work. Avery sat up in their bed below deck, very straight, and jostled against Jean as if they were in a railway compartment. '... Thank you,' said my father, 'though I must tell you, it's not the human circulatory systm, it's a high pressure vacuum engine. Though perhaps,' he added politely, 'it seems like a heart when viewed upside down.' He turned the drawing around and looked. 'Yes, I see,' he said. 'And now so do I,' said my mother. 'It's beautiful,' she added. 'Yes,' said my father, 'a well-designed engine is a thing of exceptional beauty.' My mother reports that he examined her more closely, searched her face. 'Well, yes,' said my mother, 'but what I mean is the drawing itself, the pressures and flow of the pencil.' 'Ah,' said my father, blushing. 'Thank you.'"
From The Winter Vault by Anne Michaels


  1. i dare say the excerpt captures not only the moment they met, but also the moment that they fell in love...


  2. Is there any further reading you would recommend on this?

    why Bl Pneumatics