The man rolled up his right sleeve, exposing his forearm with two distended blue veins. The nurse tied the rubber band around his biceps and the arrow reached almost the bursting point. The drumbeat rose in intensity. A shot of light fell vertically on that naked arm as the other lights went out, and the nurse reached for the man's arms, but he rebuffed her with a lofty gesture and, seizing the syringe, penetrated one of those knotty veins. The drums ceased. A bluish liquid disappeared from the transparent cylinder.

There, sipping spritzers in the dark, at the start we'd talk politics, "what will the Americans do next week," "the World is not going to allow this, this is the twentieth century after all." Well, I knew too much about the world to sooth my fears with such illusions. The World was skiing the Austrian Alps, two hours drive from this dusty cellar where I sat, listening to those naive discussions about the World, or anyone's potent opinion and expected action as if some great distant cousin who should remember us.

Over the next twenty minutes, he imparts that his fine Ante-Bellum house is in a dangerous neighborhood, that he's in town three months now. Born in Chicago. Hopped a Greyhound to the Left Coast. Didn't like Lake Tahoe. Thought he'd try New Orleans. In construction. Father dead of alcohol.

When Paul found us, two nymphs floating on a huge plastic lily pad, waves were rippling quickly across the pool. He undressed and dove between us, hello, I thought, my skin touching his, how lovely to meet you. The moon was being blown across the sky. We floated and watched as stars unloosed themselves and dropped silently into the pool around us.

Marilyn looks a little harried, older perhaps, a bit lined but no less beautiful. She is wearing a long, sleeveless dress, a 60's sitcom kind of dress, with a lace apron. Her upper arms are a little too...loose or something, not fat exactly. She raises her arm; the small patch of stubble in her armpit is not blonde. Still, she is engaging.

I look up at her. I am 10 and she is my mom.

With the advances in computer technology rendering insignificant the physical space between different "locations" on the net, the user is in his/her own pilot's seat to navigate through any amount and type of information he/she desires. The important issue is the user's interactive, cerebral exercise of linking concepts and seemingly unrelated ideas in new ways. Each new connection is a new way of interpreting the raw information, a new schema for evaluating the veracity of ideas and how an individual relates to them. This is the stuff of better critical thinking abilities, and the net is the quintessential metaphor to realize it.