About this Business
From Our Editors
The moon hung low by the windows, and he could not sleep. An idea had arrived in the man's mind like a midnight caller, rapping on the glass and driving out all chance of rest. He lurched out of bed and stumbled into the kitchen, his arm knocking a bowl of blood oranges off the counter, sending them skittering across the floor.
His mind was fixed on a singular shape, an edgeless figure of circles sliding within circles. Unprompted, his eyes began finding the maddening pattern in the grain of the wood planks underfoot, the folds of the curtains over his sink, and even the whorls on the ends of his own fingers. The man seized a knife, not with any violent intention—as the charlatans at the university had suggested!—but rather in his frenzy to bring the shape into reality with the crude matter in his kitchen. But even as he vivisected a sweet potato on a counter slick with clotted tempura sauce and clumps of rice, he despaired of creating it himself. His fingers crawled up his face, finding a mask of stark horror that no mirror had ever showed him.
He rushed out the front door. The idea was a hook that had sunk into his brain, and now it reeled him through the moonlit streets of Jacksonville—the line going slack as he crossed Sans Pareil Street, pulling taut over Beach Boulevard—until he stood on Kernan again. Of course he would find himself back on Kernan, the site of the accident years ago! But the doctors had told him never to think of that.
His bare feet slapped the concrete as he crossed the empty parking lot, certain now that he would find answers inside Ginza Japanese Cuisine. He stood before its doors for a moment before they opened with a whisper. Silent figures stood by the entry, ushering him to a table deep inside. On it there were piled, in stacks and mounds, pygmy cylinders made in that singular shape that had blotted out all other thoughts. His tongue was loose in his mouth as he approached the table.
A change in the air told him that the attendants had moved in noiselessly behind him. He turned. And as he stared into the smiling faces around him, he saw nothing but understanding in their eyes.