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Theair-conditioning on excessive. chilly. White walls,whiteleatherandchromefurniture. chilly. a man in a pinstripesuit with eyeslike marbles. chilly. smartlydressed The negotiations with Dr. Hellman-the nameof thesmilingbusinessman enjoyinghimself-had reached Forsterhad no longer underan deadlock. stooda wordof theconversation he hadbeencarryingon in someforeign language, however it wasalsounmistakably clearto him that it had stopped lifeless. He felt angeranddesperation risingin him, feelings thatwerenot his personal yet radiatedfrom the otherwisehermeticallysealedmind of the extraterrestrial. At first,Forsterwasamusedby thehelplessness of theall-powerfulalien. yet thentheechoof thealien'sfrustration gotsoloudandsosimilarto his owndepression thatspontaneous germinated harmony in him. He desired to helphisextraterrestrial tenantsomehow. Nobodyshouldbesohumbled. while the alien misplaced controloverFcirster in the course of his emotionalcrisis, Forsteractedwithoutthinking. He simplygot up and wentto the door. Tho separate thingshappened. He hearda form of hysterical laughterin his headlinkedto a feelingof free up. Dr. Hellmanjumpedup andrushedafterhim, spewing out a streamof phrases. evidently, his bargainingpositionwasnot so goodashe madeit look. It so happenedthat the alien wasthen ableto closethe dealto his delight. Whentheylefttheofficebuildingandwentinto theheaton the street,the extraterrestrial " saidquitecalmly,"Thanks,Robert. That wasthe first time the alien had calledForsterbv identify. luly 12, 1I:30 nv. That evening, too, Fcirsterplayedwhatevercameto brain- Tchaikovsky, Gershwin,medieval madrigals, Africantribalchants, andlotsof Mozart. The roomwasalmostdark,theproblems of theworldfar away. Everythingwaspleasant. AsFcirster waslookingfor a newpieceof music,hecaughtsightof a stack KAFIL MICHAEL ARMER / 127 of recordsthat wereoffto one sideon the shelf,separatefrom the others. He smiled. "Here, this wassomethingdifferent at one time," he acknowledged. "The Rolling '2,000 Light-Yearsfrom domestic. ' that is for you. And there, the Stones. 'When Beatles. i am sixty four. ' That'sfor me. " but whilst he picked up the checklist, his hand begun trembling, and he realizedhe had madea undesirable mistake. Suddengrief floodedout his innovations. not anything used to be pleasantanymore. "What's fallacious? "the alien requested. "My kids," Forstersaid. "I must'vebeenthinking aboutmy little ones. i purchased theserecordsfor them backthen. My God, how some time past that was once. nearly two decades, Sandraand Richard . . " Sandrawastheir first baby. How he had dotedon that tiny tot! while her miniature hand closedaround his outstretchedfinger for the 1st time, that was once possiblythe loveliestmoment in his complete existence. Her faint gurgling sounds,which had stuffed the housewith magic concord. Her first phrases, her first clumsy stepsundeniably finishing in a plop on her diaper-cushioned in the back of. and the way fascinatingit have been to monitor that little child exploring her international. How shelaughedand marveledat issues he himself not spotted. In thosedayshe had learneda lot from Sandra,a new unpretentiousness,a new opennessto the various small wondersin existence.

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