IN THE MIDDLE OF THE METROPOLIS a commotion draws a crowd. A block away Marina notices and moves near. Before the scene unfolds past the curtains of people encircling, her mind flashes back to the sparkling blue water of Greece, at the foot of a rising village of alabaster and azure. Then monolithic, standing apart from an amazed throng of bystanders, an elephant seal, out of place. Marina snaps out of her daydream and feels drawn to the seal. She walks right up. Then, flailing his proboscis, the seal trumpets, “Urrumphasquarch! sclergleblorp.” Marina understands somehow. She steps up and hugs the seal who whispers something in her ear, and then the pinniped passes away in her arms. Just above the din of sidewalk babble, traffic horns and engine purr, Marina could have sworn she heard a choir of angels singing.
*[ WSB ].