I just didn’t get it—even with the teacher holding an orange (the earth) in one handand a lemon (the moon) in the other,her favorite student (the sun) standing behind her with a flashlight.I just couldn’t grasp it—this whole citrus universe, these bumpy planets revolving so slowlyno one could even see themselves moving.I used to think if I could only concentrate hard enoughI could be the one person to feel what no one else could,sense a small tug from the ground, a sky shift, the earth changing gears.Even though I was only one mini-speck on a speck,even though I was merely a pinprick in one goosebump on the orange,I was sure then I was the most specially perceptive, perceptively sensitive.I was sure then my mother was the only mother to snap,“The world doesn’t revolve around you!”The earth was fragile and mostly water,just the way the orange was mostly water if you peeled it,just the way I was mostly water if you peeled me.Looking back on that third grade science demonstration,I can understand why some people gave up on fame or religion or cures—especially people who have an understandingof the excruciating crawl of the world,who have a well-developed sense of spatial reasoningand the tininess that it is to be one of us.But not me—even now I wouldn’t mind being god, the forcewho spins the planets the way I spin a globe, a basketball, a yoyo.I wouldn’t mind being that teacher who chooses the fruit,or that favorite kid who gives the moon its glow.
I paid you five thousand instead and promised the balance only if you made the match. As it turns out, this is your lucky day because I've decided to write you the full check, whether the match comes from you or from Portia. As long as I have a wife and you've been part of the process, you'll get your money." He toasted her with his beer mug. "Congratulations."She put down her fork. "Why would you do that?""Because it's efficient.""Not as efficient as having Powers handle her own introductions. You're paying her a fortune to do exactly that.""I'd rather have you."Her pulse kicked. "Why?"He gave her the melty smile he must have been practicing since the cradle, one that made her feel as though she was the only woman in the world. "Because you're easier to bully. Do we have a deal or not?""You don't want a matchmaker. You want a lackey.""Semantics. My hours are erratic, and my schedule changes without warning. It'll be your job to cope with all that. You'll soothe ruffled feathers when I need to cancel at the last minute. You'll keep my dates company when I'm going to be late, entertain them if I have to take a call. If things are going well, you'll disappear. If not, you'll make the woman disappear. I told you before. I work hard at my job. I don't want to have to work hard at this, too.""Basically, you expect me to find your bride, court her, and hand her over at the altar. Or do I have to come on the honeymoon, too?""Definitely not." He gave her a lazy smile. "I can take care of that all by myself.