Charles Yu in the story 32.05864991%, from the collection Third Class Superhero. (The story’s title refers to the exact probability of the word “maybe”.):
"Unfortunately… Ivan could have misunderstood Janine’s use of the emotionally statistically precise word ‘maybe.’
First, of course, is the fact that despite Janine saying ‘maybe’ and Ivan hearing ‘maybe’ and both words appearing to be that five-letter English word uniquely identified by the ordered sequence of letters ‘m,’ ‘a,’ ‘y,’ ‘b,’ and ‘e,’ Ivan could have been under the common misconception that what people refer to as English is on language, when, of course, emotional statisticians have known for some time that ‘English’ is actually two completely different languages, one spoken by women and the other spoken by men, or one by men and the other by men, or one by women and the other by women - the point not being the gender of the speakers, but rather the relative levels of desire in any two person pairing of isolated individuals.
In other words, there is the language of the wanted and the language of the one doing the wanting, and the confusing thing is they are exactly the same in terms of lexicographical content, grammatical structure, rules of punctuation, and even pronunciation. The difference is solely in meaning.”
This Sunday night at 7 pm, Peter Carey, Fran Lebowitz, Kevin Baker, Joseph McElroy and Jefferson Mays will all be in the store to protest NYU’s Sexton Plan.
The Sexton Plan may not be familiar to those of you who don’t live in the Greenwich Village or are affiliated with NYU, but it should. This is a proposal that anyone who cares about New York should know about, and be concerned about.
NYU’s expansion plan, as proposed, will erect up to 2.5 million square feet of new building space in the Greenwich Village. In the process, they will destroy three acres of green space. That includes the Sasaki Gardens, the Mercer Street Dog Run, the Key Park Playground and a beautiful grove of trees. It also will require 20 years of continuous construction, without any delay, to begin this August.
The replacement? A number of NYU buildings, including eventually, a pedestrian mall slung between two skyscrapers. This is not the Greenwich Village you think of when you think of Dylan Thomas and James Baldwin and Jackson Pollock and John Cage living in its streets and making art. It’s not even the Greenwich Village you think of now, full of young people and old, dogs and stragglers, tourists and long-time residents. Imagine Washington Square Park. Now imagine it in the shadow of a 48-story hotel tower.
Peter Carey, Fran Lebowitz, Kevin Baker, Joseph McElroy and Jefferson Mays (reading the work of Eileen Myles) will all be present to speak against the plan, and refreshments (wine) will be provided.
We’ll also be launching an original publication entitled “While We Were Sleeping” (printed on our very own Espresso Book Machine) with a cover by Tom Slaughter, including the work of David Amram, Kevin Baker, Barbara Browning, Peter Carey, E. L. Doctorow, Eric Drooker, Jules Feiffer, Mindy Thompson Fullilove, Patrick W. Gallagher, Ashley Gilbertson, Daniel Goldstein, Roberta Brandes Gratz, Joel Grey, John Guare, Jessica Hagedorn, Nat Hentoff, Philip Levine, Kenneth Lonergan, Brian MacFadden, Joseph McElroy, Mark Crispin Miller, Eileen Myles, Arthur Nersesian, Andrew Ross, James Russell, Sarah Schulman, Tom Slaughter, Hubert Steed, Michael Sorkin, and Lynne Tillman.