One of the few Americans to see action during the Bug Wars of the nineteen-nineties was Robert J. Lang, a lanky Californian who was on the front lines throughout, from the battle of the Kabutomushi Beetle to the battle of the Menacing Mantis and the battle of the Long-Legged Wasp.
White men in suits follow Felipe Lopez everywhere he goes. They are ubiquitous. They rarely miss one of Felipe’s games or tournaments. They have absolute recall of his best minutes of play. They are authorities on his physical condition. They admire his feet, which are big and pontoon-shaped, and his wrists, which have a loose, silky motion.
Thailand, the most pliant of places, has always accommodated even the rudest of visitors. Starting in the early eighties, when foreigners started trekking to such places as Myanmar and Tibet and Vietnam, Thailand took on another hostessing job, because Bangkok was the safest, easiest, most Westernized place from which to launch a trip through Asia.
Jill Meilus is a New York City real-estate broker. Like Superman, she can see through walls. Walking down a Manhattan street with her is a paranormal experience. “Nice building,” you might remark as you pass a handsome but unrevealing prewar facade, to which she might respond that the J-line apartment on the third floor has a new kitchen, that the guy in 8-A is being transferred to Florida and will entertain any offers of more than two hundred thousand dollars, that the super is a chain-smoker, that there is a one-bedroom for sale because the owners are having money troubles or are having twins or made a new fortune or are splitting up.
If Colin Duffy and I were to get married, we would have matching superhero notebooks. We would sleep in our clothes. We would both be good at Nintendo Street Fighter II, but Colin would be better than me. We would eat pizza and candy for all of our meals. We wouldn’t have sex, but we would have crushes on each other and, magically, babies would appear in our home.