1. The kittens turn to me for help, paws outstretched, eyes beseeching. I save them from the danger, despite my degenerative illness and other sundry obstacles. A local radio station interviews me, but takes my quotes out of context.

2. A man — a representative of a Japanese handbag concern — offers me the sum of one million American dollars to license my eyes for billboard reproductions. These billboards will line the streets of Tokyo, Kobe, and, if demand continues, Osaka.

3. The agent calls me — it’s a go. I’m on the next plane, excited, aloof, disheveled. I turn down their free peanuts.

4. My car begins to advise me in various matters. At first, the advice is measured, intelligent, sound. But soon, the advice becomes erratic, dangerous, muddled. I bring this to the car’s attention, but it cannot understand my tone. I reprogram the radio stations and the car normalizes.

5. They all die.

6. I shoot reasonably well in the Olympic biathlon trials. Later, a colleague asks me if that was my name he saw in the Sports section of the USA Today. I stare at him blankly.

7. The menu unfolds below me, tall, gilded, foreboding. I am confused. The waiter tells me about the specials in phrases that drip with adjectives — I nod, but do not hear what he is saying.

8. The document is sent to me via the e-mail system in my office. I download the attachment, and wait for a moment while Microsoft Word opens it. I print it out, make a few handwritten comments and fax it to back to the sender. Then there is the waiting.

9. Carbon dioxide is expelled from my nostrils and mouth, as I repeatedly take in oxygen. This continues for several hours.