Some Unfunded Research Projects by Hilary Leichter

We are working on some theories, now that we have the free time. You: the theory of implausible measurements. Me: the theory of arbitrarily multiplying cutlery. We are very new to this, not experts, not nearly. I have a theory about being an expert in anything, but you don’t agree, so I work on that theory separately. Each night, we compare notes and then practice our theory of counter-intuitive pollination, in which the flower makes things worthwhile for the bee.

I have a case of cabin fever, that’s what is happening here. I don’t want to sound like I know what I’m talking about, but I know something about my theory of diminishing variables. You know something about that too. So we go for a walk and add a few more variables to the mix, leave the apartment, come home again. This is the theory of arrivals and departures. And then me: the theory of linear breakfast fruit. And you: the theory of hypothetical dinner.

When the free time dries up at the end of the summer, it follows that we will have to develop a theory about ourselves. We will spend more time with our friends, who give us hypotheticals to think about. We will silently proclaim that nothing we try to accomplish works, not literally, not in practice.



Hilary Leichter’s work has recently appeared in n+1, Tin House, the Kenyon Review, and VICE. She is a recipient of a 2013 fellowship from the Edward F. Albee Foundation, and is currently working on a novel about an auction house.