Almost Zero

Thir­­ty-plus years ago, at my count, the teenaged daugh­ter of a friend came home one day, demand­ing that her moth­er buy her a cer­tain thing—an arti­cle of cloth­ing? a music sys­tem? a tele­vi­sion for her room?—I can’t remem­ber. What­ev­er the item, the teen insist­ed she need­ed it, and point­ed­ly informed her par­ent that said parent […]