I will miss school, not because of the parties, but because it’s a Thursday morning in this freezing lecture hall with a big bag of balls, in a hundred different colors, and we’re grabbing a bunch of them, and putting them back, which is all fine and dandy but what’s the chance—think about it—that you draw exactly a hundred balls, and they’re exactly a hundred different colors, which is to say that everything—just everything—about the balls are different, and it’s definitely not required for class, but after frantic scribbling, he says, the probability is nine-point-three-times-ten—and then he runs out of space, so he squiggles, alludes in the last bit off to the side—to-the-power-ofminus-forty-three, which iswhich is!—hands flailing for meaning now, scrambling up right beside me—the chance that—and here he’s out in a sprint to the wall—the chance that if I continue running—and we all want him to—I’ll come out on the other side. And that’s all, he says nonchalantly, not required for class, but I’m already on the other side of the wall and damn if it isn’t magical, those colors.


Jonah Sheen Tan

Jonah Sheen Tan is a recent Columbia University graduate from Singapore who lives in Hong Kong. His writing has appeared in X-R-A-Y Literary Magazine and Pithead Chapel, where it was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

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