Uit: An Abundance of Katherines
“The morning after noted child prodigy Colin Singleton graduated from high school and got dumped for the 19th time by a girl named Katherine, he took a bath. Colin had always preferred baths; one of his general policies in life was never to do anything standing up that could just as easily be done lying down. He climbed into the tub as soon as the water got hot, and he sat and watched with a curiously blank look on his face as the water overtook him. The water inched up his legs, which were crossed and folded into the tub. He did recognize, albeit faintly, that he was too long, and too big, for this bathtub—he looked like a mostly grown person playing at being a kid.
As the water began to splash over his skinny but unmuscled stomach, he thought of Archimedes. When Colin was about four, he read a book about Archimedes, the Greek philosopher who’d discovered you could measure volume by water displacement when he sat down in the bathtub. Upon making this discovery, Archimedes supposedly shouted “Eureka! ” and then ran naked through the streets. The book said that many important discoveries contained a “Eureka moment.” And even then, Colin very much wanted to have some important discoveries, so he asked his mom about it when she got home that evening.
“Mommy, am I ever going to have a Eureka moment?”
“Oh, sweetie,” she said, taking his hand. “What’s wrong?”
“I wanna have a Eureka Moment,” he said, the way another kid might have expressed longing for a teenage mutant ninja turtle.
She pressed the back of her hand to his cheek and smiled, her face so close to his that he could smell coffee and make-up. “Of course, Colin baby. Of course you will.” But mothers lie. It’s in the job description.
Colin took a deep breath and slid down, immersing his head. I am crying, he thought, opening his eyes to stare through the soapy, stinging water. I feel like crying so I must be crying, but it’s impossible to tell because I’m underwater. But he wasn’t crying. Curiously, he felt too depressed to cry. Too hurt. It felt as if she’d taken the part that cried from him.”
John Green (Indianapolis, 24 augustus 1977)