On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 representing “of no interest to me” and 10 representing “of maximum interest to me,” the rapes in my neighbourhood rated a …

An ultrasound
Illustration by Selena Wong

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 representing “of no interest to me” and 10 representing “of maximum interest to me,” the rapes in my neighbourhood rated a 2.3. I am male, twenty-nine years old, six feet two, 201 pounds, and comfortably within the standard range for strength and agility. My neighbourhood is pedestrian friendly, well lit, with an average household income of $213,148 and the third-lowest crime rate in the city of Toronto, which is one of the safest cities globally. The rapes fell into the category of the world’s general suffering, which is too broad a category to be significant.

For the duration of the period of the rapes, my level of life satisfaction was medium-high to high. I supplemented my $68,934.32 income from the Bay Street Ultrasound Clinic with $16,223.98 from Come Meet the Future, a 4-D ultrasound imaging storefront where I worked from 1 to 4 p.m. on weekends. My combined salary put me in the 92nd percentile of Toronto residents in terms of income, and in the 99th percentile globally. On my 2011 performance evaluation at Bay Street Ultrasound, for the question “Are you satisfied with your current role and responsibilities? ” I circled 6 out of 7. For the question “Are you satisfied with your position at Bay Street Ultrasound? ” I circled 7 out of 7.

I also met Catherine Anne Doran during the period of the rapes. On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “of no importance to me” and 10 being “of maximum importance to me,” I would rate my time with Catherine Anne Doran a 9.3. To put that number in context, I would rate the death of my mother an 8.8. I would rate losing my virginity an 8.7. Despite this high level of personal significance, the measurable changes our relationship produced were negligible. The numbers were the same, but everything changed. This is what I fail to understand.

I don’t remember any specifics of our initial meeting. On August 11, 2011, at 10:40 a.m., she was having some uterine cysts examined, and I was the ultrasound technician. The cysts were benign, but of the type that could increase the difficulty of conception by a range of 15 to 85 percent. Her visit itself was of little to no interest to me at the time.

Seventeen days later, Bettany Devani, the administrative assistant at the Bay Street clinic, informed me in conversation that a description of our session had been posted on TheHairpin.com. I saw Bettany Devani 178 percent more than I saw any other person. She was, in her phrase, “from the islands.” If I were to bet on her ethnic makeup, I would wager on 41.3 percent European, 37.2 percent African, 15.2 percent South Asian, and 6.3 percent some extinct tribe. She asked me if I remembered “a skinny blonde bitch” who had come in for a 10:40 a.m. two Thursdays ago, and I told her I couldn’t, though I didn’t really try, and she said, The girl who kept changing her appointments, and I told her I never checked the appointments, and she looked irritated to mildly irritated and told me to look at TheHairpin.com. I asked her what that was, and she said she would send me the link. Then her boyfriend of 1.7 years entered. Brian was six feet three and weighed between 202 and 212 pounds, with body fat of less than 8 percent. He had roughly 85 percent African ancestry. He worked for FedEx. He dropped by the clinic an average of 2.6 times a week.

The post that Bettany sent me was entitled “Things I Heard at My Ultrasound Appointment That I Didn’t Want to Hear.” It was a list containing nine items. I recognized three of my own remarks. Number 4 was “You have a good belly for the machine.” Number 6 was “3-D ultrasound services are really a way for immigrant families to screen for gender.” Number 7 was “Yes, technically, that is illegal.” A few of the others on the list were from Bettany, I inferred. The rest were either made up or from visits to other clinics.

“Things I Heard at My Ultrasound Appointment That I Didn’t Want to Hear” was retweeted 137 times and favourited twenty-three times, and received 1,900 Facebook likes. I forgot about its existence in three to seven minutes. My work during the course of August 28, 2011, was in the 98th percentile of difficulty and complexity. Along the spine of an eighty-nine-year-old man, I spotted tumours, which are hard to image. A forty-three-year-old pregnant woman had a fetus with a high to very high probability of Down syndrome. I took every possible image so she could abort with moderate to high levels of confidence in the analysis. After lunch, I examined the genitals of a possibly hypochondriac twenty-six-year-old graduate student who falsely believed he had testicular cancer.

August 26, 2011, was a Friday, which is Kraft Dinner night. I had already consumed red meat three times that week, so I substituted diced green and red peppers for the hot dogs I added to the meal nine out of ten times. I was lying in my bed with the pot of Kraft Dinner and my favourite fork, preparing to masturbate to video clips of interracial threesomes from the Bushdakta Company, and I had already reached an anticipatory state of arousal—a 3 out of 7—when I remembered Catherine Anne Doran. Her website appeared to have been designed in 2010. It used a modern sans serif font. Its motto was a quote from Gore Vidal: “A narcissist is someone better looking than you.” There were four tags: Lit, Bio, Fashion, Art. Under Fashion, there were fifty-eight pictures of Catherine Anne Doran in expensive dresses. I masturbated to an image of her pouting in a black Givenchy suit. At that time, I rated Catherine Anne Doran an 8.3 out of 10 for attractiveness. She was a blonde, which skewed the figure. Taking that out of consideration, I figured she was probably closer to a 7.7.

It was a mild winter in Toronto. Average snowfall in the city is 121.1 centimetres. Snowfall that year amounted to 40.0 centimetres. I had sex five times over the course of the next four months, with two different women. The experiences varied from a 2.9 to a 7.8. Also, the sexual assaults in my neighbourhood stopped when the temperature dropped below zero at night. Frost correlates negatively to rape.

By Christmas, I had accrued 8.5 unused vacation days at the Bay Street clinic. Pam in human resources informed me in writing that only five of my days would roll over into the next year. I used my remaining 3.5 days to visit my father in Niagara Falls over the Christmas week. I owed him two church attendances for the year. After the death of my mother, we had struck a deal that I would attend church four times each calendar year, and in exchange he would never discuss religion with me. He does not uphold his end of this bargain, but whenever he mentions Christ I can threaten not to go to church. This leverage is necessary, because discussions of metaphysics, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 representing “of no interest to me” and 10 representing “of the greatest possible interest to me,” rank a 1.0.

My mother died on May 3, 2010, at 7:36 in the morning. Since that date, my father and his place of residence have been slowly collapsing. During the Christmas visit, I had to move a pile of newspapers away from an electric space heater, wash over 85 percent of the house’s dishes, and remove a plug of hair from the bathtub. Not that my father seems unhappy in entropy. Entropy suits his body. He shaves between 15 and 20 percent of the times he should. He leaves the span between haircuts roughly 150 percent too long. He gains an average of four pounds every six months.

He promised my mother before she died that he would quit smoking. Working from the assumption that life is better than death, I approved. This assumption has faced significant challenges. My father passes his time watching a special channel for games whose outcome is already known. They call these games “classics.” When I came into the house on Christmas Eve, I asked him what he was watching, and he said basketball, and I asked if that was the one where they bounce the ball on the ground and then throw it into a hoop, and he said it was. We had ticked the box that said we had completed a conversation.

My father and I then went to the cheap casino in Niagara Falls and played craps, which is our favourite mutual activity. We had distinct functionalities at craps. I ensured that my father followed the statistically correct betting patterns and avoided the obviously dumb bets he was consistently tempted to make. His function was to care about whether we won or lost, which I could not. By the time of the evening service, we were up nearly $1,000. He peeled off five $100 bills and took four and change for himself. This is how we established that he loved me.

The church is near the highway. It is marked by a cross between fourteen and fifteen metres high. On the scale of religious insanity, with 1 representing “sensible but operating from mistaken principles” and 10 representing “fundamentalist lunatics with no respect for human life,” the Church of the Holy Word is a 7.45. The church was my father’s social contact, and studies have shown that prolonged social contact has a series of measurable health benefits. A person with strong social networks has a 50 percent greater chance of surviving heart surgery, for example. Again, I approved, insofar as I assumed that life is better than death.

We arrived at the church three minutes after the service had begun, which was seventeen minutes after the hour for which it had been called. There were somewhere in the vicinity of 371 congregants. One of the 371 congregants was Catherine Anne Doran. I recognized her neck from her website. She was sitting with her family in the third row. Her father was wearing a mid-range suit. He had a $15 haircut. He sat stock upright. His eyes were fixed on Pastor Bob. Catherine Anne Doran’s mother looked bedraggled in a macadamia-coloured dress patterned with cornflower blue polka dots. In terms of attractiveness, the father rated an 8.7 out of 10, while the mother rated no higher than a 3.4. The importance of faith, in my experience with the Church of the Holy Word, is inversely proportional to the discrepancy between the level of attractiveness within a couple. Therefore, I inferred that faith was of high to very high importance to Catherine Anne Doran’s family.

It took a half-hour for Catherine Anne Doran to notice me staring, even though I was staring the whole time. When she turned and looked at me, I had the strange impression that her eyes looked like the pickles on a McDonald’s cheeseburger. Then she smiled. Her first smile was confused recognition. She knew me, but she didn’t know from where she knew me. Her second smile was made up of 16.3 percent fear, 5.6 percent embarrassment, 45.1 percent surprise, and 33.0 percent pleasure at being recognized.

The service ended with Pastor Bob reminding the congregation that Christ was born to die for our sins, and that our delight at Christmas should be mixed with shame and sorrow at a ratio of three equal parts. The congregation took seven and a half minutes to file into the basement, which received about 83 percent of its required luminosity from fluorescent bulbs, making the eggshell walls look misty blue-grey. Fold-out tables with plastic covers depicting sprigs of holly and cartoon Santas held plates of samosas and Nanaimo bars and bowls of fuchsia punch.

Catherine Anne Doran came up to me and said we had met before but she didn’t know where. I said we had, and that she had written about it. She said yes, and wasn’t it a small world, and I said no, that was a misconception brought on by the limited way we live our lives. She paused, then she laughed. I said I was surprised that she kept her real name on her columns and her website, since she wrote about activities that the Church of the Holy Word would not approve of. She said her parents didn’t read anyway. I said that that might be true but that she probably wanted to get caught anyway, and she smiled again. She said she was just trying to be honest, and I said I felt the same way. Then she quoted Jesus, in a low whisper: “I am the way. I am the truth.” We looked over and saw my father talking to her parents. Her mother’s face, which was not a face used to joy, revealed the following emotions: 21.0 percent pleasure, 43.5 percent hope, 13.2 percent fear, and 22.3 percent confusion. Catherine Anne Doran said it almost hurt how much pleasure it would give her parents to see her dating somebody from the church. So we made a display of exchanging numbers.

We had intercourse 56.5 hours later. I was glad my apartment was meticulously clean. She came over and then asked for a glass of water and then I came back and then I found her naked in my bed. She said, Aren’t you surprised, and I said I was moderately to very surprised. She laughed again.

We had sex eighty-seven times, plus seventeen times orally for me, nine times orally for her. Our sexual chemistry would have rated an 8.9 on a scale from 1 to 10.

We enjoyed speaking with each other roughly 73 percent as much as we enjoyed sex. She asked me about myself, and I told her that my credit rating was 785 and that I had a level 68 frost mage in World of Warcraft. She asked me if I was good at my job, and I told her that I got a 7 out of 7 on my performance evaluation. She asked me if I liked reading ultrasounds. I didn’t know what to say, so I mentioned that human beings hear sounds between twenty and 20,000 hertz. Ultrasounds hear all of the frequencies.

She enjoyed talking about her career three to four times more than she enjoyed talking about mine. Eventually, it was almost all we talked about. She posted on TheHairpin.com twice a week, and supplemented those posts with semi-regular freelance assignments that provided work every two or three weeks. The bulk of her income came from writing annual reports. I began to run statistical analyses so I could contribute meaningfully to our discussions of her work life. One evening at dinner, as she began to describe her week, I handed over a folder with all of the necessary metrics. I had cross-referenced the subjects she discussed with the number of retweets and Facebook likes and comments. She was surprised, then appalled, then pleased. I mentioned that I could provide much more effective analyses if she provided a) hit counts, b) quantities of payment, and c) time spent on each task. She asked if I would really do that for her, and I said I would, and she said it was one of the sweetest things any guy had ever offered, and I said I’d be happy to, and she crooked her neck sideways and said, You’re a good guy, and I said, I’m 78 percent certain that I am a good guy, and she laughed again.

My work at the clinic continued to rate a 6 out of 7 on the satisfaction scale. Bettany Devani was cheerful to very cheerful 91 percent of the time, because Brian had given her a 0.57-carat princess-cut diamond set in platinum, which was worth $2,700 and for which Brian had paid $3,300. I congratulated Bettany on her engagement, and she remarked that every pot has its lid, and I asked what she meant, and she said that I would find somebody someday, and I said that I had found somebody, and she asked who, and I said the woman she had called a skinny blond bitch. Her face registered 12.3 percent surprise, 5.7 percent contempt, 17.6 percent happiness for my sake, 31.2 percent confusion, and 33.2 percent embarrassment.

The only way Catherine Anne Doran could sleep was by watching television and listening to the radio at the same time on my couch. Eventually, I became used to the noise. When she woke up, we would talk or have sex. One of our favourite things to do was to take photographs of each other’s body parts with our phones. We would keep photographing the elbow or the breast or the hand or the vagina or the nape of the neck until we achieved the perfect 10.0, the perfect attachment at the perfect angle in the perfect light. If we could connect all of the attachments, we would have our perfection.

Catherine Anne Doran and I had sex one time in the clinic. I looked at her on the inside and the outside. This encounter hit a 9.9 out of 10 on whatever interpersonal scale you care to name. While her abdomen was still covered with the blue goo, she invited me for the first time to a party to meet her friends. It was on the way to this party that I witnessed the rape.

I hate being late. My mother was often late. Humans are the only objects in nature that can be late. If a molecule of carbon is a molecule of carbon, it is a molecule of carbon when it is a molecule of carbon. Catherine Anne Doran explained that the party was called for 8 p.m. This did not mean that guests were supposed to arrive at 8 p.m. They were supposed to arrive between 8:30 and 9 p.m.

Therefore, I called a cab at 8:08. This gave the cab twelve minutes to arrive and twelve minutes to drive me to the party, which was at the Shangri-La Hotel downtown. The cab failed to arrive at 8:20. It failed to arrive at 8:30. I called the cab company. They told me that a cab would arrive in a half-hour. I cancelled the cab and began looking for another along Bathurst Street. By 8:53, I realized that I could make better time by walking. On my way, at 487½ Euclid Avenue, between Harbord and College, this is what I saw: a woman moaning at the corner of the stairs. A man was standing over her. He saw me, and he turned and rushed by, and his face was 17.1 percent denied lust, 33.7 percent terror, 41.2 percent anger, and 8.0 percent self-loathing. He had chestnut, almond-shaped eyes. He had chocolate brown hair. His age was between twenty-eight and thirty-two. He was wearing an unusual, cyan-coloured corduroy jacket. I could gather less information about the woman. She was turned away, already limping up the stairs. At a guesstimate, she was between forty-three and fifty-three years old.

I arrived one hour and seventeen minutes late to the party. I learned just three things there: 1) Conspicuous consumption is considered a mode of charity. 2) Several hundred young women wear clothes that represent a significant proportion of their annual incomes, which cannot possibly be justified on the basis of comparative social advantage. 3) Vodka sodas have the highest alcohol-to-calorie ratio.

The next morning, I went in to 14 Station and reported what I had witnessed. An older policeman called in a young detective, who brought in another young detective. They seemed pleased to very pleased with my information. They brought me a book of photos and recorded me on video. I flipped through the book until I saw the man I had seen. Then they made me wait for 2.4 hours. They asked me if I needed anything, but I had my phone, so I didn’t. I just played Fruit Ninja. Then they brought me into a dark room with one glass wall. I saw the man I had seen on the other side of the glass. I pointed at him. They gave me the impression that I hadn’t done that right. The two detectives then asked me repeatedly to tell them the story. They asked me the address. I told them the address. They asked me how I remembered. I said that I remembered because I knew a crime was being committed. They asked me how I knew. I said that I had seen the furtive look of the man, and that he had come from attacking the woman, and that the woman had clearly been suffering. They paused for a span longer than twenty seconds but less than thirty. Then the younger of the two detectives asked why I hadn’t helped the woman. I told them that she was already climbing her stairs. They paused again. They asked me why I hadn’t asked her if she was all right. I said that I had calculated that a) I had no responsibility, b) there was a 65 percent probability that she didn’t want an encounter with another stranger, and c) I was late for a party.

I added that I hate being late. The young detective looked at me and said, Are you sure that’s your answer? I asked him what he meant, and he said, Didn’t I think that she was already in the house, so I couldn’t know what she wanted? I said no. I said that I had seen what I had seen. The older policeman entered the room. He patted me on the shoulder. I was free to go.

My dating schedule with Catherine Anne Doran had reached zone two of commitment. We were going out one day on the weekend and one night during the week at least, and we texted 4.5 days out of seven. She often joined me for breakfast. I always paid. I believe this gave her a morning ration of 500 calories, which figured in her economic calculations.

When I told her the story of witnessing the rape, she gave me a look that contained 51.3 percent horror, 33.9 percent misunderstanding, and 14.8 percent anticipation that the story would turn into a post. She asked me why I had walked away, and I told her that I would have been late to the party if I had stopped, and that I hate being late. She also paused for more than twenty and less than thirty seconds. Then she asked if I was all right in the head. I said that I thought I was all right, but that nobody could ever know if they were right in the head, because even insane people believed they were right in the head, and she said, No, there were people who knew they were insane, and I said that I was either in the category of the perfectly sane or that I was perfectly insane, and I was not in a region or zone in between. I told her that she had seemed very happy to see me. She gave me another look. I couldn’t tell what percentages it had. She said, You know there’s something wrong with you. I said that I saw things as I saw them.

About a week later, we actually had something like a fight. She said to me that she liked the way I looked at her, and I said, I’ve looked into your uterus, and then she said that she really was a narcissist, because she had loved it so much, and that being a narcissist was the world’s greatest pleasure, and I told her she wasn’t good looking enough to be a narcissist for too much longer. She asked me what I meant, and I explained that men had Pavlovian responses to young blondes from watching pornography, and that soon she would no longer be a young blonde. I realized within 0.8 seconds that my comment could be construed as an insult. She asked why I was being mean, and I said I was kidding, and she said, You don’t know how to kid, and I said I had just learned, and she sort of laughed.

She said that I was a robot anyway, and I said I wasn’t a robot. She thought for about two minutes, and then she said, You’re a human resource. And I said, Yes, I’m a human resource. She cuddled into my neck and said that I was a good human resource, and I said that was all I wanted to be.

One time, I read in a magazine a famous scientist describing what it means to be happy. He said that happiness is an animal doing what it is supposed to do. By that definition, I was happy.

My time with Catherine Anne Doran changed my behaviour in measurable ways. At the Come Meet the Future clinic, I told two Indian parents that their unborn daughter was a son so they wouldn’t abort her. I told Catherine Anne Doran this story, and she wrote it for TheHairpin.com, and it went viral. It received 835 comments.

They caught the rapist on March 27, 2012. He was a twenty-eight-year-old Italian Canadian named Samuel Alfio Bonnaventure. He had a history of mental illness. For that reason, the media could not release any further specifics about his person.

The prosecutor met with me twice. She was dark haired, five feet four, between thirty-two and thirty-seven years old, a 7.8 out of 10 with an IQ of between 130 and 140. I liked her. She asked me the same questions that the young detectives had asked, and I answered the same way. She asked why I hadn’t approached the victim, and I said that I didn’t think I had to. She asked me if I was sure of what I saw, and I said I was absolutely sure of what I saw. She seemed roughly 78.6 percent satisfied the first time. She seemed 64.3 percent satisfied the second time.

Meanwhile, my job was the same, with people being born and dying. My father came in one day. A doctor from Niagara Falls set up his appointment. His lungs were full of comet-tailed artifacts, and the bronchogram was full of consolidations. He asked me why I paused, and I told him that it was really best if he talked to the doctor. I almost told him to start smoking again, but then I knew I would have to explain. That same day, I received the announcement that the trial was set for Maundy Thursday at 9:40 a.m. The prosecutor asked me to show up by nine. I was going to take one of my three sick days for the year, but Pam in human resources informed me that there was a different category of days off for court. We were both pleased.

The courtroom was in Old City Hall, at Bay and Queen. The prosecutor met me at the door and told me just to tell the truth, and I told her I would. She left me alone in a fluorescent-lit room without windows. The courtroom was full. There must have been between seventy-three and 115 people. There was a judge who looked like a barber. There was Catherine Anne Doran, too, though she hadn’t told me she was coming, so I assumed she was going to write about it. The defence lawyer looked intelligent to very intelligent. He was bald and tall and between sixty-two and sixty-six years of age. Sitting beside him was the man I had seen on Euclid Avenue. He was wearing a suit in beige with a cerulean tie. The peripheral effects of his light suit made his skin look lighter. I assume that this technique is necessary to counter the prejudice against people with higher quotients of melanin in their skin.

I swore on a Bible and said I would tell the truth. The prosecutor asked questions first. She had told me to answer yes or no. Her questions were all the same ones she had asked me before the trial, and I answered yes or no.

The defence lawyer had a more dramatic air, as if he was playing a lawyer onstage. He began by asking me how certain I was that what I had seen was a rape. I avoided the epistemological trap of answering that I was 99.7 percent sure. Instead, I repeated what I had seen. I saw the man standing over the woman at 487½ Euclid. I saw him fleeing. I saw her climbing the stairs. Where were you going that night? he asked. I answered that I had been going to a party. He asked if it was fun. The prosecutor stood up. The judge told me I didn’t have to answer that question. So I didn’t. Then the defence lawyer turned and asked a question that he had clearly been leading up to. He asked me why I hadn’t approached the lady after I had seen his client running away. I could see the prosecutor suddenly start to worry. I said I didn’t think she wanted me to. He asked if I was the only other person on the street. I said yes. He said that if I felt she had been violated, surely I would have helped her. That’s human instinct, he said. I said that “instinct” is a word people use when they don’t understand what they’re talking about. So you’re not sure you know what you’re talking about? he asked. No, you aren’t sure, I answered. I repeated my description of the scene. At 487½ Euclid Avenue, between Harbord and College, I saw a woman moaning in pain and anger at the corner of the stairs, with a man standing over her. He was buttoning himself up, but I saw his face as he ran past. The man’s face was 17.1 percent denied lust, 33.7 percent terror, 41.2 percent anger, and 8.0 percent self-loathing. He had chestnut, almond-shaped eyes. He had chocolate brown hair. His age was between twenty-eight and thirty-two. He was wearing an unusual, cyan-coloured corduroy jacket.

In hindsight, I am 87 percent sure that it was the precision of my description that made the courtroom pause. At that moment, into the pause, Catherine Anne Doran shouted out that I was sick. There was a small to medium hubbub in the court, and she stood up, cradling her head in her hands, and ran out the door. The defence lawyer smiled faintly, then with a whiff of pity asked if I had ever been diagnosed with a condition. I answered that I see things as I see them.

After the trial, I attempted to call Catherine Anne Doran sixteen times, but she wouldn’t answer. I sent her thirteen texts, but she didn’t text back. I tried to calculate the odds of what her silence meant, but I could not. There was asymmetric information. I checked TheHairpin.com. She hadn’t posted.

I knew she would be in church at Easter, which was only 3.1 days after the trial. The crowd was slightly larger than at Christmas. She was sitting with her family. She saw me enter. Her gaze was 19.2 percent anger, 31.6 percent surprise, 42.9 percent sadness, and 6.3 percent a shared sense that we were different from everybody else in the room.

After services, we walked to the Falls. The Falls themselves are the most visited piece of scenery in the world. The natural rate of erosion on Horseshoe Falls is 1.16 metres per year, but to maintain the status quo of its position and the current views from the hotels and observations points, the erosion has been limited to 7.6 to ten centimetres per year through regular reinforcement of the waterfall lip. We watched for awhile without speaking. Then she said, Don’t you want an explanation? and I said it was about me not comforting that woman, and she said yes. She said that I should see somebody, and I laughed, and she asked why I was laughing, and I said that all I did was see people. I said, You’re going to write about this, aren’t you? And she said she wouldn’t write about it, and I told her she should. I didn’t care. It would make a good story. It would get lots of hits. Then she left, and I was alone.

I sat and watched the lit Falls for two hours and thirteen minutes before I drove back to Toronto. Flocks of teenagers were heading to haunted houses. All of the children were sleeping so they could get to the water parks early in the morning. All of the adults were out taking bad odds on various randomly generated outcomes, otherwise known as casino games.

If I were to rate my experience with Catherine Anne Doran on a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being “meaningless” and 10 being “highly meaningful,” I would not know what number to put down. If there were a space to provide any additional comments, I would write, “You will have to redefine the scale.” The numbers were the same, but everything changed. I was momentarily lost, by which I mean I had no idea what to think for a moment. Then I recognized that my own brain was limited, and that the world consisted mostly of asymmetric information and terminally incomplete data. I could never know what I would never know. It was frustrating to highly frustrating.

The Falls were lit up in cardinal scarlet and Byzantine purple and honeydew green. I watched the people of all kinds from all walks of life come and take photographs of the most photographed place in the world because they had seen it in so many photographs.

All I could think was that 168,000 cubic metres of water were flowing over the edge every minute, at a rate of forty-eight kilometres per hour.

This appeared in the July/August 2014 issue.

Stephen Marche
Stephen Marche is a Toronto writer. He is currently at work on a book about the risks of civil war in the United States.
Sous Sous
Sous Sous has won two gold National Magazine Awards.