She tried to explain to him about the level you reach, with both feet in, when you lose your fear, you lose it all, you've penetrated the moment, slipping perfectly into its grooves, metal-gray but soft as latex, and now the figures are dancing, each pre-choreographed exactly where it is, the flash of knees under pearl-colored frock as the girl in the babushka stoops to pick up a cobble, the man in the black suitcoat and brown sleeveless sweater grabbed by policemen one on either arm, trying to keep his head up, showing his teeth, the older liberal in the dirty beige overcoat, stepping back to avoid a careening demonstrator, looking back across his lapel how-dare-you or look-out-not-me, his eyeglasses filled with the glare of the winter sky. There is the moment, and its possibilities.
She even tried, from what little calculus she'd picked up, to explain it to Franz as At approaching zero, eternally approaching, the slices of time growing thinner and thinner, a succession of rooms each with walls more silver, transparent, as the pure light of the zero comes nearer. . . .
But he shook his head. "Not the same, Leni. The important thing is taking a function to its limit. At is just a convenience, so that it can happen."
He has, had, this way of removing all the excitement from things with a few words. Not even well-chosen words: he's that way by instinct. [...]
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