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Have you ever had a moment, walking down the street from some unfamiliar errand, when the world slews around to reorient itself (left to backward, north to west) and reveal that you’re traveling in a direction orthogonal to the one you thought? If so, you understand the way Eben comes to perceive his own trajectory, over a dry and seedy joint, one cold spring Thursday.

He passes to the left (backward?) and doesn’t bother holding his breath.

“You okay?” asks Josh.

“What have we been doing all winter, Josh?”

“Saving the world,” Josh says, and inhales with the boldness of youth.