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The problem with learning tricks to get around a bad memory is that a bad memory makes it hard to learn tricks; but Muriel does learn, after enough panic, enough sweat. All the hooks: felt tips that last longer than ballpoints on skin, unlikely cryptic phrases. Muriel puts her coat where she’ll have to notice her keys. She sets phone numbers to music.

“You correct my spelling,” says Lev curiously, “but you can’t remember my middle name?”

“Letters are like music notes,” she grumbles. “Two places to fit in your head.”

“My middle initial’s a letter.”

“What’s it stand for?”