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Thank you for the much-needed commentary, Father. I understand much better now. :)

I too realized that I'd mistakenly logged on to the "Twilight Zone" when control was suddenly returned to me on my laptop -- but Rod Serling is stuck as my screen saver.

Few things are more tiresome than commentary written by the author. Coleridge stuck in a few words in the margin, and some thought that was too much. I know this post is a little thick, so here are a few notes that might make the meaning somewhat more limpid (if not limp).

Max has invented a Death Ray device (the "Super X") that he is presenting for a company (GlobalTechMacro) to produce and sponsor for use in the military, police and anyone else who might be interested in a Death Ray. Presumably, there would be many.

The "look" is that of a 50's low budget sci-fi flick, sort of a Twilight Zone ambiance. I meant for him to look like one of those eager geeky types who clutch their beloved inventions in the waiting room.

The pretty secretary pays him no mind, and Max is put off. But never mind, he goes in and makes his pitch. The cadaverous VP, who is diabolical in a grey flannel sort of way, is impressed, revealing to Max that his Death Ray works very well.

It did work, but not in the way expected of a Death Ray. It works gradually, starting with the insinuation ("activate, if you please"), the consideration (the disregard of the secretary) and the act (the pressing of the button). Anger (which is called "murder" by One more vastly articulate than I) is the Death Ray: the physical machine is only a secondary technology. It really doesn't matter what the gizmo looks like inside, because anger "always works in time."

Anger kills, and anger shatters consciousness into broken mirror shards, even to the point (sorry about that pun) of the hellish vision of the "many worlds hypothesis" of quantum mechanics.

I fear that the most confusing aspect of this story is its abrupt change of address to the second person at two points in the story: at the middle, and at the end. "You" are the conscience, and as the only real voice, you receive the honor of quotation marks. Notice that Max is distant from you, as the object of his anger is distant from him.

And note, too, that the missing line from the Chicago schlock song provides the clue to what's missing in Max' world.

Hope this little key helps.

Now this one confuses me.

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