Wonder 47

4701

“I’ve got a dinner date tonight,” said my patient Bria Louis, “and I really want to go. Will I be well enough?”

“I think so,” I replied. “It’s just the early stage of a virus, and our herbal remedy seems to kick it out in an hour or two. See how you feel, and if you feel great, that means that the reishi and shiitake did their job, so you’d be good-to-go! If you feel a little tired or still have a sore throat, which is unlikely, then I’d suggest you rest up and postpone your date for another day.”

“I really hope the stuff works,” Bria said. “It’s not like it’s a romantic date–it’s just with a friend. But still. She’s an important friend, and you never know when a friend turns into something more.”

4702

I thought about what she said while I was on break. I don’t really get what more there is than friendship. To me, it seems like everything.

4703

The day went well, but I still felt a little stressed and tired when I got home. I turned on some music and danced before I even showered.

4704

Then, I heard some static from the living room and I noticed that the stereo was broken.

4705

After fixing it, I showered and headed out back to the pool. There’s nothing more relaxing than a quick dip at sunset.

4706

When I got out of the pool, my phone rang. It was Sonia Burgos, whom I’d met at the café the day before.

“I can’t stop thinking about you,” she said. “Want to go out to eat?”

I was hungry, and Sonia seemed like a nice, friendly person, so I said sure. I kept wondering what she meant that she couldn’t stop thinking about me. I finally figured that she was probably interested in my research.

I wore my “remember-not-to-take-myself-too-seriously” outfit. I didn’t want to bore her by going into more details about applanoxidic acid A than she really wanted to hear. When I’ve got my blue glasses on, I remember to toss in a joke now and then, rather than just rattle on as fast as my brain will take me.

4707

In the restaurant, I saw Bria. So she’d made it to her dinner date, after all, and her date was Yuki. They seemed to be having a good time. I didn’t even know they knew each other!

4708

“Look, there’s mushrooms on the menu!” Sonia said.

I laughed. “Nothing like bringing the office to dinner!”

4709

“Mushrooms are fascinating,” Sonia said. “And I mean not just mushrooms, but all types of fungi, especially the mycelium.”

4710

“Are you ready to order?” said the waitress. “The special tonight is smoked chanterelles on a bed of braised kale with pureed fig compote.”

“We’re skipping the mushrooms,” said Sonia.”I got a feeling that’s all we’re gonna be talking about tonight, and I don’t want us to be eating our words.”

4711

We did talk about mushrooms all night. Sonia explained that the mycelium form a network of underground threads connecting all the plants in a forest community, and along those pathways travel chemicals which allow the plants to share information with each other. In other words, mushrooms facilitate plant communication.

Talking with Sonia reminded me of talking with Tia Berry. We could talk for hours and hours, exploring a subject from all different sides and angles.

I think I could be great friends with Sonia–and, after all, what is better than friendship?

4712

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