Before Sarah Silverberg entered puberty, she would often hit the boys that she was fond of, until bruises stood out from their flesh. From puberty on, she would bruise their egos, so that the bleeding would last a much longer time. In later life, she would ask prospective lovers if they were hemophiliacs. None were, or thought so at the time, anyway.
Although Sarah Silverberg was never officially awarded a Nobel Prize, she still managed to give a shockingly eloquent acceptance speech at the ceremony in Stockholm. The revolutionary intellectual Paulo Gonzalez incorporated excepts into his manifesto A Quantum Theory Of Revolution, in which he claimed to have slept with forty-seven nearly-identical women, all named Sarah. He did not claim that any of the women were actually Sarah Silverberg, nor did he state whether or not any of the women were known to one another.
It was commonly rumored among the employees of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C., that the mustache worn by the wax figure of Albert Einstein in the “Figures in Modern Physics” exhibit was actually woven from the public hair of Sarah Silverberg. To date, no confirmation of this rumor exists. The only comment made by Sarah Silverberg herself was, “Never has a patch of hair been found above a greater pair of lips.”
Sarah Silverberg was once connected by federal investigators to a group of scientists performing research into human cloning. Although its work was not technically illegal, the group was considered dangerous due to its foundation in the Marxist-Leninist theory of revolution. One of the group’s core members, Dr. Henri de Marbot, once stated in a letter to the Annual Review of Genetics that “the most essential and necessary act a scientist can perform is the enabling of the revolutionary, or failing that, the enabling of others that may assist the revolutionary.”
When Sarah Silverberg was seventeen, she was arrested for distributing literature at a public library. The pamphlets in question argued in favor of repealing the Twenty-Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America. At the hearing, her only defense was, “If you can’t afford a measly buck-fifty, why should you be allowed to vote?”
In fifth grade, Sarah Silverberg did her “People I Admire” report on Albert Einstein, the German physicist credited with the formulation of the special and general theories of relativity, as well as contributions to the quantum theory of radiation. The only surviving fragment from this document reads, “...and any man who can find a practical use for tensor calculus is a man I’d go down on, not just once, but many times.” The teacher who assigned the report was said to be “stunned” by its content.
On the last day of Sarah Silverberg’s life, she put on a hat that had been a favorite of her grandmother’s and walked to the park. She had always loved wearing the hat when she was younger, because of the contrast between itself and her smooth, young face. Over the years, the contrast vanished, but she still loved wearing the hat.
A clay impression of the buttocks of Sarah Silverberg was found among the personal effects of Paulo Gonzalez, the revolutionary intellectual, after his shooting death by a Mossad operative who believed him to be part of a Palestinian terrorist cell operating in Brussels. The operative, Lt. Yael Perlman, later said in his debriefing that the impression “revealed a woman of great delicacy and character, with a strange asymmetry in the size of one versus the other, although it may simply have been the way she was sitting at the time.”
Sarah Silverberg never conceived, nor could she ever. She was determined at a young age to carry a recessive gene labeled T857, which in offspring would almost certainly express itself as “a marked tendency towards anarchic and precocious behavior and a fertility unmatched by any other species.” For the good of the status quo, her ovaries were removed under the same laws that had allowed the disabled and the mentally retarded to be sterilized during the 1920’s.
Physicist Dr. Raymond Harcourt served as Sarah Silverberg’s doctoral thesis advisor during her last year at Harvard. His written comments on her proposed thesis, “The Revolutionary Implications of the Photoelectric Effect”, became shriller and more desperate as the semester wore on. Finally, he told her to seek out a colleague of his in the Biology department. This man, one Henri de Marbot, was more than happy to advise the young graduate student on her thesis, although the Ph. D. committee refused to allow her to defend it.
The parents of Sarah Silverberg were frequently chastised by friends, acquaintances, random strangers, teachers, rabbis, doctors, policemen, trial lawyers, government officials, federal investigators, heads of state, and the Pope himself for the manner in which they had brought up their daughter. Their response was always the same: “It’s nothing to do with us. It’s all those goddamn intellectuals.”
Sarah Silverberg was married only once, briefly, to a Pakistani economist who wished to remain in the United States once his visa had expired. The man in question, Kamal Ali Raza, had attempted to present a paper entitled “The Effects of Human Cloning on Taxation, Tariffs and Trade” to the United Nations, despite there being no accepted protocol for such an address. He ultimately resorted to shouting excerpts from his work at the security guards standing outside the building, with the understanding that they might convey anything they found enlightening to the delegates assembled within.
An excerpt from the doctoral thesis of Sarah Silverberg: “...and any man who can find a practical use for the DeBroglie Hypothesis is a man I’d go down on, not just once, but many times.”
Among the personal effects of Sarah Silverberg was found a wooden box with gold-leaf inlay, bearing the inscription “A Gift from a Friend at Graduation”. It contained a note reading “Dear S., congratulations on your timely departure, here is an official Harvard diploma”, and also a roll of toilet tissue. The note is signed “Paulo”.
When asked to make a statement concerning the role of the arms race in bringing about the end of the Soviet Union, Sarah Silverberg remarked, “The major factor in the destruction of the Soviet Union was that it failed to destroy itself, like any revolutionary state should do, from time to time.”
A photograph exists in the National Archives that shows Sarah Silverberg laughing as she and revolutionary intellectual Paulo Gonzalez attempt a stumbling Viennese waltz, surrounded by friends and admirers at a fete in Ulm, thrown by Henri De Marbot to mark the birthday of Albert Einstein. The camera catches her slim figure in mid-step, seeming to cling to Paulo at the same time she tries to push him away, girlish delight giving her face an unearthly beauty. Another photograph taken at the same party, apparently without her knowledge, shows her standing at a balcony with a wistful expression, staring up into the night sky. This photograph bears the scrawled caption: “When you wish upon a star”, in an unknown hand.
About the author:
Chris Gauthier is a New Hampshire-based writer. His short stories have appeared in The First Line and Good Gosh Almighty, and his poetry in Psychpoetica and Poetalk. He is currently writing his first novel, a theological fantasy, which may also feature pirates.
© 2011 Word Riot