“It just doesn’t make sense,” she said. “I mean, my sisters get pregnant looking at a cologne ad. They get pregnant in pollen season.”

For six months they had been trying to conceive, and still her period was as regular as the tide. She decided to see a doctor. He told her it would be a waste of money, that the fertility counselor would probably recommend treatments linked to uterine cancer. He went into obscure specifics about the effect of fertility drugs on “weak hydrogen bonds” in the DNA molecule. She listened because he was a very intelligent person who knew more than she did about most things, but in the end she arranged an appointment anyway. To her surprise, the fertility counselor told her that drugs were not necessary. Her hormone levels were fine, and her ovarian reserve was well above the baseline for her age.

“Post-Darwinian Experiments in Consciousness and Other Stories.” — Wells Tower, paintings by John Currin, The New York Review of Books

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