Secretly, I invent a life for myself in which every drop of rain is a penny in my account, the decay of autumn leaves warms my home, lightning charges the batteries of my Lucite flying machine zipping me like a hummingbird to the places I love. I invent a life in which I speak foreign languages without effort, play my music on instruments I’ve never practiced, operate heavy machinery, perform laboratory procedures, dance and run without tiring. I know the names of everything that has a name, and I name everything that would be nameless. I study telomeric regeneration in pond scum, espouse the existence of black-hole ejectamata, and specialize in arachnids and preindustrial tribal legends. I employ whole industries with hints I drop on Saturday concerning heat exchange and the lubrication of air, the production of spider silk and deformable fabrics, and piezoelectric effects in superconductive materials. On Sunday I lecture on Celtic mysticism in Imagisme, publish my research on the causes of aging, and save a distraught dock worker from poverty and despair. I choose my public appearances carefully. Few suspect how firmly I control successful organizations and the global economy, or so I like to think. Some might ask whether my powers have a limit. My answer is this: God only knows. I appear in many forms, preferring anonymity when notoriety doesn’t serve my ends. Wise men have said we should treat a stranger with respect; the stranger might be someone special in disguise.