Good Benito, II

Rohit Khare (
Thu, 21 Aug 1997 19:37:08 -0400 (EDT)

[Galvinston is a maverick physics professor who has taken Bennett under
his wing]

After Bill drifted away, Bennett was often alone in the basement,
contentedly at work in the evenings untile midnight, on weekends. He
kept cans of tuna fish in a drawer. Saturdays or Sundays, Galvinston
appeared. You're going all the way, Galvinston would say when he saw
Bennet, You've got escape velocity. The assistant professor might
stride over to Bennet's desk or pace near the blackboard a few
minutes. Then he would go to his own desk, take out a thick pad of
white, unlined pape, and begin his own calculations, shaking his leg
under the table as he worked. With Galvinston, Bennett didn't have to
explain why he preferred his desk in the basement over New York with a
girl... As Bennet was learning, every professional physicist under
forty ate and drank science. After forty, a theoretical physicist
might coast a little to indulge in a hobby or spend time with a
family. But until then, there was no slowing down. The obsession was
part of the ethic. Galvinston, like Bennett, was obsessed. But for
some reason he had not yet produced any major piece of work. He was
already thirty.