Jenny went to the bathroom to run her bath. She opened various bottles and poured them into the water: Essential Algae, revitalizes the skin, all natural. "It's from France," the clerk had said with import, as if the French had mastered the secret of bathwater along with the elements of rudeness; a dash of Amino Extract, 원주신경외과all vegetable protein in an absorbable form. "Makes stretch marks as smooth as if you'd spackled them," the clerk had said. He'd been a drywall man moonlighting at the cosmetic counter and was not yet versed in the nomenclature of beauty. Two capfuls of Herbal Honesty, a fragrant mix of organically grown herbs harvested by the loving hands of spiritually enlightened descendants of the Mayans. And last, a squeeze of Female E, vitamin E oil and dong quai root extract, to bring out the Goddess in every woman. Rachel had given her the Female E at the last meeting of the Pagan Vegetarians for Peace when Jenny had consulted the group about divorcing Robert. "You're just a little yanged out," Rachel had said. "Try some of this."

When Jenny finished adding all the ingredients, the water was the soft, translucent green of cheese mold. It would have come as a great surprise to Jennifer that two hundred miles north, in the laboratories of the Stanford Primordial Slime Research Building, some graduate students were combining the very same ingredients (albeit under scientific names) in a climate-controlled vat, in an attempt to replicate the original conditions in which life had first evolved on Earth. It would have further surprised her that if she had turned on a sunlamp in the bathroom (the last element needed), her bath water would have stood up and said "Howdy," immediately qualifying her for the Nobel prize and millions in grant money.