"We must be in Mercury retrograde, I thought. It was an astrological condition my mom's boyfriend, Wayne, told me about, a reversal of luck, good or bad. Wayne explained it like you're on a train and when another train is passing, going in the same direction, it looks like it's going backward. He says Mercury retrograde is a time when it's impossible to judge distances. If you know when it's going to happen, you can get yourself in the right mindframe and it doesn't totally screw you up. That's how, when the trains start sliding backward, you know which way they're really going."

Rebecca Moore, from the short story "Smokin' Joe"