In my parents’ loungeroom after Christmas dinner
I am talking to my brother the computer programmer.
He is explaining to me the principles of cyberspace.
“It is only relatively complex,” he says finally, peeling the icing off his fruitcake,
“It is mainly a system of binaries, permutations of zero and one.
So the data may be stored as, say, zero, zero, one, one one, zero, zero one.”
My mother sighs.
She is next to us, half-listening.
She is knitting a fair-isle sweater.
“I’ll never understand how you get your brain around it,” she says.
“It’s beyond me,” she says, and turns half her attention back
to her fair-isle pattern:
Purl purl plain, plain plain plain purl purl.
Cate Kennedy is an award-winning short-story writer who has twice won The Age short story competition. She is the author of Dark Roots. ‘Cold Snap’, one of Cate’s stories in Dark Roots, appeared in The New Yorker in 2006. Cate is also the author of the travel memoir Sing and Don’t Cry: A Mexican Journal and the poetry collections Joyflight and Signs of Other Fires. She is now at work on her first novel.
From: Internet for Women
Rye Senjen and Jane Guthrey