Mrs. Vachel leaned far back into the past. She was going through her usual throes of agony at her usual hour. Oh! the agony of creation. How they were eating her up, how they were coming out of her in sixes and sevens! And the stillbirths–quadruplicate, quintuplicate! Not to mention the ones who, amidst multiple pregnancies, would not come out at all. She would break out in leaves. Already she was budding mercilessly. Let them do as they like, she would say. Let one brood push out the next. But never would she abandon them. Never would she, Mrs. Vachel, leave them in the lurch. You see, she would say, all they need is enough time and enough space. And if I, from however far away, can give them enough time and space, then surely they will see themselves through, don’t you think? And so her progeny, her own substance multiplied through its own subdivision, selves, anti-selves, former selves, future selves, selfish and selfless selves, rejected selves and their suitors, non-selves, when she could find them, all writ large, writ small, had covered her surface, the surface of the globe, and filled them both, through and through. Modifying their kind, they were spreading still. They had begot on themselves and on one another for generation upon generation. They were breaking out of their tribes. And she would never, never abandon them, never leave them in the lurch, as a certain novelist had done, she wouldn’t mention names, because it wasn’t nice, it wasn’t right. If that certain novelist had only himself had enough time, enough space, he would never have left his characters in the lurch.

—Peter Bert Reiter, Anybody’s Angel