I often dream of chemistry at night, dreams that conflate
the past and the present, the grid of the periodic
table transformed to the grid of Manhattan. The location of
tungsten, at the intersection of Group VI and Period 6,
becomes synonymous here with the intersection of Sixth Avenue and
Sixth Street. (There is no such intersection in New York,
of course, but it exists, conspicuously, in the New York
of my dreams.) I dream of eating hamburgers made of
scandium. Then I share my lunch with the heavy transition
metals. Sometimes I dream of the indecipherable language of tin.
Paraphrases from the memoir Uncle Tungsten by Oliver Sacks.