Gary and Samantha are happily married, and have been for fifty years. They live in a small suburb of Boston, in a wooden two-storey New England house under the shade of a large sycamore tree - just one of many such trees on their street. Their children, Dan and Ashley, both graduated from college and have great jobs in creative fields, doing amazing things and earning lots of money. They are both married, and Dan brought Gary and Samantha their first grandchild this past spring. Everyone is healthy, blissfully happy and secure.

Gary and Samantha are happily married, and have been for fifty years. They live in a small suburb of Boston, in a wooden two-storey New England house under the shade of a large sycamore tree. They have two children, Dan and Ashley; they are both married. Dan's pregnant wife was killed in an automobile accident in February. Everyone is physically healthy, but Dan has to have psychiatric treatment twice a week and has moved back in with his parents.

Gary and Samantha are happily married, have been for fifty years and live just outside Boston in a picturebook New England house. They have one child, Ashley, who has graduated from college and works as a children's book illustrator. Their older son developed rare neurological condition when he was eight years old, which made him stare at the ceiling and stare wide-eyed as imaginary figures punched and kicked his face. He died soon after, and everyone was relieved for him.

Gary and Samantha are married, have been for fifty years and live just outside Boston. They have no children and despite their picturebook New England lives, are not happy. Neither one can put their finger on it, but every day is a chore and the sun streaming through the curtains each morning is greeted with helplessness. Once a week, a home helper comes and does the tasks they don't feel up to any more.

Gary and Samantha are married and live just outside Boston. They have been smokers most of their lives and are now suffering the diseases of the addicted. Gary has had a slow-burning lung cancer for almost ten years, while Samantha has a heart condition. Both are confined to wheelchairs and forced to depend on the home help. They know he is stealing from them, but have no way to stop him.

Samantha is a resident of the greater Boston area, and has lived there for over fifty years. She has two children, Dan and Ashley, with different fathers. Dan is in prison for selling cannabis to an undercover policeman in Cambridge; Ashley works in a laundrette and has an abusive boyfriend.

Samantha lives in a safe house for women just outside Boston. Gary is a New York tax attorney with acute paranoid schizophrenia who raped her thirty years ago. He pinned her against the wall and called her Sandy, moaning her name over and over again before taking a bus to Salem and stabbing himself with a kitchen knife he bought from a dollar store. Samantha kept the twin children from the incident, Dan and Ashley; neither know who their father is.

Gary and Samantha live just outside Boston, ten blocks away from each other. They went to school with each other almost sixty years ago, secretly harboring mutual crushes. They were too shy to let their feelings be known and neither has had a fulfilling relationship since then. Both continue to work; Gary is an insurance salesman and Samantha is an administrator for a small car hire firm.

Gary and Samantha are dead. They lived in Boston.

Boston is situated in Massachusetts, in the north east United States. Millions of people live there. Gary and Samantha never have done and never will.

America remains undiscovered except by the scattered fragments of nomadic tribes who roam it. Spice is toxic and had no practical use in human civilization; humans live in fiefdoms and trade with each other using primitive wooden ships and long roads traversed using horses and camels. Rome and Baghdad are the most powerful cities on Earth.

Humans live in the wild; they catch fish and live near trees. Everything is lush and green; there is an abundance of wildlife everywhere. Everything is natural except for the simple tools used to open nuts and trap food.

The Earth is one of nine planets, surrounding the Sun. Its surface is uninhabitable; it is unexceptional in comparison to any other body in the universe.

The Sun imploded and became a black hole billions of years before any planets could form and take orbit around it. The Milky Way, in which it resides, is a beautifully complex galaxy.

Nothing exists, has ever existed, will never exist. These words are impossible, although there are no possibilities or impossibilities. Space, time, mathematics, thought, intelligence, air, water, stone, atoms, molecules, energy, sex, love, hate, power, smiles, hugs, murder and death cannot exist. There is no existence or lack of existence. There is simply not.

Gary and Samantha are happily married, and have been for fifty years. They live in a small suburb of Boston, in a wooden two-storey New England house under the shade of a large sycamore tree - just one of many such trees on their street. Their children, Dan and Ashley, both graduated from college and have great jobs in creative fields, doing amazing things and earning lots of money. They are both married, and Dan brought Gary and Samantha their first grandchild this past spring. Everyone is healthy, blissfully happy and secure.