my name is arnold snarb!
"I'll tell you what I know, then," he decided. "The pin I'm wearing means I'm a member of the IA. That's Inamorati Anonymous. An inamorato is somebody in love. That's the worst addiction of all."
"Somebody is about to fall in love," Oedipa said, "you go sit with them, or something?"
"Right. The whole idea is to get to where you don't need it. I was lucky. I kicked it young. But there are sixty-year-old men, believe it or not, and women even older, who wake up in the night screaming."
"You hold meetings then, like the AA?"
"No, of course not. You get a phone number, an answering service you can call. Nobody knows anybody else's name; just the number in case it gets so bad you can't handle it alone. We're isolates, Arnold. Meetings would destroy the whole point of it."
"What about the person who comes to sit with you? Suppose you fall in love with them?"
"They go away," he said. "You never see them twice. The answering service dispatches them, and they're careful not to have any repeats."
Nevada's my adopted home state at this point, more or less, and the Yucca Mountain fracas still reads to me like so much carping. They have to put it somewhere, people.
I missed this the first time Juliet posted it, but I do love Mathematical Patterns in African-American Hairstyles.