This short story cleverly uses the Î´Îµ definition of continuity of a function to discuss the changing selfesteem of a character over time. After briefly recalling the rigorous definition, it introduces Thomas Henneck's "selfesteem function" and tells his life story in remarks such as
(quoted from Continuity)
Tom's highest recorded selfesteem rating occurred when he was 10.4398679 years old. He had recently been voted president of the fifth grade, been invited to a party by Mark Davis, failed a math test, seen a picture of a dissected cat, had lasagna for dinner, and been praised by his teacher for his diligence in washing his hands. His selfesteem rating was 51.043.

and ponders philosophical questions such as
(quoted from Continuity)
Can the graph of Tom's selfesteem values be drawn without lifting the pencil from the page? Is there indeed a Î´ for every Îµ? Or, on the other hand, is it possible to jump from one selfesteem value to another without hitting the values in between, leaving holes in the graph, rifts in the stream of causeandeffect? Can one love oneself one instant and hate oneself the next, or must there be a steady decline?

Based on my knowledge of the rest of Mauro's writings, I agree with his comments when he wrote to me:
Contributed by
Buzz Mauro It's probably the most mathematical of all my stories in some ways. (Also the least traditional as far as plot goes.)

Published in
Columbia, Issue 32, Summer 1999. 