He Speaks Publicly in the Office Auditorium

In what one sees, the photograph has a character turned grey in the distilled monochrome of false memory. He stands poised behind a thin vertical line that interrupts the lower centre of the scene. His spindly arms jut out on either side of this line, first flowing outwards, then flipping at a sharp angle, then sinking into his dark blazer. His trousers, perhaps a burnt brown, perhaps a funny green, are his sole non-casual outfit—erect, disciplined, as if under his headmaster’s steady gaze—while his heels hint the cusp of a twitch. Soon, one deciphers his action: a tiptoe to the end of the vertical line where a microphone flops in silence.

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Home and the World

Momo loved the Hudson. On clear afternoons, when yachts glided by on the river’s shimmering surface, she gazed upon the Statue of Liberty and decided to become an American some day. ‘When has geographical distance stopped us romantics, Juju?’ she asked, her bold red dreams flying like Cadillacs against blue Manhattan skies.

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Ed was no Beethoven, and comedy was not composition: his genius could not emerge despite his muteness like the maestro’s symphonies had despite deafness. Nowadays, he haunted the dim rows in the club, drowning in expensive disguises and cheap bourbon. And every midnight, when a tavern door uncorked itself, he stumbled out Eduard Pacinto once more, flowing into the flickering city streets. And within the fabric of those deserted nights, some old applauses pierced through to him, stitching themselves against his suffocating silence.

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