#19

The man at my desk begins with a letter, reveling in something which may not end. Our typewriter sits in the corner, collecting dust, while I sit in another – trembling, grinning as he twirls. Jagged expression fills the spaces between us. Bemusement sculpts my thoughts as I watch a slitted vein coalesce between his eyes.

The letter opener he grips is shivering, as he tears open the note. I repress my urge to fabricate, to look over his shoulder. To do so is to grip his fingers strangely while he reads aloud his words without sound.

The man at the desk will later lay claim to that frail claim, that author’s frail claim, of knowing one of the both of us. Only one. And so I panic when I fail to recognize that author’s name, but hide it well. So must the man at my desk, no longer at our desk, who goes about his business in spite of the tension filling the room.

One of us follows the other into the next room, where a plate from the night before rests beneath a half-eaten loaf of bread. The sour, dry sensation filling my mouth is the unwelcome reminder of something that I’ve already forgotten, as I stop the man at the kitchen table. From picking up his knife.

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