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The Shape of Conversation at The Gold Cane

                                    Keith Ekiss


Nathaniel’s heroin mouth agrees with my politics. His father’s money buys the beer. Nathaniel hasn’t taken any job, he says, in years, because they don’t meet his criteria. As the night progresses, dropping our change on tips and Pabst, we avoid cue sticks and come to an agreement: the future’s not written to make the roses bloom. Who needs a country when you can have an island? He remembers the unrevised Reagan, Fawn Hall and Contras, what the city was like when the rich knew their place and didn’t slum. What happened to the silver promises of childhood? The future we assumed belonged to everyone? We’ll stay here all night until the doors close, until the sun rises and the calm streets guide us toward sleep, if that’s what it takes to solve the mystery.


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