The Search for the Genuine

I am sitting in a room: concrete floor, pocked and peeling walls. A bare light bulb hangs from the ceiling. A beaded curtain, perfectly still in the dead heat, keeps the flies at bay, their manic geometries iridescently imitating the “stars” you see when somebody punches your lights out. Six simple tables stand in the room. I sit at one of them, the only person in the place. A plastic tablecloth hangs limply in the heat. Outside the temperature hovers around 126˚ Fahrenheit. A liter of water stands half empty on the table.

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