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Keo sat in Zibetto, stirring a cup of green tea. The rain trickled down the windows, in the late evening. Cars and trucks rattled the glass in Midtown. The long summer afternoon had ended and given way to smooth, oily darkness, a violet sky.

Alli came through the door and bought a cappuccino. She sat down across from Keo, at the table.

“So, world traveler,” Alli said, “you’re finally back.”

“Touched down in JFK this morning,” Keo replied.

“Wow,” Alli said. She sipped the coffee and looked out the window, at the storm, “A lot has changed since high school.”

“I can imagine,” Keo said, raising her eyebrows, “I’ve been all over the world and yet I still come back here.”

“What made you come back?” Alli wondered.

“To help an old friend,” Keo said, looking into her tea, “An old girlfriend, actually. She’s folding up an old furniture business. I thought I would buy it off her hands.”

“That sounds really neat,” Alli said. A pair of croissants arrived on a blue dish.

“What about you?” Keo asked, “Are you still with Nealy?”

“No,” Alli smiled, “That was ages ago.”

“Really?” Keo exclaimed, eyes widening, “You two seemed very much in love.”

“The one thing I can say, is that I’m not in love with her anymore,” Alli said, “It’s been a couple of years. Nealy is gone.”

Keo sighed and looked down, “That’s too bad.”

“She went to Shanghai, and we never really connected after that,” Alli explained.

“Where is she now?”

“In San Francisco. Probably.” Alli said.

The taxis whizzed by, on damp streets, rolling to obscure destinations in the deepening night.



Lay Me Down – Sam Smith (Acoustic version)

Incorporeal Double


Ran awoke and stared up at the gray ceiling, colored only by the night.

She sat up slowly, in the white sheets, and looked at Alli. She got up and put her bare feet on the thin carpet. Her face looked back at her in the large mirror of their bedroom, a birthday present Kaan had brought over. She tried to shake herself of the odd sensation of the dream. Nealy’s cold eyes still burned into her – in the world, at the bottom of the well.

In the bathroom, Ran stared at the rings under her eyes. Almost every night, her sleep was horrible. She was lucky Alli was a deep sleeper, or she would have woken her up every time she got up to get a glass of water, in the middle of the night.

She wandered into the kitchen, her bare feet slapping softly on the tile floor. Maybe if she ate something she would fall asleep. Ran reached for some cereal but didn’t turn on the light.

In the dream, Nealy had looked just like her; had her eyes and red hair. It was startling. She had to laugh out loud, milk in hand.

Ran didn’t know how she had courted Alli. Alli was going places, untangling the depreciation and amortization for multi-million-dollar properties. Ran didn’t know why she had picked a surfer writer like her. Opposites attract, they say. She poured the milk into a bowl of Raisin Bran.

Sleep was already creeping back to her. Ran was glad. She’d never been a good sleeper. That dream. Ran had never dreamed she was in the well before. It had been like an out-of-body experience.

She wanted Alli to be happy. Maybe, she would open a beer and sleep in front of the TV.

Ran settled into a familiar chair and closed her eyes. She could still see Nealy, the double, standing in that dim study, drink in hand, as the grandfather clock clicked away, in the background. The darkness swam around her. Her Arne Jacobsen egg chair sat, like an island, in the middle of the carpet.



Koyaanisqatsi – Philip Glass