Mixed Drinks

by Tovli Simiryan

He toured almost every night when he was young, but now he leaves home only when loneliness crowds him out. He finishes the performance, signs autographs, implies he still carries a torch for the few women admirers, now in their sixties, who stand so close their lips taste his thoughts and stain his satin dress shirt. The crowds aren’t as significant or young as they used to be, but bite into his magic with such sharp teeth, he is suddenly empty and craves the shadows of solitude once again. His performances have left him thin, practically emaciated. He survives with one sip of warm tea, while his followers enjoy mixed drinks intelligently provided by his promoter to foster belonging and the illusion the companionship of strangers is both unending and good for the soul. The crowd presses against his body, all eyes staring, all hands touching, but he never stops smiling and looks above it all, having picked a small spot on the wall that bears watching.

6S - C3

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