Hard not to think it’s all a game

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Pablo Picasso, Woman in a Blue Hat

I’m here in a very beautiful place in the mountains, the days like all the days in Paradise: grand blue skies and lofty clouds sweeping serenely by, and vast forests of ancient trees, and great colorful birds soaring on the wind, and a sun that can dazzle the gloomiest mind.

The mountains are most splendidly arrayed in the evening when they wear the sweet rose of sunset. And the sky at night! Filled with stars beating in a crystalline silence of the purest kind! It’s the Hotel Paradiso: a rambling building, not quite French, not quite Italian, not quite Moorish, with arched balconies and miniature bell towers and wrought-iron railings and verandahs and red glazed-tile roofs of various heights — a glorious, improbable hodgepodge straight out of a book of fairytales. …

What the shrink said

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Biplab Biswas, True Love

If I were writing my autobiography (which I’m not), I’d begin with the very first thing I remember: a long dark corridor ending at an open door and a white light that hurt your eyes when you looked at it.

It was the corridor outside my bedroom, and the light came from the upstairs john — the scariest room in the house, with its almost-animal fixtures, jungle wallpaper, and an ancient medicine-cabinet mirror that my best friend Miranda Finch told me, if you looked into it late at night, could reveal when you were all alone, and your parents were as good as dead in their sleep, the face of the Devil. …

Because believing it makes it real

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Jana Brike, Center of the Universe

Billy Strange smiled awkwardly, and his hand shook as he rubbed the back of it against my cheek. Rain thrashed against a window, making the only sound in this anonymous hotel room somewhere in Inglewood, near LAX — the roar of jets coming in and taking off, coming in and taking off.

“Took us a while to get here,” he said.

Yes, it had.

“I always played it safe,” he said. “Let opportunities slip away. Always afraid to open myself to new experiences.”

“You tried. We can’t afford to bear our mistakes like crosses. …


Katheryn Clegg

Katheryn Clegg lives and writes in San Francisco. Her new novel is “RiverRun.” She loves clear prose and foggy weather. Folllow her on www.katherynclegg.com

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