People in coats and ties were milling around the Talley gallery, and on the wall were the minimally rendered still lifes by Giorgio Morandi, most of them no bigger than a tea tray. Their thin browns, ashy grays, and muted blues made people speak softly to one another, as if a shouted word might curdle one of the paintings and ruin it. Bottles, carafes, and ceramic whatnots sat in his paintings like small animals huddling for warmth, and these shy pictures could easily hang next to a Picasso or Matisse without feeling inferior.

Some nights, alone, he thinks of her, and some nights, alone, she thinks of him. Some night these thoughts, separated by miles and time zones, occur at the same objective moment, and Ray and Mirabelle are connected without ever knowing it.

It’s late. Need place to rehearse Dead Guy. I lie at bottom of stairs. Wife comes home. Do I break character? Never. She dials shrink.

Mirabelle is not affected by a man’s failure to approach her, as her own self-deprecating attitude never allows the idea that he would in the first place.

Defendant running for exit. Not to escape, but out of disgust. Judge wearing NOTHING under his robes.

She has simply never quite learned to walk or hold herself comfortably, which makes her come off as an attractive wallflower.

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