Many years ago, during my Paris Review days, I was in the anteroom of some bank, waiting for a colleague to get some money, when I struck up a conversation with someone else similarly tasked. I don’t remember what we talked about, just that we shared the respite and malaise of being powerless because the person who waits is always powerless, and, in my case, the colleague was more like a boss, and in the stranger’s case, well, I don’t know. I’m a fiction writer and am very tempted to make something up, but I will refrain (though the old me would have made up something awesome, passed it off as truth, and then forgotten whom I told what only to find myself laughing and nodding politely when regaled with my own experiences years later).
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