Fiona looks at me with such a mixture of fealty and hope, I’m struck by how incompletely humane I am, how artificial. Stagehands use gel sheets on concert lights for visual effect, in this vein I colour my thoughts, sliding the idea of appropriate emotion in place. There’s too much calculation in it for me to call it genuine, and the knowing of it only shapes the disconnect. Fiona smiles and I slide something warm in place, tuning my face to match. It’s enough for her to see the performance, but I’ll always know how the production was staged.

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