Carla not quite looking at me over the ridge of her glasses. ‘You know, not everybody makes it,’ she says, then waits as though I’d never considered my failures. ‘Maybe you’d be less depressed if you stopped trying to create something. Maybe you could get a trade, just be happy being normal.’ But I’m not, I tell her, happy or normal. I don’t know how to be either. Carla nods her head, the lenses in her glasses shifting sun rays up and down the table like searchlights without prey. ‘Maybe you could try,’ she says, ‘you know, for me.’

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