Two boys sitting by the river, sharing a stout tallie from a paper bag, the late afternoon sun snaking downstream in a thousand foamy particulates. Jonah takes a gulp and sighs from somewhere beyond his body. Colt lifts the bottle from his friend and says, ‘That bad, huh?’ A coxswain barks directives. ‘It’s that good,’ Jonah tells the river. ‘Until now I’ve felt like an understudy for my own life. I knew the lines, blocking, and backstage etiquette, but was always preparing someone else for their break.’ Colt finishes the beer and belches, ‘Man, you’ve always been a star.’

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