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  • SLIPPING THEORY INTO LOVE: A Story in Six Parts

    Part One:

    “On the neck of every promise crawls betrayal.” –Eduardo Galeano

    President Carlos Delgado Chalbaud was assassinated in Caracas on a Friday in May 1950. His day started as always, by drinking good strong coffee out of a delicate glazed bowl in the morning light of the palace courtyard. Drinking from a bowl was a habit he’d picked up in Paris as a young man and one he still maintained over the years. It was a daily reminder he’d started life as a poet and not as “the pirate against the people” as he was so often vulgarly portrayed to be in Caracas newspapers.

    A chorus of morning birds filled the courtyard with their sweet song. Chalbaud, still the poet, leaned into the sound, letting his head fall back upon the chair, exposing a pulsing Adam’s apple and a thin neck. Softening his eyes, he took in all the comforting sounds and movements of a royal household slowly awakening. What a life, the poet-president thought. Like a prayer rising, a trilogy of good fate rose up in his mind and he recited to himself all these trump cards of every successful presidential reign—Devoted family, faithful (well fed) army and, of course, a country of untapped resources drawing powerful, foreign attention. Puffing out oily rings of aromatic smoke, the President felt contentment … At the end of the day, he was dead.
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