Curtain Call, Pablo

Pablo stood on the balconey off center of a vase filled with orchids. Plastic? No, real. Definitely real. Pablo dropped the petal off of the balcony and watched it helicopter down to the world below. The world of perfect, synthetic stone. Flat. Infallible. Give it a couple of years.

Pablo looked up and took a puff of his cliche cigarette. It wasn’t just bad that he was smoking on a star studded night. The cigarette was actually a prop he’d have to go out and use on stage in fifteen minutes. He wasn’t worried. He had plenty more. Herbal cigarettes: same nonsensical oral fixation but only with a little less cancer. Venus blinked at him. He winked back, at Mars.

Pablo… Pablo, Pablo, Pablo Ortega Juarez. What have you gotten yourself into? Too deep now to back out. They will be waiting for you, Pablo. They might already be expecting you. The stage manager is sure to be furious right now. You should be waiting by the curtains with the rest of your troupe. But here you are, smoking cigarettes and wondering what you could have done differently.

Ah… The regrets Pablo felt. Behind his grizzled grey beard and lines across his face, it would seem like he had done it all. Still, here was the stage fright, but where was the stage? Pablo looked down from the balcony. It was a long way down. He reached into his pocket and pulled out an American penny, dropping it, watching it reach terminal velocity before: DING! Perhaps it’s killed an ant all the way down there. It was impossible to tell.

“Ah,” said Pablo, warming up his vocal cords. “Tonight, and never again.”

The fourteen year old looked up at the stars one last time before performing in his first play.


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