Thursday, August 7, 2008

At breakfast he was Claude, a man of some renown in a rather limited sphere of the business world. He sipped two cups of black coffee and nodded knowingly as he read an important newspaper.

By midmorning he was comfortably acting as Robert, the diligent and soft-spoken assistant to a not altogether prominent figure in Washington. His hair parted, collar relatively straight, he would go about pleasantly enough doing as he was told.

For lunch he was Bruno, a swarthy gentleman with an appetite for women and trouble; between bites he would snarl at one or the other.

His afternoons were either spent as Jacques or Pedro, the former being a member of a fledgling avant-garde painting movement, the latter being an athlete of some kind. Oftentimes the two were interchangeable during the afternoon hours.

At supper he was Reginald, an aristocrat with a taste for mutton. More mutton he was wont to say at about this time of the day, though he was rarely if ever brought anything even close to resembling mutton (he ate at a public house where the menu was chosen for you).

Most people enjoy some sort of postprandial something after supper, and our man enjoys Wilfred, a persona he adopts with great relish, though with little effect. Others - what few there are around - can rarely comprehend who exactly Wilfred is supposed to be, and some even believe him to be the closest thing they know to our man - that is, our actual man - that there is. Like any belief, though, it cannot be confirmed.

Before retiring for bed he is Augustine, a repentant, solemn man. He says his prayers on his knees and by the time he arises he is Iachimo, a duplicitous Italian philanderer. Sadly, though, Augustine rarely has a woman waiting for Iachimo in bed, and thus, being worn out from a day’s hard work, often goes to bed alone and unsatisfied.

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