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i couldn't write my way out of a paperback

Every morning I pour myself a glass of brandy and sit in the fog by the empty swimming pool. The hotel guests, most of them elderly women, bundle up in coats and scarves and bring their cigarettes and cocktails poolside. They peer at me through fog glasses, pose difficult questions and offer unsolicted advice. "Why don't you leave this place, Harold?" one of them asks. "You're too young to be so still."

"The fog keeps me here," I tell her. "Everything gets lost in the fog. Including time."

"I like the fog," says another, "because it keeps people out. Those green hills yonder are full of people who can't find their way in. And full of those who can't find their way out."

"I could stay here till the end of time," I tell her.

"Till the end of time?" she asks. "I don't think you understand. You're already there."

I pour myself another glass of brandy. Fog keeps blowing through the courtyard. Trees appear and disappear.

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