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ROLLING WITH JAMES JOYCE ON AN IRISH HILL

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ODE TO THE BOOKISH GIRLS

The story of the salesman

The story of a salesman death ofShop the dream

I was on my way to the woods yesterday but I got lost. I ended up pacing around the streets of an unknown town. It was a daunting endeavour; the street was too quiet and my gown was skimming the dirty pavement, so when I saw a car stop at a red light I rushed over to ask for directions.

“Excuse me sir, I’d like to know the way to the woods, can you help me?”

He was an old man, over the age of sixty, dressed in a grey suit and donning a hat. He looked confused; dreamy, but not the good kind. He looked burdened with something heavier than any man should take; staring in front of him, his hands on the wheel. When he did not acknowledge my question I bent down and touched his arm to see if he’s alright and at this, he turned to look at me, smiling with familiarity.

“Linda, you look so beautiful today; where are the boys?”

I stood, taking my time to speak. He looked too far gone to try and bring him back and besides, who was I to do that? I bent down again to see his face and touched his arm.

“Darling, it will be a while before Biff and Happy buy everything they need for school. Why don’t you head on home — no, it’s alright, I promise, we’ll be home by the time you arrive.”

He started his engine and left. I stood there on the pavement, subsisting in the quiet present of the street, watching the tragedy of the mundane unfold.

Story credits: Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman; The Hollywood Reporter for the image of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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