Francisco was thirteen, an age at which all is forgiven. Eventually he would leave for the United States, but long before his departure, he was already living as if he were gone. As if this family of hismother, father, brothermattered hardly at all. He knew exactly how to end conversations. Until that moment, Nelson had thought his journals were private.
No recordings of the aforementioned prison performance of "The Idiot President" have been found.
By the time of his release, in November of that same year, Henry was much thinner and older. He no longer spoke with that firm voice; in fact, he hardly spoke at all. He gave no interviews. In January, in response to an uprising by inmates, two of the more volatile sections of the prison in Collectors were razed, bombed and burned by the army; and the men who'd made up the cast of "The Idiot President" died in the assault. They were shot in the head, or killed by shrapnel; some had the misfortune to be crushed beneath falling concrete walls. In all, three hundred forty three inmates died, vanished, and though Henry wasn't there, part of him died that day, too. The incident garnered international attention, a few letters of protest from European capitals, and then it was forgotten. Henry lost Rogelio, his best friend and cellmate; his lover, though he wouldn't have used that word at the time, not even to himself. He did not take the stage again for nearly fifteen years.
Excerpted from At Night We Walk in Circles by Daniel Alarcon. Copyright © 2013 by Daniel Alarcon. Excerpted by permission of Riverhead Books. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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