Kelly, a white man, is walking across the parking lot of a grocery store, when he sees a black man walking toward him. He knows he has never seen this person before, but he cannot shake the feeling that he knows him somehow. As they move towards each other, the feeling becomes unshakable, until finally their paths cross and the black man says to him, "Kelly. I bet you're wondering why I know your name." Kelly responds, "I'm sorry. Do I know you?" And the black man says, "It's Martin."
Kelly's initial feeling makes sense then: Martin was one of his best friends in high school, they played in a band together, and so of course Kelly would recognize him. But it also makes no sense: Martin was white. Twenty years later, here he is standing in front of Kelly, undeniably Martin, but a black man.
Here is the passage that follows, in the opening pages of Your ...
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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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