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The end of the world

The end of the world looks like a girl, maybe seventeen, maybe nineteen, maybe he shouldn’t ask. Her lips make him think of Eartha Kitt.

“Is your name Eartha?” he asks.

“No,” she says.

He flips papers, a little confused. “Okay,” he says, “you came with a monologue prepared, right?”

“From Eliot,” she says, and puts her hands behind her:

“Verdigris, peyote dreams,
India and rhyme
Carry claret honey trees
Paralytic sighs;

Close your eyes and swallow sand–“

“That’s not Eliot,” he interrupts.

“It isn’t,” says the end of the world, “is it,” and now it’s her turn to look confused.