Growing pains

So, The Rocker is growing his team and it’s not always easy.  We’ve added two people in Canada: The Lawyer, a former Assistant Vice-President of Creation at Circus Amalgamated who will serve as his General and Producing Manager and The Grantwriter, who will serve as his Financing Director responsible for preparing and filing grants and financing applications to the Canadian government.  There is no question that I can learn a lot from them about the business of budgeting, negotiating with venues (technical needs, fees, etc), and running tours, but I worry that they will move forward so quickly that they might leave me out of the loop.  I won’t learn anything if I’m not included on communications with venues as they calculate our intial offers, outline our technical needs, and proceed with negotiations venue by venue.

One of the first things we started discussing is the branding of his company (RockerCo) versus the company that I need to set up in Taiwan (AcroCo).  We agreed that it’s a business-critical issue, and that we want their guidance, but The Rocker and I wanted to discuss it face-to-face when he is back in Taiwan to keep it simple: “The National Theatre of Taiwan and RockerCo present AcroCo.”

Be that as it may, The Lawyer thinks that some issues can’t wait that long.  For example, The Lawyer says that if AcroCo doesn’t have a website, then the URL needs to be removed from all communication since there is nothing worse than adversizing something and not delivering.  I’ve addressed this by having http://www.AcroCo.com point to http://www.RockerCo.com to reflect its status as a “nom de plume” covering our work with new circus in Asia.  Also, she says that AcroCo cannot sign contracts or draw any checks, as it is not yet a legal entity.  This is fine – until we set up AcroCo, only RockerCo will sign contracts and negotiate financial deals since our clients know that it is the administrative umbrella encompassing AcroCo.

Practically speaking, I want all of us to be on the same page about what The Rocker and I have been talking about for the distribution of the profits that we expect to be making in the coming years: 1) The Rocker and I are equal stockholders in RockerCo, with The Rocker as CEO/President and with me assuming (unofficially due to my American citizenship) the role of COO/Vice-President, 2) there are two types of stock with different voting powers, and the balance shall be such that The Rocker has majority voting power, and 3) all company income shall be kept in RockerCo’s account and The Rocker and Travelling Acrobat shall be paid a monthly salary from that account.

It seems as though this structure is a relatively straightforward one I had asked if The Lawyer could update the stock structure of RockerCo/AcroCo before February 28th and then we could fill in the gaps once The Rocker and I have finished drafting an updated and official partnership charter, but I sensed she was dragging her feet.

I did, however, find out that she asked The Rocker if I was his boyfriend.  Goddman it.

If that was the only problem, that would be one thing, but, as feared, The Lawyer and The Grantwriter have stopped including me on technical communications.  This is a problem because I am trying to maintain a database of this information in our files so that we have a record of what is and is not possible so that we can answer simple questions to potential presenters in Asia without having to consult the technical team over and over again.  They are also not keeping me up-to-date about the negotiations with Tohu which means that I am not getting to see how these negotitations work.

So, with all of this in the background, a simple email set off a huge explosion last week.

I wrote The Lawyer thanking her for taking the initiative to write an email to a few of The Rocker’s great Canadian / Asian contacts to keep them “hot” on what we are doing.

She shot back with an angry email saying that following up with contacts is not an “initiative” and that we need to clear up what we want her to be doing in the first place and that if we do not give her a clear mandate in writing soon, she will stop all of her efforts.

I guess she interpreted my “thank you for taking the initiative…” as a request that she continue to write to The Rocker’s contacts for us.  That was not what I meant, I simply meant to thank you for writing the follow up note that she did write.  She may have also seen the consultation I made with the Taiwanese lawyer here as undermining the role that she plays in the structure of our organization.  In my mind, it is clear that we will be working with the local nominee, accountant, and lawyer only to set up the oganization here, a process which should take no more than 60 days, at which point, they will step out of the picture.

This kink in communications made me realize that I have to be very clear that I never put sarcastic, mean-spirited, or condecending comments in any emails.  I asked the team to let me know when something I write could be interpreted as such so that I do not make the same mistake again.  Furthermore, in the past, to cut down on email clutter, I would only leave people out of the cc: loop when I knew that I would soon be speaking face-to-face or on the phone with them about the same topic.  From now on, whenever I mention something to The Rocker that affects The Lawyer, I will include her, and vice versa.

Her point, though, about the need to clarify everyone’s roles in the organization is at the forefront of everyone’s mind.  Basically, she just doesn’t agree with the plan because she feels like I don’t trust her (I don’t) and sees me as a threat to her position.  The Rocker and I therefore met yesterday to begin reworking our 9-page partnership charter which was written in October, 2006.  Essentially, our initial agreement – to operate RockerCo as an equal partnership between The Rocker and me in terms of shared profits and strategic vision – remains unchanged.  However, we changed the directive to integrate me into the administrative structure of the company because of the need to balance The Rocker’s Canadian non-residential status.  We also need to define the job description of a General and Producing Manager and determine the most effective way to integrate this position into the existing working and reporting structure of RockerCo.

My job description is as follows:

As assistant director, Travelling Acrobat is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the company.   Specifically, he is charged with

  • managing and negotiating contracts with clients and artists locally in Asia;
  • temporarily relocating to the geographical location of projects and productions and to be able to independently manage them and report according to the style and needs of RockerCo;
  • to stay up-to-date with the strategic vision of the company and with the goals and abilities of the partnership in order to make independent decisions in-line with those goals and abilities, reportable to The Rocker;
  • acting either as project manager or as liaison between The Rocker and the project manager for any given production;
  • acting as technical/financial advisor or liason between The Rocker and other technical/financial advisors for projects;
  • maintain, execute, and be accountable for a daily, weekly, and monthly ‘to-do’ list on behalf of the company and based on The Rocker’s arc of project development;
  • to maintain the media library and marketing materials of the company and to be able to tailor-make promotional materials as required; and
  • assisting The Rocker in the daily operations of the company.

While the nature of event production and creation makes it difficult to account for working hours, it is generally assumed that the assistant director will work independently and in a self-motivated fashion for about 12 hours a day, generally six days a week.  However, it is expected that the assistant director remains “on call” for quickly-arising deadlines or in-progress productions.  Actual time of working will vary widely – from early mornings to after midnight, and the assistant director is expected to adapt to these requirements.  Vacation time shall be determined on a case-by-case basis depending on the needs of the company.

Once we finish this revision, it will serve as a blueprint for drafting our private legal agreement which shall be an overarching agreement covering the operations of RockerCo and any other related companies formed by The Rocker and/or myself worldwide for the purposes of facilitating and furthering the work of RockerCo.

I think that the four of us are making great strides right now, and I agree that things are a little unclear, but I think things are moving in the right direction.  Nothing a beer can’t fix – be it in Taipei, Montreal, or Abu Dhabi (do they drink beer in Abu Dhabi?).

The Rocker assures me that he is going to need all of us going forward because he intends to move fast.  I’m trying not to worry.  I just think it is a good idea to get things legalized by our team in Montreal before the millions start rolling in.

My days are numbered

Ever since January, when The Rocker asked me to send the Vietnamese National Circus an estimate for a 2-month creation project in Hanoi, he’s been floating the idea of our directing a new show for the National Circus of Vietnam in April, May, or June.  For the estimate, I assumed that they’d want us to take care of all transportation and coordiantion, etc, that The Rocker and I would be on-site for 8 weeks, and that the Lighting Designer and Video Designers would be there for 2 weeks each.  I included insurance, administration, and contingency and got everything sent to them by late January in hopes of meeting them in Vietnam in February.  Unfortunately, that meeting was delayed because of other meetings the National Circus had with the Ministry of Culture.

At the end of February, the National Circus of Vietnam told us that we might be able to do a project with them as soon as April or May, but that we would need to wait until after Chinese New Year for confirmation.  In the last few weeks, however, it looks like instead we’ll just be coming for a short visit sometime during that time.  I’ll coordinate that with the dates that I’m supposed to be back in Thailand and then book those tickets along with the tickets for Korea next week at the latest.  I need to be careful of when I leave Thailand for Hanoi to make sure that I do not pass my annual 6-month limit of time spent in Thailand… being a professional gypsy can get confusing.

Whiplash

When the Korea festival director came to the theater specifically to see our show in Bangkok this month he wasn’t expecting to see such a high level of contemporary circus in Thailand.  When we saw his interest in the acrobatic troupe, we suggested bringing them to his festival in Korea this year to replace the UK group that cancelled.  He thought was a great idea and the festival agreed to cover all expenses and to include a fee for each performer, but based on the fees he offered, I do not think that the other group’s cancellation liberated any funds to help us cover creation fees and material costs (costume production, transport of the rigging hardware, and a rehearsal fee for the artists alone will cost a minimum of 1000 USD) over and above the artist fees.  We just need to verify that the festival is able to accommodate our rigging needs so that we don’t need to bring it from Germany to Thailand to Korea and back.  Happily, though, we’ve been able to find airfare from Taipei to Seoul for The Rocker and me at 7550NT each which is about half the travel stipend that the festival is covering for us, so we can use the remainder to cover production costs.

This year, their festival has a competition for aerial artists under the age of 40 from around the world to present original work before an international jury but they don’t have budget for the whole Thai troupe.  Instead, The Director suggested that I work with The Prodigy to create a solo or duo piece of 20-30 minutes that we could then perform in Korea, so I reached out to the Matriarch to see if she would be willing to let The Prodigy perform to represent her work to East Asian artists, producers, and investors to help lay the groundwork to eventually bring the whole acrobatic group to Korea.  Since we’re bringing The Contortionist at our expense to Bangkok to teach aerial arts, contortion, and movement, The Matriarch is willing to cover The Prodigy’s performing fee if the festival covers all expenses.  We’d also take the opportunity to build a deeper collaborative relationship with the Bangkok Goethe Institute.

All this was fantastic, but a couple of weeks ago, I got an email saying that the theatre couldn’t host us for the last half of April or the last week of June after all.  This was a surprise because I thought that we had confirmed all these plans a week before I left.  The issue is that the theatre is full in April for its summer camp which houses 36 students.  Furthermore, The Prodigy will be very busy with that program until after the 3rd of May which means that we may need to cancel the showcase for the Canadian embassy’s Canada Day reception celebrating the current ambassador’s last year in that position.  The goal was to make a good impression on his successor so that our proposal for long-term direct support for our acrobatics program and for the Bangkok Fringe festival might fall on interested ears.

I slept on it instead of sending an angry email which helped me think of what some solutions might be.  For example, The Matriarch might be able to help The Rocker and I find other internet-ready lodging options near the theater for April.  At a minimum, though, since we’ve already committed to The Contortionist’s travel and artistic/teaching fees, we should be certain to find a solution for May and June.  In the worst case, if everything falls through, I do have other options, like the offer to teach at the arts university in Taiwan or taking off to the Philippines for a vacation.  I just don’t want The Prodigy to miss out on more training or his trip to Korea or for us to cancel on The Contortionist.

When I finally wrote them, I reminded them that we had already told them on March 13th that we had made significant preparations and investments in our previously validated and scheduled April and June workshops in advance of The Rocker asking for Canadian support:

  • April 6th (arrive April 5th at midnight) to April 23rd (Me)
  • April 23rd to April 30th (Me and The Rocker)
  • May 15th to May 25th (Me, The Rocker, and The Contortionist)
  • May 26th to June 4th (Me, The Rocker, The Contortionist, and The Prodigy go to Korea)
  • June 5-June 30th (Me and The Contortionist)

I asked them to double-check and to make sure that there was no way we could move forward with our plans to cover the travel and teaching fees for the first internationally-renowned guest teacher and the first international performance of one of the students of the theatre’s new acrobatic program.  While we care a lot about the personal and artistic development of the acrobatic troupe members, and we believe that this project has enormous potential, but we also treasure the friendships that we have with the local staff and artists of the theater and look forward to introducing them to artists from around the world and if we were to cancel on The Contortionist now it would represent a big loss to our company and, even worse, hurt our credibility in the European/North American markets.

Ultimately, it seems that the manager of the residency program just never got the message from The Matriarch because that the email address I had for her was an old one.  The Matriarch stepped in to say that she would handle the communications with me personally and that the theatre could welcome me through April 15th.  But the students would be too busy to do many classes.  I would, however, be able to return from the 4th of May to the 17th of June, but then there is a French festival until June 26th that will be taking up most of the space at the theatre.  In July and August, they will be hosting students from Northern Thailand, but they might have some rooms for us.  This works, I’ll just need to find other options for the times that I can not be at the theatre.  Maybe I can hang out at a cheap hotel in Bangkok or travel elsewhere in Thailand until The Rocker and I go to Vietnam.  Then we’ll focus on work with The Prodigy and The Contortionist from May 5th to May 25th… we should try to change the Korea tickets to be a little closer to the 25th as well, but I remember that there was some reason that we had to leave earlier, though, for the rate, or something.

My travel agency told me that I had to cancel my tickets to Thailand after Vietnam by today or I would have to pay the full amount and a cancellation penalty, so I cut my losses and cancelled the tickets for April since it doesn’t look like the students would have any time anyways.

The Rocker doesn’t see these challenges as negative – he says that since they rent the space for income and the performers have to take last minute jobs, its normal they have last-minute changes.  He just says that if we get any support from sponsors like CDS we’ll need to be clear about rules, for example, that we’ll need to show that we were at the theatre 6 months out of 12.  We just need to understand when their low season is and work during that time as much as possible and to ask them to be very clear about any times between now and September that we should block out as unavailable before we proceed to finance any more collaborations with international experts in physical theater, dance, and acrobatic arts in 2007.

On the Thai social front, I heard from my Thai sort-of-girlfriend.  She didn’t understand why I gave her The Godfather as a present because it really stressed her out.  I explained that I just feel that it is a well-made film that talks a lot about negotiation and about strategy and about business versus relationships.  It is an interesting way to think about how everything in our lives is connected, whether we see it or not.

She just finished her graduate program and is looking for work and asked me what I do when things get complicated and when I’m not sure what do do in life.  I guess it’s an appropriate question as that’s sort of how I feel in Taiwan right now.  The structure of the company is still uncertain and many projects are still unconfirmed.  I guess I always just try to have enough options to be able to shift my focus to something else whenever something doesn’t go well.  I need to stay busy or to escape, but escape is a dangerous choice if there is work to be done.  I’m lucky to have places to live and food to eat for now and I always try to have a strategy for I want to accomplish in the next few years.

Anyway, I was happy to hear from her that all of the acrobats still practice everyday and are waiting for me to come back. Soon!

Starting a company in Taiwan

I need to incorporate a business partnership in Taiwan between an American citizen and a Canadian citizen because 1) it saves us about CAD20,000 relative to doing the same thing in Canada, and 2) the National Theatre will have to charge us a foreign business tax if we are not a Taiwanese entity.  An added benefit is that it will free us up to do for-profit work in Asia after the festival that we can not officially do under the not-for-profit RockerCo.  I’m figuring out the legal issues of incorporation and what options are available to us.  The American Institute in Taipei gave me a list of about 40 legal firms here, and they tell me that setting up a business in Taiwan will be simple, but a little expensive.

One firm charges NT$5,000/hour just for legal consultation work and the fees for setting up a company or branch office range from NT$50,000-NT$100,000; disbursements are about NT$10,000.  A partnership or joint venture agreement on top of that incur additional fees.  A second firm quoted a total fee of NT$150,000 (which they said is about 90% their legal fees) which includes 1) completely setting up the company and receiving the approval from the authorities; 2) private agreement between the Taiwanese nominee and us and other related legal issues ; and 3) application to the authorities for approval of our foreigner working visa and other related legal issues.  There is also a minimum NT$1 million capital fee required to set up the incorporation that the firm might be able to pay for us at an additional fee.

After a lot of independent research on my end, with the aid of my father’s contacts, I sat down with the second firm today to determine what the process will actually entail:

1) The filing fees and official costs of setting up a corporation (more complicated and expensive to set-up than an LLC, but far more favored under law) are only about 900 CAD so they were actually overstating the percentage of their fee.

2) The fee is a flat fee and will be the same regardless of any complicating issues down the line.

3) We must select a Taiwanese nominee who will be the official head of the company.

4) We must select an additional 2 Taiwanese board members/stockholders for the creation of the company.

5) These three people must nominally provide the 32,250 CAD capital investment to form the corporation.

6) The corporation must then apply for work visas for The Rocker and myself.  We are then hired by the company with executive powers and power of attorney.

7)  Once we are hired by the company, we are able to restructure the organization to our liking, including the transfer of shared from the board to The Rocker and myself, taking over the nominee’s role, and redrafting the articles of incorporation.

8) In preparation for step 7) we must draft private agreements with the nominee and the nominal board memebers that will insure that the changeover in step 7) will happen smoothly and with no misunderstandings.

9) We must then insure that the financial tax status of the company is legal with the aid of a local Taiwanese accountant.

10) The entire process is expected to take four weeks-eight weeks.

There are of course other issues and filing fees, etc, that I did not include in this breakdown, but fee is inclusive of the whole process, including consultaions with us and the nominee / boardmembers, no matter what complications occur.  It will also cover the administrative fee of transfering the capital investment with the aid of their accounting firm.

This seems by far the most complete and most reasonable offer I’ve received so far in Taiwan.  In any case, I’ll keep pushing forwards.  The faster we get it finished, the better.  I’m budgeting for it in the proposal I’m making to the National Theatre for 2007.

A difficult counteroffer

The world feels heavy and it’s hard to breathe.  Negotiations are shit, everything is shit, business is shit, but I get to be involved in this exciting industry!

I am the first American in this role, and this year, I get to be in direct contact with the National Theatre which should make it easier than last year when we dealt with a middle man unfamiliar with acrobatic shows.  Even more frustrating, the theater shared last year’s festival budget with me and I realized how much profit the middle man pocketed while I was losing all my money last year.  Had I not been taken advantage of, I could have paid my outstanding loan and credit card bills 5 times over by now.  Believe me, I will never make that mistake again.

Actually, tough as this new responsibility is, things are going well.  They are just very tense on the negotiating side.  I presented my counteroffer to the Theatre today (including my staffing plans) and they challenged every single line item.  A big issue is them asking why they need to pay full price when they’ve just written a letter of support that is supposed to help The Rocker get funding for our North American Tour – this makes them feel like they are being double-charged, but we’ve always clearly stated that our funding is to bring the show to Canada in 2008 and not to remount it in Taiwan this year, so I think they were just checking to see if I had the same story as The Rocker and The Lawyer.  If I hadn’t explained it well, they would have reduced our budget by the amount in the letter.  Whew.  Dodged that arrow.

So, tension in the final stages.  It’s a good thing, I guess.  I let The Rocker know to be super careful about how he’s communicating rehearsal, audition, financial, and technical needs and our organizational structure and administration in Montreal to the theatre because they seem willing to use any information possible to poke a hole in our budget.  Once he gets back I’ll get him up-to-date about the whole strategy, so that we can get our story straight.

A “Bonjour” from Montreal

The Rocker wrote me from Montreal where he just got back from the set of Cirque du Soleil’s new show and saw a “pretty awesome wheel of death trick that comes down from the roof.”  It seems that their creation director really likes what we are doing for business development in Asia.

Also, the National Theatre just sent their Letter of Intent to support our residence in Taiwan so that The Rocker can find matching financing from the Canadian government for the Montreal tour, so now I’ve got the happy task of communicating to everyone in Taiwan and Canada that our performance is confirmed for 10 to 15 shows (maybe 20) for the TOHU in Montreal in 2008 as part of the Montreal en Lumiere Festival.

Chilling the champagne.

So, back in Asia, since our show has officialy been invited to close the 2007 edition of the festival, we’ve asked our team to reserve their dates now, assuring them that now that we are in direct control of the festival rehearsals will be run in a much more orderly fashion.  I am aiming for four weeks of rehearsal, three nights a week, three hours each rehearsal, and always in the same place.

The good news is that all of the foreign artists and designers are still available and we have confirmation from 6 of the 10 local artists (although one is waiting for his leg to heal).  The foreign acrobats will be coming September23rd – October 28th (Rehearsal: Part-time, 18h-21h, tentatively, about three days a week for most people), the musicians will be coming October 15th – October 28th (Rehearsal: Part-time 18h-21h, about three days a week for most people), and then we’ll have technical rehearsal all day on October 29th – November 1st (14h-22h Every Day) and performance on November 2 – November 4th (18h30-22h – November 2nd and 3rd, 17h-20h30 – November 4th).  The only problem we’ve heard from the forign artists is that the aerial duo needs to arrive on October 28th which doesn’t give them much time to rehearse, but since we are lacking rehearsal space and they are pretty solid on what they do, I think we are OK.

I learned that our ABC acrobat The Firebreather is currently doing a heavy contract in Singapore with 30 more shows in the last 10 days of the show.  has been developing a roue Cyr act and is actually headed to Canada to take a few classes this year.  I wonder if he might be able to have a five-minute number by the time of the festival – it might be interesting to give him a solo section in the show.

Since he speaks English, I’ve been connecting with him to try to figure out how we can pay the local artists 25% better this year which, combined with the lower rehearsal load, should make everyone happy (I hope).  The problem is that last year’s producers paid everyone directly and we have no idea what the local team was paid!  I don’t even know if they were paid by the hour, by the rehearsal, by the show, or with a fixed fee.  I’d like to start from scratch and offer the artists what I think they should earn, but the National Theater will validate the amounts I propose with last year’s budget, so I need to propose something that is similar to last year but that i can justify by saying that they are more experienced now.  If I go too wild, they will tell me to fuck off.  Thankfully, The Firebreather gave me a rough estimate of how everyone was paid last year by rehearsal and by show.  Unfortunately, it seems that different artists were paid differend amounts which is always a bad idea since artists will always talk!

The Rocker also sent me a video from a former CDS artist on Ka who he met in Australia.  He’s not mind-blowing in my opinion, but he is definitely a different type of artist than those we already have on the show – the flexible instead of the fast kind.  Do I think he could be a great addition to the cast?  Yes.  Do I think he could be a great extra solo?  Yes.  Do I think he should replace someone we already know is good?  Not unless they are injured or can’t do the show for some reason.

The Satanic Excerpts

"…in an ancient land like England there was no room for new stories, every blade of turf had already been walked over a hundred thousand times."

"’In the Himalayas it is often the case that climbers find themselves beng accompanied by the ghosts of those who failed in the attempt, or the sadder, but also prouder, ghosts of those who succeeded in reaching the summit, only to perish on the way down."

"I believed it all: that the universe has a sound, that you can lift a veil and see the face of God, everything.  I saw the Himalayas stretching below me and that was God’s face too…I recall sort of floating over the last overhang and up to the top, and then we were there, with the ground faling away on every side.  Such light; the universe purified into light."

"In exile, all attmpts to put down roots look like treason: they are admissions of defeat."

"…now every clock in the capital city of Desh begins to chime, and goes on unceasingly, beyond twelve, beyond twenty-four, beyond one thousand and one, announcing the end of Time, the hour that is beyond measuring,the hour of the exile’s return, of the victory of water over wine, of the commencement of the Untime of the Imam."

"’Another girl,’ she gasped in disgust.  ‘Well, considering who made the baby, I should think myself lucky it’s not a cockroach or a mouse.’"

After an incident in which a man rents a limo and buys a $40,000 coat with a check and then goes next door to sell it for $30,000 in cash whereupon he is immediately arrested under suspicion of check forgery, is cleared when they find that the check was good after all, and then settes out of court for $250,000: "’The boy’s a genius.  I mean, this was class.’"

"’Everest silences you…What shuts you up is, I think, the sight you’ve had of perfection: why speak if you can’t manage perfect thoughts, perfect sentences?  It feels like a betrayal of what you’ve been through."

"An iceberg is water striving to be land; a mountain, especially a Himalaya, especially Everest, is land’s attempt to metamorphose into sky…"

"Can one drown in one’s element…if fish can drown in water,can human beings suffocate in air?"

"’Writers and whores.  I see no difference here."

"What happens when you win?  When your enemies are at your mercy: how will you act then?  Compromise is the temptation of the weak; this is the test for the strong."

"When they saw the host of chameleon butterflies and the way they both clothed the girl Ayesha and provided her with her only solid food, these visitors were amazed, and retreated with a hole in their pictures of the word that they could not paper over."

"…how beautifully everyone behaved in the presence of the dying man: the young spoke to him intimately about their lives, as if reassuring him that life itself was invincable, offering him the rich consolation of being a member of the great procession of the human race, – while the old evoked the past, so that he knew nothing was forgotten, nothing lost…Death brought out the best in people…"

"He is teaching me how to die…He does not avert his eyes, but looks deathe right in the face…The last thing he had seen in his father’s face…was the dawning of a terror so profound that it chilled Salahuddin to the bone.  What was it that waited for him, for all of us, that brought such fea to a brave man’s eyes? – Now, when it was over, he returned to Changez’s bedside; and saw his mouth curved upwards, in a smile.  He caressed those sweet cheeks.  I didn’t shave him today.  He died with stubble on his chin."

"I must think of myself, frm now on, as living perpetually in he first instant of the future...But a history is not so easily shaken off; he was also living, after all, in the present moment of the past…"