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Hallelujah


by Nicholas Cook


He spoke of musicians who were already dead but still making music. This was his pillow talk. Ghosts and orbs and the psychic hotline. “Diane Warwick is still alive, can you believe it?” I asked, but he just shook me lightly, like in the beginning when all we had was time, or what we thought was time, turned out to be his unwound watch. Late to everything. My mother saying, “No one that late is good for you.” The invitations already printed by then. Letterpress so ungodly expensive that I went through with it anyway.

“Can you believe how young Jeff Buckley was?” he asked. “Don't forget about Elliot Smith,” I said. “Thirty-four's not that young,” he interrupted, breaking whatever we had going, reminding me of an hourglass pouring down. He was oversized, believed we had limited time left. I had an obsession with clocks, filled the living room with them.

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