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Reconstructing fragments

13 years ago, I heard about a forgery. The story came to me in bits and pieces from a museum director. Or, I should say, a former director. Many refer to him as the disgraced director. I first met him past midnight, two days before Christmas in Bar Británico. Any of you who read my blog for those years will know that the Británico was my regular hangout. I couldn’t write about him then or about those he told me about.

Years have now passed and this man (my friend, I want to say) has also passed.

I must get these words out before I, too, might pass away. I can’t promise a logical narrative. We don’t have time for that, and it didn’t come to me that way.

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Idle conversation

Our conversation started as idle chatter, and it would be many nights before Torcuato mentioned the forgery, and how he had lost his job, his career, and nearly his life. Whatever money remained, he spent on drinks every night. But it was not long before I brought the bottles of wine that we shared those nights in the bar.

Over time he shared three names responsible for his downfall—his wretchedness as he liked to say. He promised that every word was true, except that he made up the names. He said, “To protect you.” I remember the seriousness in his voice.