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**PRINT: FRIENDS FROM CINCINNATI: Installment 24 features this part coming-of-age short by Chicago's Patrick Somerville, author of the Trouble collection of shorts out in 2006. | PAST BROADSHEETS |

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Jason Mehl

Marc Chagall handed me the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders on a grey frisbee on someone else's porch in a Nigerian breeze of poinsettias and pit-roasted pork. It's a little unclear, now that there's a timeline to go with happy tears, but I understand it.

The Unites States put a man on the moon. Sudan Interior Missions put my family in Nigeria. God put Jesus in Mary's womb. Marc Chagall put a fiddler on the roof.

Someone with patience planted poinsettias along our driveway and someone stuck a picture of the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders on a frisbee and someone put that frisbee in a box with internanational stamps and someone dug a pit in the front yard next-door and someone got up early and put logs in the bottom of the pit and someone hung a gutted hog above the pit and someone started a fire and someone took the picture off the wall above the chair and someone borrowed a film projector and someone kept turning the pig-stick and someone cooked biscuits and someone cooked bread and someone made coleslaw and someone made potato salad and someone said the four of us should stand in front of the poinsettias and someone squinted and someone took our picture and someone said a Christmas prayer and someone probably cried and someone missed Great Britain and someone missed New Zealand and someone missed Canada and someone missed New Jersey and someone missed Kansas and everyone missed Paradise and someone played I'll Be Home For Christmas from memory and no one sang along and someone cued the film up and plugged the projector in and someone turned the music up and someone changed the reels and someone spun the world while I tried to keep it still and someone thought I was crying so they left me alone and someone laughed about what we'd all do if someone was a rich man and someone said "vodka" and tried to explain Revolution and someone said "Russia" and tried to explain war and I wished I hadn't asked (no one asked what the Jew was praying for--why his eyes were open--if he knew about the war) and someone tried to dance and someone let me have as many cokes as Ma allowed and someone made brownies and someone made cake and someone made that orange jell-o and everyone was white for the first time in two years and I didn't even think about it and someone started explaining Boxing Day even though I didn't ask and someone stood in my way so I sat on the floor and someone noticed it was already getting dark and someone said they'd better start home and someone put on coffee and someone pulled out cards and someone made some sandwiches with left-over bread and a jar of mustard and someone said "five card stud" and someone laughed and someone thought they remembered how to play gin and someone wished he had a beard and someone must have hidden all the kids or told them to leave me alone and someone must have left a window open in the kitchen and someone must have thought about the lepers down the street and someone told me I could sit up on the couch and someone started the same conversation they'd started after lunch and someone wondered where my parents were and someone looked out the window andsomeone took a walk. I just held onto the frisbee, and watched The Fiddler on the Roof.