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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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Emerson Dameron

You are famous in another world. You can fly there. People respect you. Whether they agree with what you're doing or not, they respect you, and they align themselves with you whenever possible.

This world is not your home. You're not from here. You're stuck here. Temporarily. And you'll be leaving soon.

You'll be going far away. Somewhere you saw once, but you can't quite remember. When you get there, it will feel like an old, mostly forgotten dream. But it will be real. It will feel like digging up a buried memory. But it's better now than it used to be. They've been keeping up with you in this world, and recently finished redesigning it in your image. You've never imagined anything this spectacular.

You won't have to put up with this shit much longer. It's almost over. You've survived the worst.

The denizens of that better place will roll out the fucking red carpet for you when you arrive. You've never met them, but they've certainly heard of you. Your fame precedes you, in grand style. These people feel the same way about you that you feel about the famous people here. You know how that one hit song makes you feel? These people feel that way about the things you've done. They can't wait to make your acquaintance in the flesh. You'll be like the new starting center for their basketball team, just traded in from a team that never deserved you. As you take the court, kid, you will get high-fived.

It's been a long time. You got an unfair sentence, years stacked like dull bargain books. So high they obscured the golden life that was - is - your destiny. But it will still be yours. Soon come, rasta, soon come. Simply by virtue of your patience.

Emerson Dameron grew up in Nebo, North Carolina. He enjoys sex, cash, good music, and good company. A nurse once told him he has a mean right hook when he's drunk. Send threats, promises, and desperate cries for help to emerson@hush.com.