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He thought I’d fail at the monologue.  Thought I’d clam up, forget words.  Thought perhaps I’d run off the stage, humiliated before even stating the first line.  He forgot.  That back in the day, when the two of us sang duets complete with two-part harmonies and eight extremities that kept the same rhythmic time…  I was composer of both parts.  Of all parts.  Mine and his.  And when he failed to show or was too late to even attempt to appease the crowd, first I was a little panicky.  Then resentful.  And finally inspired.  My gift and my curse – to do the work of two with (somewhat apparent) ease.  So, it was I who stopped the show.  First, to make room for grace…  Maybe he was just late?   Then to make room for a standing ovation…  In his absence.  What made him think…hope I would fail at the monologue?  They’re just duets between you and and an absent someone.  And…well…shit…after all, practice makes perfect.  Practice.  Had plenty of that!  One day.  I pray.  To be free enough to live my own definition of free.  Free enough.  To depend on a true duet.  But for now, the grace period has come and gone.  The show must go on.  Mano-a-Monologue.