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N is for . . .

“Don’t make the mistake of thinking all of America is like this,” Peter warned. He and Charles were sitting in Café Maspero off Jackson Square in NEW ORLEANS, the windows thrown open to the humidity and sometimes raucous foot traffic. Lazy fans pushed the thick air around. Somewhere in the distance a street performer drew long, mournful notes from his trombone.

“The food is certainly unique,” Charles admitted. He eyed his plate speculatively, though it was half empty already, Charles having attacked his muffaletta with gusto. “I wonder how easy it would be to make.”

“I would think the trick would be in finding the ingredients,” said Peter. He’d finished his French onion soup and was picking delicately at the side salad, more out of boredom than any lingering hunger.

“You’ve been here before?” Charles asked between bites.

“Only twice. And never for very long.” Peter watched Charles’s eyebrows quirk and his brow furrow as he tried to work out what that might mean. “America wasn’t really my venue,” Peter added by way of clarification.

“Oh.” Clearly the statement had done little to enlighten. But then Charles brightened. “Then there must be less for you to worry about here.”

“I’m not worried. I haven’t been,” said Peter. “But if we’re talking about, say, friendly countries . . .”

“Allies?”

“We don’t really . . .” Peter began, then, “I don’t feel like talking about it, actually. Are you done? I’d like to maybe see the holiday decorations in the Square.”

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Writer/Screenwriter

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