Prose: The Assistant Secretary

Varun Gauri

The day began unpleasantly: my brother-in-law won the Nobel Peace Prize. I was sitting in the lobby of the Dresden when my phone rang. Rebecca asked if I was sitting down and then, conspiratorially, “Are you alone?” Apparently, the Norwegian fellow had asked Oscar the same question; and Rebecca couldn’t help but reenact “the thrilling moment.” Of course I’m not alone, I told her. A kind of hysterical narcissism best explains my sister’s failure to recall that, now that I had been confirmed, security escort was standard. I told her to . . .

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