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by Matthew Licht

When I woke up, I was still Rocco Siffredi. A few things have changed, though.

Usually I eat breakfast at home. Nothing complicated. But since it was such a nice day, I decided to go out. I live in Budapest.

I don’t speak Hungarian, and at this point I guess I’ll never learn. I only stop by the newsstand to see what the busty papergirl’s wearing. She knows who I am, or was. She always winks, but I’m just looking.

I’m rich. I don’t have to go to the office if I don’t feel like it. A small army of Hungarian boys and girls works for me. It wasn’t an office day.

The papergirl’s black brassiere was an inspiration. Not to head to the factory that bears my name to put in an increasingly rare performance for the delight of my fans worldwide, but to head to the old cinema in town that only shows depressing realist movies from the 1970s. There was hardly anyone in there, and they were all old. The show had already started. I sat in the middle, near the aisle. I hadn’t checked the marquee, so I had no idea which film flickered on the smudged screen, but the star was an American actress I liked a lot when I was young.

I unbuttoned my coat, then my pants. I didn’t make much noise. I don’t think I bothered anyone. I always have a clean handkerchief in my pocket these days. Didn’t matter to me how the movie ended.

“Thanks, o cross-eyed goddess,” I whispered, as I got up to leave.

I went back outside for a walk in the park. I wanted to watch children playing, hear their young mothers talk to each other. I like the sound of their voices, even though I don’t understand a word.

Matthew Licht writes the weekly Hotel Kranepool blog for Stanza 251. https://www.stanza251.com