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Jack’s Broken Heart



In the City of Washington D.C., In the Month of August, In the Year 2012 . . .


Jack’s heart has been broken. He is sitting in his shrink’s waiting room, waiting to complain about love’s cheeky injustice. Many women have done him wrong, but some more than others. This time, the heartbreaker is a real estate agent.


Jack (born Jacobo) has been seeing Dr. Dowd for five years. He has a strict routine for his weekly visits. He meets with Dr. Dowd on Tuesdays at 6:30 pm. Because the doctor’s office is in Dupont, and Jack’s law practice is in Tyson’s Corner, he leaves work at precisely 4:45 pm. This allows him to beat rush hour and gives him time to find parking. He gives himself eight minutes and fifteen seconds to find street parking, if not then he will pay for a garage. He has timed all of this perfectly so that he arrives at Dr. Dowd's waiting room fifteen minutes before the appointment. Jack loves sticking to his routines. He compares them to soft rain over ocean water. The ocean is rough and dangerous, but the rain drops are steady, soothing and calming.


Because he has time before the appointment, he buys a sandwich and eats it in the waiting room. A ham and cheese panini from the Firehook Bakery on 19th and Q. He eats in silence while he controls who goes in and out of the shrink's office. Dr. Dowd shares a suite with another psychologist, Dr. Elena, so there are always plenty of patients for Jack to admire. The best patients belong to Dr. Elena. They tend to be well-dressed women, of Jack's age or thereabouts, who shake Dr. Elena’s hand on the way in and give her a bear hug on the way out. Dr. Elena places a noise masking machine next to her office door, so Jack can’t hear what the doctor and patient discuss. However, when the patient leaves her office, Dr. Elena gives her parting words of advice as they stand in the doorway. Jack listens up.


"Susan," says Dr. Elena to the patient leaving the office. "I'll see you next week, and don’t forget to be firm."


“Now I understand,” thinks Jack. “Susan is obviously trapped in an abusive relationship, and Dr. Elena is telling her to stand up for herself.” Jack loves to make up stories about other people’s lives based on the slimmest of evidence. His friends and lovers have accused him of being a rumor-monger, but he prefers to call it embellishment. He thinks that crafting a story of a stranger’s life, based on what amounts to nothing but tea leaves, is a sign of a creative mind.


Susan says goodbye to Dr. Elena, and thanks her for all the advice. "I'll be firmer with the kids this week," she says. "But teenagers can be difficult and rebellious, especially when you are a single mom."


It dawns on Jack that Susan is a divorcee with teenage children. He is estimating which of Dr. Elena’s patients is available for dating. He keeps a running list in his head. The one from last week who told Dr. Elena that she was going back to her husband was clearly off the list. But this Susan patient would not be a poor catch for Jack. He wonders if Dr. Elena and Dr. Dowd share notes about their patients, and perhaps play matchmaker. There’s a lot of money to be had in that, like the small fortune he paid to the professional matchmaker who, in the end, only matched him with three lousy dates. “They say you are quick to judge,” said the matchmaker. Jack disputes that. “They say you are quick to take offense,” she added.


In contrast to Dr. Elena’s patients, Dr. Dowd’s regulars tend to be male, some younger than Jack, others older, all of them relatively handsome. Jack finds them to be annoying. They are his competitors in every way. Dr. Dowd does not use a noise masking machine, so Jack can hear sounds of laughter and sometimes crying coming from the shrink's office. This annoys him for several reasons. First, Dr. Dowd never laughs with Jack, so why is he laughing with his other patients? Are the tales of my life and sorrows not as interesting? Second, Dr. Dowd always keeps me waiting, ten or fifteen minutes. Sure, I have my Firehook Bakery sandwich that I can finish in the meantime, but still, my time is just as valuable as anyone else’s.


This is Jack’s dark side, his bad temper that is triggered by insecurity and jealousy. The demon he fights but does not conquer. "And he better not cut my time short just because he is running late with the other patient!" thinks Jack, almost out loud. Jack keeps a mental scorecard of justices and injustices played upon him.


At last, Dr. Dowd opens the door and his patient walks out. It’s a middle-aged man who Jack has seen before. He wonders if the guy is divorced like him. One more sad soul to add to this world.


“Well,” says Dowd to the departing patient . “I guess this is it. Call me if you need help again, but I would say you're fit to go." The divorced man gives his thanks and goodbyes and leaves the office. Probably never to be seen again. Jack has seen this pattern before. A male patient will visit Dr. Dowd an average of four times. During the first two visits, the patient is weepy, disheveled, and depressed. On the third visit, the patient appears well dressed and cheerful. Sometimes Jack can even smell heavy cologne on the bloke. On the fourth visit, it's all kisses, hugs, and goodbyes.


Jack adds this to his list of injustices. “Why not me?” he thinks. “Why can’t I be the guy that gets cured after only a handful of visits?” Instead, Jack is the curmudgeon who has been seeing a shrink for five years and still considers himself “a bloody mess.”


Jack started seeing Dr. Dowd shortly after his divorce when he suddenly developed a kind of eating disorder. When he is not dating, he is miserable, stops eating, and grows thin. When he is dating, he is anxious, starts drinking and binging, and puts on the pounds. It's a vicious cycle.


"It's not an eating disorder," said Dr. Dowd. "It's called depression. Perhaps a bit of OCD and bipolar syndrome, and some PTSD.”


Jack brushes away Dowd’s diagnosis. All those big terms and obtuse acronyms that Dowd uses sound like gloom and doom. He prefers to continue calling his problems an eating disorder. It sounds poetic, and easily manageable. Perhaps all he really needs is a good weight watchers’ program.


“Come on in, come in Jack,” says Dowd, jovially. “Nice to see you again”


Finally, thinks Jack. Now I can tell him about the real estate agent. “It’s no good with her,” he blurts as soon as he sits on the shrink’s couch.


Dr. Dowd is busily scribbling on his pad. “What’s not good?” he asks.


Jack quickly brings Dr. Dowd up to date on the real estate agent, Laura. He has been dating her for six months (give or take a week, given their frequent split ups and reconciliations). They were oddly paired, and many people were curious about how they ended up together. Laura is gregarious, Jack is not. Laura is a free spirit. Jack is Jack. His friends would ask, "where did you meet?" Her friends would ask, "how did you meet?" There is a subtle difference.


Jack met Laura on the internet. A man has needs and Jack learned how to satisfy them. Meeting someone on the web is not the ideal Jack aspired to when he came out of his divorce. However, as a father of two, with a demanding career and the body of a forty-something, Jack doesn't have many real-life opportunities to meet women. And so, on Romance.com, Jack met forty-five-year-old Laura. Of course, she wasn’t Laura on the Internet; she was “Pretty-Susie.” And Jack wasn’t forty-five on Romance.com, he was “thirty something, give or take.”


All they knew about each other from Romance.com was that they had a nice smile. They each posted pictures of their faces, a bit blurry and much photoshopped. People on dating websites are paranoid. They will venture to discuss sexual preferences, proportions, maybe even STD status. They will not, however, post clear photos.


The very first day after they met online, Jack showed up unannounced at Laura’s doorstep. She had provided him with her address and asked to meet him in a week, but Jack decided to come earlier. He had been drinking and feeling adventurous and amorous. Fortunately for Jack, Laura was home that night.


When Laura looked through the peephole to see who was at her door, the porch light illuminated Jack’s face like butter on toast. Laura liked what she saw. Jack’s best feature is his smile. He is not very attractive; he is bald and his green eyes have lost their luster, but his sly smile, with a wink in it, suggested warmth. “I’m your date for the night,” said Jack through the door. “We talked on Romance.com last night.” She sent him to the backyard, where they could sit in plain view of the neighbors. After they talked for an hour, she let him in the house.


Jack had thought they would perhaps have a drink and a bit of kissing and what not. Laura would have none of this. She loves conversation, and after she served him a soft drink, she kept him in the kitchen chatting, well past midnight. The long talk is what attracted Jack to Laura. They each decided it was worth exploring a relationship.


During that midnight chat, Jack asked Laura about her prior husbands and boyfriends. She told him that her last two partners “were all about drama” (pronounced with a capital D and capital A). “And I’m not about D-r-A-m-A,” said Laura. "Get me away from all the D-r-A-m-A!"


Jack saw this term used in a lot in personal ads: "No Drama here." "Drama free." "Leave your drama at the door."


Laura was fun. She got Jack away from his obsessive-compulsive mind, and he fell for her contagious energy. They took weekend trips, ate at hole-in-the-wall restaurants, saw some good movies, and (much to Jack’s delight) the sex was good (which they did not have until the fifth date). Most of all, he remembers howling over stories of Laura’s exploits as a raging drunk. From her teens and into her thirties, Laura drank more alcohol each year than a person consumes in a lifetime. Amazingly, she navigated through life without too many difficulties. She was a disciplined drunk and would not start pouring drinks until 5 p.m. on weekdays and 1 p.m. on weekends. Most of the stories she told Jack involved her drunken pranks, and usually ended with the phrase “and then I threw up.”


“We got so pissass drunk that night that we left Jimmie in the trunk, and then I threw up.”


"The police came knocking around wanting to know who toilet-papered the old man's house, and then I threw up.”


“I forgot the keys inside the house, so Frankie broke a window for me and we snuck in, and then I threw up.”


When Jack met her, Laura had been sober for six years. She was a loyal AA member and attended meetings frequently. While most of Laura’s sober friends were Jack’s age, they looked older. There wasn't one of them who didn't have circles under their eyes and yellowing skin. Jack asked Laura what the group would talk about in AA meetings. From the looks of them, he imagined they must have hard-luck stories to tell. Jack wanted to hear the juicy and dramatic details, but Laura’s response was dismissive. “I don’t know,” she said. “You know I tune out when people bitch about their hard life and all that drama, drama, drama.”


For a while the relationship was very good. He thought her stories from the drunken days were funny but also liberating. She embraced her difficult years as a drunk by turning it into humor. “I like it when you share your past with me,” he told her. He saw the joy in the stories, and how she had turned her life around. In turn, she embraced his quirkiness, his strict routines, and his occasional bad humor. “I was going to send you away that night you showed up unannounced,” she told him. “But I could see the kindness hiding in your crooked smile, and now I have come to know that underneath your awkwardness and childish temper, you are a decent man.”


But he should have known that the relationship with Laura wouldn’t last. He loves drama. He loves to make it, and he loves to find it. Eventually, Jack’s mind started conjuring stories and imagining the worst of Laura. Suspicion and jealousy are Jack’s wicked brothers. “I do that from time to time,” says Jack to Dr. Dowd. “I get suspicious and jealous.”


Laura had given him the key to her house, and he was free to come and go as he pleased, make himself comfortable and wait for her as she finishes up with her clients. Ever in search of problems where they don't exist, Jack plotted to get into Laura’s computer. She had a habit of writing passwords on pieces of paper. He looked through her wastepaper basket. He searched the drawers near the computer. Finally, he stumbled upon a little black book underneath the table. Jackpot. He found the computer password and logged in.


Relief and disappointment came in equal measures. He was relieved that he couldn't find any signs of cheating or other boyfriends. All her documents were work-related, her calendar entries were for meeting clients, everything normal for a successful real estate agent. The disappointment came when Laura unexpectedly walked in and caught him red-handed, "and threw both me and my heart out the door," said Jack to Dr. Dowd.


Dowd shakes his head. "Serves you right, Jack. Someone else would have called the police on you."


Jack remembers the last words Laura uttered as she shut the door on his face. “You are not an honest man.” This hurt him more than anything she could have possibly said. It broke his heart. He couldn’t shrug it off.


“It’s too bad about Laura,” suggests Dr. Dowd. “She brought a bit of magic to your life, wouldn’t you say?”


Jack remembers magic. He remembers the magic with Laura, but also with Maria, Isabelle, and others.


He met Maria when he was ten years old, at their swimming club in Buenos Aires. Back then, many years before he moved to the United States, Jack was known as Jacobo. Jacobo was a pudgy kid, with thick, curly hair. He was not popular at school, and not very athletic, but he was a robust swimmer. He spent hours in the swimming pool at the club. Deep end to shallow end, lap after lap. He did the breaststroke, the Australian crawl, and the backstroke. His favorite was to swim underwater from one end of the pool to the other. Swimming through water holding your breath is gravity free, detached from reality and the noise of the day. It is liberating, as if walking through clouds without fear of falling. Even for a child, the water makes you both free and invincible.


Jacobo could do one or two laps underwater. He once saw an older fellow, probably in his twenties, who could do four laps. It impressed Jacobo. But he was more impressed by Maria’s reaction. She congratulated the young man and blew him a kiss. Maria, the joy in Jacobo's eyes.


Maria was one of the lifeguards at the swimming club. She was seventeen or eighteen, with golden hair, tanned skin, and blue eyes. She had northern Italian good looks, and everyone at the club knew her. Jacobo was obsessed with her. Maria's turn to watch the pool was usually during lunchtime and afternoon, when Jacobo's mother would put out a picnic. His mother could not locate Jacobo. He was in the pool, swimming his best strokes to impress Maria. She had blown a kiss to the muscle swimmer, thought Jacobo. Maybe she will blow a kiss to me. It never worked. When Maria's afternoon turn as a lifeguard was over, Jacobo would go sit with his mother and ask for something to eat. "Where have you been?" she would ask. "We ate hours ago. What have you been up to?" Nothing, thought Jacobo, nothing. Just trying to impress a girl.


A twelve-year-old boy has an arduous task at hand when he is trying to seduce an eighteen-year-old girl, especially when the girl is a tall and beautiful lifeguard. Maria was only interested in older boys. She may have noticed the pudgy kid who could swim fairly well and hold his breath underwater for a long time, but he did not impress her. She thought the boy was a nuisance. "I hope he doesn't drown," she said to her friends.


Jacobo spent an entire summer trying to get Maria’s attention. He dreamt at night of her beautiful long hair and yearned during the day to get a glimpse of her bikini-clad skin. But as many laps as he swam in the pool, and as much acrobatics as he tried on the diving board, her eyes never set upon him.


On the last day of the season, when the club would close for the cold weather, Jacobo tried one more time to impress Maria by doing the bounciest dive he could make from the diving board. This required that he run to the board and pick up speed to make the dive more powerful. As he got ready to run on the wet cement leading to the diving board, Jacobo twisted his leg and fell on his knee. Maria saw this and came running to help. His knee was bleeding. Not bad, but enough to merit a band-aid and some gauze and antibiotic cream.


Maria was kind. She took Jacobo to the little room they called the “infirmary” at the swim club. It was nothing more than a large closet with a chair and some medical supplies.


“Are you alright Jacobo?” she asked.


It surprised him that she knew his name. Jacobo said nothing. Maria cleaned his wound, put antibiotic cream on it, and secured it with a large band-aid. “There,” she said. “All better. I guess you will have to stay out of the water for a while. I know how much you love to swim. You are a splendid swimmer.” With that, she gave him a pat and a hug.


Jacobo was elated. The touch of Maria’s soft hand was magical. He felt a warmth in his body that started in his guts and travelled to his feet, his arms, his veins, his brain. His heart was palpating and his skin was flushed, but he did not feel ill. Rather, he felt as if the hand of a deity had been placed upon him and blessed him. (Immaculate Mary, Virgin most Powerful, I beseech you, through that immense Power which you have received from the Eternal Father, obtain for me Purity …)


Praying, hallucinating, feverish, he ran to his mother, who was clearing up the plates from the day's picnic. "Mother, I'm hurt, I'm hurt, but Maria took care of it!"


That’s nice, said his mother. That’s nice indeed, thought Jacobo.


The next season, when Jacobo was no longer chubby and had grown a foot taller, on the first day that the pool opened he ran to visit Maria. However, she was nowhere to be found. "She's not coming this year," said one of the new lifeguards. "She's gone overseas to finish her studies." Thus, Jacobo's first love ended.


That was the same year that Jacobo transferred schools. He had been attending a private school for boys, but on account of the hyperinflation in Argentina, his parents could not afford the tuition anymore. Instead, they put him in the local public school in La Lucila, Buenos Aires.


That’s when he met Isabelle and Javier. The two of them were the teacher’s pets, and the teacher assigned them as guardian angels to Jacobo.


"Welcome to this class," said the teacher on the first day of school. “I am sitting you between Isabelle and Javier. They are my very best pupils. They will help you get acclimated to us, Jacobo, and you will help them get acclimated to you.”


Isabelle was freckled-faced and skinny. She had long and lustrous hair, although it seemed greasy. She dressed well and smelled of lavender soap. Javier, her class sweetheart, was slightly shorter than Jacobo. He was rounder than Jacobo, more muscular perhaps. He had a tough boy look about him and blondish windswept hair.


Isabelle took an immediate liking to Jacobo. Every day at break time, she would share her snacks with him. No classmate had ever shared anything with Jacobo before, and he didn’t know why Isabelle was being kind. He imagined perhaps she wasn’t hungry. He did not imagine that perhaps she had a crush on him. Jacobo was oblivious to Isabelle’s gifts.


Javier was not oblivious. Before Jacobo joined their class, Isabelle had been his best friend, his constant companion, his little girlfriend. From the time Jacobo appeared, Isabelle grew disinterested in Javier. He did not mind, however, and he did not take it out on Jacobo. He was friendly with the new boy and helped him make friends with the other boys. Javier even took notes for Jacobo on the days he was sick, and Jacobo did the same for Javier. There was a bond between them.


Jack has told Dr. Dowd of the fun that he and Isabelle, and Javier, had that year. They had the most memorable fun on the day of the school fair. The teachers had set up the gymnasium with various stations where the students could play carnival games, such as darts, smashing plates, basketball hoop, and beanbag toss. Jacobo was having a wonderful time, enjoying the games, eating corn and cheese empanadas, and drinking Fanta orange soda. His mother had given him enough money that he could try every game and buy snacks for himself, as well as for Isabelle and Javier.


While the three of them were enjoying the empanadas, a bell rang and the roar of the crowd in the gymnasium went quiet. Isabelle and Javier were not surprised. They attended this fair every year, and they knew what was next. Jacobo noticed that someone had closed the gymnasium doors. He heard music from outside the doors, pipes and flutes, and drums. It was a piece of melodic, Andean music that he had never heard before. The doors swung open, suddenly, and men and women dressed in white clothes with colorful embroidery swept into the gymnasium floor and performed a Bolivian folk dance. The dancers flowed up and down the gymnasium, as everyone had moved to the sides. They wore leather moccasins and beaded jewelry. The women waved white handkerchiefs, and the men held their hands behind their backs as they courted the young ladies like birds in a mating ritual. Their moves rhythmically matched the Andean music that was being played by the older members of the dance company. Jacobo was mesmerized by the spectacle. His eyes opened wide. He felt magic, freedom, and love. Love for Isabelle and for Javier, who were experiencing this dance with him. "I love it," said Jacobo. Isabelle and Javier laughed. We love it too, they added, and all three danced with the dancers, danced as only children know to dance.


“I still have the class photo,” said Jack to Dr. Dowd. “The one where Isabelle and I are sitting together, and Javier is sitting next to us.”


“Perhaps it’s you and Javier that are sitting together,” adds Dr. Dowd, “and Isabelle is sitting next to the two of you.”


Jack thinks Dowd can be obtuse. Talking with Dowd and regurgitating his life stories makes Jack feel as if this were a confessional rather than a therapy session. Jack remembers his first confessor. It was Father Juan, again in La Lucila, Buenos Aires.


Father Juan was the parish priest of the local church on Avenida Maipu. Dad would not come to church, as he was a Protestant, or an Atheist, or both. Mom would put on her mantilla every Sunday and drag Jacobo and his brother Gerardo to the parish. Jacobo and Gerardo were one year apart, but their mother held back Jacobo from catechism for one year so that the boys could have their first communion together.


Jacobo could not wait to begin catechism class. His parents had signed Gerardo and Jacobo for an after-school soccer clinic, three times a week, from 5 to 7 pm. Gerardo, who excelled at sports, loved the soccer clinic. Jacobo detested it. He had no aptitude for the sport and no interest in playing. The coach always put Jacobo as a center back, next to the goalie. His role was to prevent the ball from entering the goal, but the goalie was a star and could handle this himself. At the beginning of each practice game, Jacobo was told by the coach to stay put in his position with minimal movement, and “don’t let that ball get in the goal!” Since most of the time the ball was in the middle of the field, Jacobo had nothing to do but daydream. He daydreamed about Maria, Isabelle, sometimes Javier, and always about Father Juan.


There were two reasons Jacobo daydreamed about the pastor. First, Father Juan was a young priest, and he was cool. He played guitar in mass, which he called “La Misa Criolla,” and Jacobo liked it. But mostly, Jacobo wanted to start catechism classes with Father Juan because it would mean no more soccer clinic. They gave first communion classes at the same time and on the same days as the soccer clinic. Gerardo resisted giving up soccer for catechism, but eventually, Jacobo's mother agreed it was time for the boys to get their first communion education.


Father Juan brought a religious magic to Jacobo’s life. The beauty of the catechism classes reminded him of the Bolivian dancers at the school fair. It was different from anything else in his boring routines, and it lifted something within him. On the first day of catechism, Father Juan introduced the children to the Greek philosopher Diogenes, and the search for a just man.


Father Juan explained Diogenes was a Greek philosopher famous for two things. First, they say that he lived in a barrel, and wherever he went, he took the barrel with him, like a human tortoise. Second, his most important possession, apart from the barrel, was a lamp with which he searched every corner of Athens for a just and honest man. He could never find one.


“If millions of Diogenes went out into the world to look for a perfectly righteous man, each armed with lamps, they would never find him because they did not know Jesus," explained Father Juan. “Jesus is the only righteous one in the eyes of God, and he offers you to be just and honest if you follow his teachings. Like Diogenes, Jesus is shining his lamp on you, asking you to be a just and honest person.”


After a year of catechism, Jacobo and Gerardo were scheduled to receive their first communion on Easter Sunday. On the Thursday before Easter, they attended church as it was mandatory for all the children to prepare for the first communion. On that Thursday, they were required to give their confessions to Father Juan. Jacobo had a long list of petty sins to confess. He talked about Maria and Isabelle, and desire. He also mentioned Javier. Father Juan gave him a penance of three Hail Marys. (Immaculate Mary, Virgin most Powerful, I beseech you, through that immense Power which you have received from the Eternal Father, obtain for me Purity …)


“What did you confess to Father Juan?” asked Jacobo to Gerardo.


“Nothing,” said Gerardo. “But he gave me three Hail Marys anyway, for lying about not having sins.”


After all the children had done their confessions, a nun assisting Father Juan asked for three volunteers. Father Juan was going to wash their feet as part of the Holy Thursday ceremony. The first boy that the nun asked to volunteer was Jacobo. He froze. He could not imagine that Father Juan should wash his feet. Father Juan had a lantern to carry, to find an honest man. He was too important to be washing Jacobo's feet. When Jacobo said no, Gerardo quickly raised his hand and took his place.


When Father Juan washed Gerardo’s feet, Jacobo felt like weeping. He absorbed Father Juan’s dignity as he poured water on feet and patted them with towels. The congregation was silent, all eyes were on Gerardo, as if a spotlight were shining on him, and Gerardo giggled as the priest touched his feet. The beauty of the washing of the feet, and his jealousy of Gerardo, consumed him doubly. "For many years," Jacobo told Dr. Dowd, “I wished it had been me, instead of Gerardo, who said yes to Father Juan.


After they moved from Argentina to the United States, Jacobo's parents learned that Father Juan had been killed by the military. Like many young priests, Juan had joined leftist causes and did not survive the crackdown by the right-wing dictatorship of Argentina in those years. “They were fools,” said Jacobo’s father, the atheist. “They let the Catholic Church lead them to civil rights causes, but the Church did not protect them when the violence erupted.”


Jack doesn’t like to think about that. He blows air through his mouth, and takes a sip of water. He wipes his eyes, and blurs away the memories he’s touched upon. Back to reality now.


“I’ve been talking for forty-five minutes,” says Jack as he wipes tears. “Enough is enough. I think our session is over.”


“I think you are right,” says Dowd.


The doctor opens the door to escort Jack out of the office. "Tell me what the rest of your week look like,” he says to Jack.


“I have a date on Saturday. Someone new. I’ll let you know how it turns out during our next session.”


Dr. Dowd laughs. “You are incorrigible,” he says. “In the five years I have known you, you have been in and out of fifteen relationships. Other men I know stop dating when they face so much rejection. But you never give up. You dust it off, and you move on. I admire it. Nothing will make you stop.”


“Why should I stop?” asks Jack with his special crooked smile. “I’m a modern-day Diogenes. He searched Athens for an honest man. I’m searching for an honest match. Someday I’ll meet my new Maria, or my new Isabelle, or maybe even a new Father Juan and my friend Javier, and we will dance, we will dance, as only children know to dance.”


Ernesto Beckford

April 25, 2022

© Ernesto Beckford 2022


Links to the Collages Used in this Blog:

Face to Wind: https://ernesto-beckford.pixels.com/featured/face-to-wind-ernesto-beckford.html

Portrait in the Woods: https://ernesto-beckford.pixels.com/featured/portrait-in-the-woods-ernesto-beckford.html


Dog and Man: https://ernesto-beckford.pixels.com/featured/dog-and-man-ernesto-beckford.html


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