tom was 20 when i first became infatuated with him and 21 when they saw the last bubbles float to the surface beside the burning remains of his boat. in that short time, i felt that i had gotten a better sense for his character than any of his contemporaries. i first saw the article in the new york times magazine. it was a 300 word affair. a quick blurb peripherally mentioning him in the context of some hollywood flop, but something about the way they classified him caught me off guard. he was billed as a "mime from birth." as time went on i would come to realize he was merely a nihilist mute. i myself was one of two siamese twins joined wrist to back, but i'd always taken to labeling myself a ventriloquist.

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