Daniel Alarcon, "The Idiot President"

A young actor joins up with a respected traveling troupe.

(from The New Yorker, Oct. 6, 2008)

“You sing beautifully,” I said.

“What was it about?”

“Just old songs.”

“Henry said you were singing about love.”

She had a lovely laugh: clear and unpretentious, like moonlight. “He doesn’t speak Quechua,” Tania said. “Must have been a lucky guess.”

A Google search leads me to believe that this story is set in Puerto Rico, but I enjoyed not knowing specifically where I was. This was a sublime story to sit back and enjoy, watching this hardscrabble little trio tramp across a muddy valley, these actors are like activists, or like folksingers. Veterans from harsher, more serious times, but not satisfied that things are getting a little better.
Read it here.

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