Prelude: A Terminus
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Yesterday upon the stair
I met a man who wasn't there
He wasn't there again today
I wish, I wish he'd go away

-Antigonish, by Hughes Mearns, 1899

He looked at himself in the mirror and inspected his uniform for the day. Gray fedora, tilted just so; slate gray suit, well-tailored; white shirt, pressed and starched; black necktie, hanging like a noose. He adjusted the Windsor knot and idly thought, "It's always black. Never green or navy blue or red. Hmm."

He paused and stared briefly at his own face in the mirror, trying to remember if anything about it looked familiar. Again, and as always, nothing was. He sighed. "Well, it doesn't pay to wonder. Off to work I go."

He straightened his jacket one last time, solemnly tipped his hat to the empty room, and stepped through the doorway.

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