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VQRTrueStory

Narrative Rhythms

Electrocardiogram (ECG) monitors are like nonfiction writers: taking in the world and spitting it out in fewer dimensions with more meaning—maybe even some sense. ECGs only show electrical activity, not a heart’s physical pumping, so they are a highly biased picture, like a writer’s gallons of ink on a page.


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Photograph by Elizabeth Felicella

Omnipresence

Tiffany—“like Tiffany & Co.”—has lived here her whole life. Her hair is woven into a neat French twist. “Cops come and sit in here,” she says, waving her hand at the shadows on the small plaza around us. A white plastic bag rustles in a spring tree. Tufts of white flowers cover the branches like a sweater, against the chill of early evening. We raise our voices over the noise of a generator, one of a score of rumbling machines across the city that has flooded housing projects with chemical light, noise, and the guise of safety for five years.

Tiffany needs to fix dinner; her kids are hungry. Her forty-first birthday is coming up. Tomorrow she’s going to a pole-dancing class with friends. “You look good,” I say. She tosses a hello to a passing neighbor who’s pushing an overflowing grocery cart. Her gold hoop earrings sparkle.

Photo by Julie Dermansky

Take ‘Em Down

1. Without their torches and semiautomatics, the alt-righters appeared aesthetically adrift. They had their gloves and flak jackets but, lacking the accessories wielded in Charlottesville, their domineering image suffered. Perhaps this is why they [...]