47 Minutes with Hugh Vance

Hugh Vance is three-fourths Raskolnikov and four-fifths Sindbad the Sailor. There’s some overlap there, yes. He is also one-sixteenth Cherokee which explains his cheekbones but not his public hobbies. The Byronic hero he longed to be was more flummoxed then reticent.

He sat with his legs crossed swinging a black shoe. I sat in an uncomfortable armchair replete with footstool with matching upholstery that I refused to use. We talked for 27 minutes about Dostoevsky. Then 7.5 minutes about a Bob Dylan song. Then 29 minutes on the urban heat island effect. I spent a total of 47 minutes with Vance. There’s some overlap there too, yes.

“You’re suggesting the medium and its narrative convey the same thing? How post-modern of you!” Vance laughed loudly and spilled wine on his pants. I wasn’t sure if we were discussing Dylan or the heat island effect.

“Things aren’t adding up here, Hugh.”

“How visceral!” he hissed. “Mathematics!”

This time I was certain he was talking about Dostoevsky.

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