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Sits by a candle's flickering light in the kitchen of a squalid apartment in Paris, hunched over the table, focused on a drawing begun in class that day. Wax drips onto coarse paper, shadows splay across cold walls, describing primal shapes in sulci and gyri of cracked plaster.

Shivering from when a crowbar pierced the frontal lobes of a railway worker named Phineas Gage, his close friends and relations remarked, 'Gage wasn't Gage anymore.' In this famous example of frontal lobe damage, Gage was transformed from a stable, polite, hardworking young man into a lying, cheating vagabond who could not hold down the damp air. He becomes aware of water dripping through darkness, his father snoring in bedroom, sister standing behind him staring down at wrinkled white space transfigured by bold charcoal lines. A few years older than Auguste, wise before her time, it's Marie's faith that sees him through the night and poverty of his grandiose dream.

Wearing a hooded raincoat and hauling a backpack, a man passes me, looking like he knows where he is going. The world is naked and chaotic; night's cowl darkens the heart.

 

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