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QUEST, Count Alexander von Svoboda

That winter day in Portland was pristinely gray. The clouds had molded into a seamless cap, and the light was so even that every pane of glass in the world of grids had mirrored over in the way calm water does. Passersby looked beautiful in their myriad reflections; their skin glowed like marble, their faces cooled to stone.

I was looking for Courier Coffee, but mostly drifting. Truthfully, I was lost, and resolutely wandering.

The fountain looked like a white schooner from afar. Even up close, it seemed to be cutting a wake through the canyons. The baroque tangle of nude bodies managed to show compelling forward motion and astronautical suspension at the same time.

How do you build a cathedral? Hoist a thousand tons of rock in the air, then leave it floating there. It defies understanding, but Count Alexander von Svoboda, as a minor levitationist, was surely approaching the secret.

As for me, I was content to linger for a while and frame the statue as you see it. It was christened QUEST, but all I could feel there was a long, basking rest.

I turned and looked at the statue’s reflection, and then I left.

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