The emcee stood off to the side of the stage in darkness and in a rented tux. Standing in amongst the clutter of the backstage area he swallowed a choke as he tried to clear his throat quietly. Reaching into his jacket pocket he felt the thick stack of note cards there and shut his eyes for a moment, allowing the cool calm of their presence to wash through him. He turned to his side and gestured to the drama student stooped over the lighting board.
If they’d given me a nose I think I’d have smelled the alcohol on your breath yesterday morning. I should give myself some credit; they didn’t give me the best ears but I could still hear that slight slurring in your speech. I could hear you being a little more abrupt with the rest of the crew. I could hear you being a little less clear with the tower in Prague.
1 Tonight, Kwame would clean the altar. He walked to the front of the chapel. He methodically clicked each in a row of switches and light soaked the altar. Standing next to the altar in the bright lights, Kwame couldn’t make out the first row of pews. His breathing slowed there in the warmth. He stood next to the altar and allowed his arms to hang by his sides.
The very end of his middle fingertip brushed on the cotton tablecloth.