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"You're doing fine."

Three words that meant a lot to Cristo. They probably meant a lot to anyone who looked out on the world and found it full of obstacles, day after day. That was why he offered them sincerely, with a smile.

"I think... everyone has their own issues, you know? So you shouldn't feel bad about whatever yours might be. I try not to, and sometimes it works." Self-deprecation felt like the right way to go, maybe set Maxim at ease more if he got that this was something unusual for both of them, striking up conversation with an effective stranger.

"But we don't have to keep talking about that, if you don't want to. If you were going to get something from the bake sale, what would it be?"
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."

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Land of Milk and Honey, Don't Fail Me Now · Memories from the Past