Main articles: deck chairs, rearranging (disambiguation)
It’s a common misconception that Rome wasn’t built in a day.  By midnight that first night they were hastily pulling down regrettable statues of their already corrupt leaders, bought out by their own side profiles on the coins they minted that morning, wreathed by their laurels, wolfed by raises. So when the cops tell me that the first 48 hours are the most crucial, I know they’re off by a factor of two. 
I spent a week in the Library of Congress, white-gloved and Gutenberged, spitting ISBNs, cutting my fingers on indexes, nodding politely at the tours. Did You Know that the Library of Congress is the largest library in the world? [citation heeded] I burned microfilms at the front desk and checked you out.
When you finally develop abject permanence, you understand that I’m not here, even when you can see me. I’ve called you all the same pet name, like a goldfish I replaced in secret, the markings similar enough that nobody notices the change. Dress for the man you want, not the man you have.
See also 
- Three-strikes law 
1. ^ Twin boys and a stray
2. ^ omne trium perfectum
3. ^ or: “the rule of three.”
Taylor Alexandra Duffy lives in New York and works in research & development. She specializes in pending patents and penning short short stories. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Pithead Chapel, X-R-A-Y, Truffle, Passages North, and elsewhere. She was longlisted for the 2021 SmokeLong Quarterly Grand Micro. www.tayloraduffy.com