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Old 04-23-2013, 10:21 PM View Post #11 (Link)
Wig (Offline)
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I put in my earphones, changed the song. A new journey requires a new song. You told me that. Just sitting on the train, it was calm. I brought out my notebook, a new pen - blue with a new cap. Sat closer to the window and looked out for a second. I didn't look closely, I just looked out. Uncapped my pen, rested the cap on my finger for a second. Placed it on the table in front of me, clicked my song up louder, nodding slightly to the music.

Didn't look up for ten minutes, head bent with my new pen against the paper. The cap rolled slightly and I stretched for it. I never liked losing caps. I tucked it in my bag, put my pen back to paper. Turned the song down.

I only looked up when someone asked me if the seat was free. I didn't look up at first, nodded, pulled out an earphone, but kept my pen on the paper. Afraid that my words would run if I let them. I still am.

I looked up.

I didn't see you at first. That is, I didn't see you. Your personality and ideas and the dimple in your chin. I am not blind, I can see. But for the first ten seconds I could only see that stare. I couldn't place that stare. I couldn't place where I'd seen it before. I didn't know how familiarly heartbreaking it was. But when I knew who you were, I shut my eyes and capped my pen. Knew I wasn't going to be able to write any of my words anymore. They were gone for the rest of the train journey.

I shut my eyes to only hear the whisper of my voice. Once. I shook my head. Don't say it. Twice. Don't say it. Thrice. You stopped after thrice. Left the words hanging in the air, let your voice drop. I wanted to reach out, but I didn't. I let my fingers slide beneath my thighs. I was scared I would do something I’d regret later.

I opened my eyes. Watched you. You opened your mouth, were you going to say something? I thought you were so I shook my head. I didn't want to hear it.

But then you stretched out your hand, reached for the hollow of my neck, where it used to rest so automatically. But I drew back, and left your hand in the air. That shocked you; that I left your hand hanging in the air.

And when you drew back, I felt the air that your hand brushed fall around me. And maybe you thought I could keep that air, I don't know. You never told me. You told me such few things.

The train journey was the last time I saw you. I know now that some things will always finish. That train journey was the conclusion of our story. We never thought it could be the beginning; it could have been if we’d tried, I guess. But what we never thought was that we could have written a sequel. Or maybe we did think that, but maybe we were too scared to create the beginning. Maybe we thought some things were better left alone. Not everyone needed a sequel.

Why did you say my name thrice? I still don't know. But I can live without knowing.
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Old 05-04-2013, 11:51 PM View Post #12 (Link) Mine
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He lost.

A break. Snap. Gasp. Crumbling ashes of a truth so long in coming. Silence that meant everything at once, sounding so full that the universe might as well have stopped, refused to exist anymore. What did it matter?

What did broken scars and empty pill bottles mean, in the grand scheme?

Nothing.

What did a boy mean, laying side-ways on his bed, his heart strewn across the room, chain-saw raped and poisoned? He could hear it beating, the last bits of its strength, fast pitter-patter of death throws. He stained his pillow with blood, inking it like a child with a stamp. Mine, he thought. This is mine, no one else’s. Hold tight, with bone-bleached fingers. Don't let go.

They wouldn’t take it from him.

He shattered knuckles against a ply-wood wall, jamming in poke-a-dot splinters. His tears fell. He sucked them back in through his mouth, sizzling against teeth. Mine.

And he pulled and ripped his ribs apart, and let his spine soak into the bed sheet, and his organs tumble to the floor.

Because what did it matter?
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Old 05-17-2013, 09:37 PM View Post #13 (Link)
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Closeness.

The closeness nobody knows; which has to be stated, given in gps mode; closeness felt when suggested. The suggestion can be surprisingly painful, a pain not known to the person who moves closer. “I am close now”, and the whole world, and place, disintegrates suddenly to the addressed. They would prefer never to know.

Close as opposed to far? Too easy perhaps. What about close as opposed to unconscious of space; being far is an extreme lack of placement where we feel we should be (therefore of where we should be), and so lack of the appropriate consciousness.

Close – like between one floor of a building and the other. Getting lost in a shopping centre, phoning, “I’m in front of the shop with those big leather bags you liked”, “no you’re not I’m in front of it and there’s just this guy in a hat with a coffee not you” – are these people close? Or those trapped on two sides of a crowded escalator? One directly above the other sleeping in a hotel? Reading somebody’s book? Looking at a series of photo from 10, 20, 50 years ago? Swimming in the same sea? Picking up suitcase from the airport rubber roundabout? On two sides of a kiosk, window moved to the side? Watching the same kite? Thinking about the same end of the world? Living in the same world? Both dying? Both getting lost again and again in relation to different points but ending up in the same part of the labyrinth (all roads lead to rome)? Trying to adopt the same child? Giving birth the same second as the other woman, losing a child at the same second, being a child at the same second? Is it enough to sit on the same bench, is it enough to answer “yes and no”, or “yes” and “no”, or to answer in a different type of language?

Let’s all shake our heads. After all, we’re pretty far away.

I am close now, and I too disintegrate.
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Old 06-17-2013, 03:19 AM View Post #14 (Link)
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this is a short i wrote as an exercise in dialogue and weird narration techniques


PROLOGUE

THE BRONX, NEW YORK


“I don’t believe in love at first sight.”

“You don’t?”

“No.”

Smoke curls and rises from the end of a grubby cigarette. Three men, two suited up like high-end turbo dealers and the other sporting a fetching white vest yellow with grease, sit at a round table covered in bits and pieces. Several wisps rise from a blackened glass ashtray at the centre. The first suited man leans forward and stubs out a cigarette, then back again as he scrapes his thin black hair across his head with a miniature comb.

“I don’t like the idea of falling in love with the biggest pair of tits in the room,” he says. “That ain’t love. There’s nothing romantic about love at first sight. It’s a pretty fucked up notion if you ask me.”

“You’re the gayest motherfucker I know, you know that Marty?” says the greasy, vested man.

“Hey, fuck you Al.”

“Love at first sight is about knowing who the one is as soon as they walk through the door,” says the second suited man.

“Oh Jesus, the fruits got Tim, too.”

Tim ignores the homophobic slur. “Pretty fucking romantic if you ask me,” he says.

“How can you claim to know who you wanna spend the rest of your fucking life with at first glance? Unless you got some sort of built-in personality scanner in your brain you ain’t telling me about, love at first sight is based on looks and looks alone. The biggest pair of tits in the room.”

“I don’t even like tits. It’s all about the ass,” says Al in the vest.

“Alright, the blackest woman in the room.”

They all laugh, and the two men left smoking stub out their butts in the ashtray. More people enter the room; a woman dressed to impress in flowing red with white gloves up to her elbows, and a little man with long hair like Lennon and circular glasses to match.

“Greg! Frieda!” Guess which is which. “How nice of you cunts to finally join us.”

The vested man gets slapped for his language. “Keep your mouth down, Al,” she says.

The others chuckle, Greg takes a seat and lights a roll bigger than the Statue of Liberty.

“You shouldn’t smoke that,” Frieda says.

“It’s not illegal to smoke in h-”

“It’s illegal to smoke that anywhere.”

Greg jolts his head forward and his gold rimmed glasses fall down the bridge of his nose. He looks professorial, even with the joint in his hand smoking like a used revolver.

“Would you run over a cat?” he says.

“What the hell are you talking about Greg?”

“The biggest moral crisis in the history of moral crises. Y’know, the law clearly states you don’t stop for a cat, that they’re practically pests. A dog? Fine. You stop for a dog, you slam those breaks harder than you’d slam an Amsterdam hooker, smash up the face of whoever’s in the back without a seatbelt on, not to mention the old lady in the car behind with reaction times half as fast as yours, that’s fine. You see a cat in the middle of the road, you carry the fuck on. That’s what the law says.”

“So?”

“So would you run over a cat?”

“I…no, I guess I wouldn’t.”

“Then stop reading out your good citizen handbook like you’re Mother Teresa, when in theory you’re as criminal as me.”

“It’s completely different.”

“It is completely different, you’re right. Stopping for a cat in the middle of a country lane ain’t gonna wind up with your ass in jail.”

“Either’s smoking a dooby, Greg.”

Greg waves a hand as Marty and Tim chuckle to themselves. Frieda is still fixed on Greg, eyebrows v-ing in the centre of her forehead.

“Do you see my point?”

“Not entirely.”

“Stopping for a cat and smoking the high stuff are both illegal. But one seems like a moral duty, the other like an act of petty criminality. Why is that?”

“Alright, fine. Smoke your blunt. But don’t blow any of that shit near me.”

Greg smiles. “Sure thing, kitten.”

“And if the police come by again, I’m not helping you get rid of them like last time.”

The four men and one woman that sit bantering and smoking are off the radar at present, somewhere in New York in a shack under a railway bridge. Marty complained at the time that they were so close to the sewers that they’d smell every Bronxian nigger’s shit from where they were, but no one argued with Boss for long. The final decision to keep the safe house here was made at 1800 hours on Tuesday. The incident in question went like this:

They’d been there for a few hours when there was an unexpected knock on the door. All laughter was finished. All cigarettes stamped out. All talking reduced to whispers.

“How many cars are outside?” asked Marty.

“None, we parked them a few blocks from here and walked like you asked,” replied Frieda. Her thick European accent was thicker when she whispered.

“Shit, what does that mean Marty?” Greg asked, his voice faltering.

“It means they’re not just inspecting vehicles, they knew we were here.”

Tim and Al pulled out handguns at that. Marty raised a hand and told them to calm their tits.

“Calm your tits, guys. Greg, go answer the door.”

“Woah, why me?”

“Because you look most like a fucking hobo and no one knows you’re working with us.”

The men and Frieda exchanged smug smiles.

“Everyone else, help me move this table fucking silently over to the other side of the room where it can’t be seen from the door.”

“Fuck this shit.” Greg put his hands in his muted green combat jacket – army styled, not army by design – and felt the cold body of his own pistol in the pocket. “Fuck. This. Shit.”

“Quit your whining and go answer the door.”

He went and answered the door as the others moved the table like door mice to the other side of the room as was planned. Two police officers stood there, eyeing Greg like suspicious mutts.

“Can I help you officers?”

“How many people are in there?” asked the first officer.

“You got a license to be squatting here?” asked the second.

“Just me,” started Greg. “And yes, yes I do.”

“Mind if we come in?”

Greg tightened his grip on the firearm in his pocket. “You have a search warrant?” he said.

“We don’t need a warrant to come inside.”

Here’s a little bit of omniscient narration for you: Greg’s knuckles were white in his pocket, his grip on that gun was so tight he could have squeezed the bullets out faster than he could have shot them. He was scared, and he was using all of his concentration not to show it to the two officers stood in front of him.

“You do if I don’t let you in.”

The second officer closed his eyes and placed his hand on his heart, feigning offence.

“Why would you want to not let us in?” he asked. “We’re a couple of nice guys.” He gestured over to the squad car, lights still throwing red and blue across the dirt outside. “We even brought doughnuts.”

“Thanks.” Greg smiled sheepishly. “But no thanks.”

“Perhaps if we were on first name terms?”

“I’m busy.”

Greg was done with the officers; he’d done his best to get rid of them sensibly, so he swung the door quickly towards the steel frame. The second officer had his foot in the door before it could close.

“I’m David,” he said. “And this is Jesse.”

Greg smiled. “Well, David, Jesse, I’m going to ask you kindly to fuck off.”

Greg didn’t see what officer had hit him, but he felt the wet crunch of his nose shattering as he hit the ground. His vision blurred as tears filled his eyes, but he saw the black-blue blur of the second officer go over at the crack of a gun. Then Greg was being pulled up. It was Marty, asking if he was okay.

“You okay?”

“I…yeah. Yeah, I’m fine.” Greg wiped his eyes. “Son of a bitch popped me in the nose. Does it look okay?”

“Take your fucking hands away. Looks broken man.”

The first officer’s whimpers could be heard over Frieda’s sick cries. She loved it when things got out of hand. Switzerland was very dull.

“Keep still.”

“Woah, what the fuck do you think you’re doing?”

“I’m going to pop it back into place.”

“Please, stop.” The officer was spitting out teeth as he spoke. “I have a family. Just…let me go.”

“Like fuck are you going to pop it back into place.”

“Stop being a pussy Greg and hold still.”

“A little boy…please…*thwack* please, I want to see his birthday.”

“Jesus, have you ever done this before?”

“Yeah I used to do it all the time when I worked as a bouncer in Vegas.”

“I have money, …*thwack* I have access to savings. *thwack* Oh god, I don’t wanna die. Please!”

“You never worked in fucking Vegas!”

“Just shut the fuck up, close your eyes and I’m popping it back into place on three.”

“Alright, alright.”

When the boys were done beating the officer to a bloody pulp, they pulled him to his knees by his hair and Al placed a shiny new revolver to his skull.

“Please…” he said, face messed with dark blood. “I have so much I want to do…I wanna have grandkids…my kids only four years old…I’m only doing this so I can send him to a good school…”

“Right, you ready? I’m popping it.”

“Okay, okay okay. Go. Just fucking do it!”

“Alright…Three.”

“Fuck. Is this gonna hurt?”

“Please…I’m begging you.”


“Two.”

“I won’t tell anyone you’re here.”

“One!”

“No one will know I fucking swear it!”


The gun was fired and the officer’s brains and skull were splattered all across the back wall.

MEANWHILE: PARIS, FRANCE

“I’m sure they understand why I’m not there. New York is a shit hole and Paris is shinier than the bald patch on the back of my head. I did my fair share of walking around in crap; in Vegas the shit’s so deep you can’t run away. I spent thirteen years in Vegas – fucking, running coke, making good people cough up bad money – there’s reasons I can afford to sit here with you, Pierre, and not do all that dirty shit. Hell, I ain’t killed a cop in ten years…I ain’t killed a man in three.”

“Ah, oui, very good Monsieur, uhh…”

“Call me Boss, Pierre, everybody does.”

“Uhh, oui, Boss. Of course, ‘ow could I forget?”

Pierre is a Frenchman through and through. You can smell the posh wine on him from a mile away and you can see the baguette crumbs on his thousand euro suit and caterpillar moustache. They sit in the most expensive restaurant in Paris, the sounds of supper clanging around them and the gold light of a thousand candles fluttering over everything.

As Boss cleans his plate, Pierre orders more bread. The waiter nods and scuttles off.

“Now, Pierre. For this deal to go down this money needs to be wired tonight.”

Pierre smiles like a cheeky circus ringmaster in a 1920s film. “I…am aware.”

“Good. So when does it get done?” Another bowl of bread is set down between them. “Because all this shit is very nice, Pierre, but it’s – what time is it? Seven o’clock. My boys are waiting around in a tin-can and we’ve been eating frog legs for almost two hours.”

“Please, Monsieur. You insult me, you really do. You think I will not get this done for you? You think that? Oui, oui, we eat and eat and we chat and we chat but of course it is because…’ow can I trust you if we ‘ave only just met, uh? ‘ow?”

“I get it, Pierre.” Boss waves his meaty hands in the air and shouts. “Bill please! Waiter, bill!”
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Old 10-04-2013, 03:23 PM View Post #15 (Link)
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pfft

Sipping slipping, fading degrading out of the light and into a lounge. Jazz plays soothingly as I hold my drink, my friends, my girl, my speech; their attention. Eyes always follow, sometimes leave, oozing enquires about my life, knife in hand as she carves her name, always the romantic, pedantic, fantastic

It's her eyes I care about as they follow my arching -

Formative years; woe.
Adolescence; making sense.
Adulthood becomes me, I became it.

Everyone is emphatic, erratic, titanic.

Sipping slipping, fading degrading away from life.

Swelling is compelling, let me slide and roll and laugh and tear apart the tears the flow from my eyes, her eyes, our eyes, as they watch our naked bodies together; if ever.

Forever.
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Old 11-05-2013, 07:42 PM View Post #16 (Link) Macagism: First Frost
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Sarah's fingers pressed against the ice-swirled window pane and she looked longingly out to the grass bejewelled with tiny droplets of frost. For an infant, this was Sarah's first encounter with frost and she had intended to make the most of it.

The sun was barely visible in the sky and the moon had lurked behind clouds for long enough so that the air turned sour; and as Sarah buttoned her coat she smiled brighter than any sun could have been allowed to. Her mum frowned down at the fair haired child who longed for the adventure awaiting outside. How large it would be! Ice angels were on top of the list and she made sure her ears were covered to prevent the inescapable chill.

As she ran outside she noticed the pale leaf stranded in a lonely plant pot. She crouched beside it and squinted childishly into the soil. Her concentration furrowed on the veins of the finger prints of ice and she was so heavy in her interest that her noise touched the tip of the stem. "Cold!" She shouted, as her mum stood by and shook her head. She turned for her mum's approval and she received a nod and an encouraging gesture.

Sarah ventured forward, crunching the icicles of grass beneath her welly boots. She stopped when she noticed the noise and giggled. Such an adventure! Her hand pressed into the ground and she studied her hand print like she'd never seen it before.

Her mum watched, unmoving, as if a stork would swoop down and reclaim her for the adorability of the situation. She knew adventures came in all shapes and sizes, and frost measured highly on the scale. The air crashing from the sky dared her to put on warmer footwear than slippers, but she shook her head at the sky and gazed at her daughter - after all, adventures came in all shapes and sizes and she intended to make the most of this one.
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Old 05-12-2014, 04:00 PM View Post #17 (Link)
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— Something, something short story. It’s been a while—at least 3-4 months—since I’ve written prose. I was tired of revision, so I took the opportunity. Don’t know where this is going.

-----------------


My mother hanged herself with the balcony window curtains—her body coated in a green cocoon— in the living room—in the same living room, where I begin the ritual of transition: slipping my hands into his sweater like a gust, his skin against my sweaty palm, the sound of my breathing close to his ears, which I nibble, and he lets out a half-suppressed laugh. The green of the living room in his eyes.
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Old 09-10-2014, 04:33 AM View Post #18 (Link)
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‘I’ll take you to the heart of Geneva,’ Leila said, before swigging her pint of beer in five gulps, as we sat in the park La Perle du Lac on a dirt slope overlooking Lake Geneva.

Ten full years I have lived in this city; now, at 21 years old, with a summer stint as a multilingual tourist guide--

English and French, with a speck of German and Italian--the latter two I’ve had included to decorate my Curriculum Vitae--some ornaments to increase my appeal like a Christmas present, except that the interviewer turned out to be vegan and atheist, as if the two notions were meant to be together; yet spiritually and intellectually, she preferred to be seen as, she has seen my foreign ethnicity as an asset, like a Christmas present; I digress--

I couldn’t imagine how she would be able to portray the elusiveness of Geneva, when I just found it charismatic. Hell, even this place--I introduced it to her! Indeed, this place every full moon. This place, despite being chilly. Maybe because of of the thin evening, with the blanket of frost on the grass, wet, and the condensation in my every breath and on my glasses…

Here, the rippled reflection of the full moon—round and bright as a pearl (maybe this was where the park got its name from; I could never doubt Geneva’s subtle efficiency)—made the lake more expansive than it really was.


**

The heart of Geneva. The heart of Geneva.

On my way back, I uttered the phrase like a chant, and I appeared like a madman no doubt, in the tram, as I stared, standing, at an empty seat for no reason. They might think that I’m just drunk.

‘You’ll see,’ she said, when I asked, while drinking my booze. I sighed and thought about Geneva’s non-exoticism, which was a hardly surprising aspect for an economy built upon banks and expats, the latter including my mother and me--me who never really manage to commune with the patience and the precision of the cityfolk, for I was constantly late and diagnosed with ADHD. Geneva had a structure, like a clockwork, partly what it’s famous for, no doubt. But I couldn’t think of it having a heart; maybe a central core that was passionless and pastiche as every successful metropolitan crossroad, like every small melting pot of a mini New York, but much more docile and less dangerous.

I unlocked, then locked the door, I ran a map of Geneva across my mind, with no apparent directions, but of distinct roads and places linked by quintessential darkness, even when Geneva had no discreet alleyways--not discreet enough to have sex, that is, even after midnight--only quiet one littered with old folks, as if these alleyways were a congregation of the soon-dead. I pictured the picturesque flea market occurring every Wednesday and Saturday.

Like a detective, I ran through my image of Geneva to undermine the crime by peeling the city layer by layer, shell by shell. Like a ghost, I swooped and swooshed. I felt erratic, no doubt, uncomfortable in trying to find meaning in a city that had dulled my senses as a preteen, when I stopped speaking for two years, for being bullied for my foreign accent.

Mother was fast asleep, asleep as a dead thing, limp in her king-sized bed. I just stared at her from the door.
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Old 10-08-2014, 04:00 PM View Post #19 (Link)
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Tris-tan; la tristesse; sadness in French and noise in Welsh; his two-syllable name started with a dental click, like a tut of disapproval, or the early language of cavemen; he was Raphael to his clients, a male specimen, fresh meat within the drunk gaze of those in bars and hotel lounges; he never told anyone his full name, and I don’t know if Tristan were his real name, or another pseudonym he gave to his friends, if he had any besides me.

But to me he was Tristan from the Czech Republic, 19 years old, standing 5’11 barefooted, his photogenic face framed by strawberry blond hair and spiced up with a speckle of freckles around his cheeks and on the tip of nose; his high cheekbones gave him a slightly feline outline, his skin always slightly sun-kissed even during winter, when the blue of his eyes were accentuated amidst the white, almost as if plucked from the Devil. With a crooked smile, he hid one of his molars in the upper-right chipped—as he showed me the first time we met while queuing outside a toilet in a bar—from trying to open a bottle with his teeth.

He was always wearing a suit, with a Swiss watch bigger than a fist and a dull, red string around his neck that he’d always touch whenever thinking about something.

We only saw each other in the evenings, mostly around midnight after he finished working or spending time in libraries. We’d often sit by the lake Geneva, overlooking the Jet’ d’eau, next to where Empress Sisi was stabbed by an anarchist. He said that the full moon shone ‘like a pan lid’. He’d always talk about his admiration for Baltic and Serbian linguists. His English was perfect, his slight Baltic accent peppering each syllable. We’d mishmash languages whenever we couldn’t fully express ourselves in a single one, or whenever we felt obnoxious. Like the Québecois, we’d butcher these words in etymological juxtaposition with our stilted cadence (‘Have you seen this documentary about Sociology and Bourdieu, la sociologie est un sport de combat? Tu l’as déjà entendu, right? It is a fighting sport, not a tool for the elite to justify their position!’).

We’d always talk about literature and linguistics and rarely about our personal lives, aside his line of work and how he intended to go back to Czech Republic when he had enough money to pay for University. He joked about his profession as a form of a scholarship and a formation to improve his observational skills. He intellectualised it, and, according to him, it was already ‘the most rational’ job in the world.

He was the most honest during those nights—well, as honest as he could be—about people rolling around drunk, giving every penny to him in their loneliness; he himself insisted on paying for everything whenever we met. He’d usually get messages from his clients inviting him to intrude on their loneliness, but he’d never reply to them whenever he was with me. At times, usually after a period of laughter, we’d just wordlessly stare at the sky, as if honouring its existence in the chilly nights, where we’d sit by the lake.
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