International Relations Another dull committee. A fire alarm needing new batteries releases a mournful chirp that echoes in the tiled halls, like birdsong in rainforest. They call on me to speak, and name me Australia. We discuss funding gaps and proportions of budget spend and instead of taking notes, I sketch plans for an orchard. The room is as cold as the arctic. Even the sky looks wintry and grey through the bomb-proof film on the glass. The woman next to me (Portugal?) whispers that she’s cold. Why does my insomnia always lift during these meetings? I sip coffee—they have…

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