Clyde had painted all morning without once thinking about his stomach until now. It was Ramadan, and today was the sixth day. Which meant there were twenty-three to go. He knew he couldn’t last. Or wasn’t meant to. Rabyah had always said, eyes widening, that fate is nothing but the mind itself. That saying never struck Clyde as particularly profound.
The midday clouds in Manhattan were beginning to disperse. Clyde stood up and walked toward his newest painting, which rested against his window. He lay it flat so that it would catch the greatest amount of sunlight. Commissioned by the Heye Foundation, it depicted a fallen Navajo warrior. The warrior lay slain as his paint dried, his confused eyes bulging toward the ceiling.