A year and a day of heavy drinking had rendered Priscoli almost preternaturally sensitive to the noises his neighbors made after they retired to their marital bed, uniformly after a ritual of arguing about finances and the children they would never have. The neighbors, along with Priscoli and a host, or might I say cluster, of immigrants from the failing European colonies, inhabited this building of flats which overlooked a paved street no cars dared traverse for the ramshackle kiosks that huddled there. Priscoli had been here five years, since his relatives bid him disperse and his job as a typesetter was obsolesced by the invention and widespread use of a teleline that, he swore, transmitted the utterings of the devil himself. He, having been raised as the ninth child in a family, one would think, seemingly composed entirely of children ad infinitum, was given to such abstractions and superstitions. His neighbors, the principal characters in our story, were not given to such superstitions, but were far too broke to employ that devil of the air. They communicated with their fellow agents in a perfect idiosyncrasy: if Wednesday, or Friday, they would leave a note on their door thanking the milkman for his delivery the day before, and if Monday or Thursday, a note asking a child who didn’t exist for an errand’s favor. These four days comprised the whole of their operating schedule, as these four days were the only days when the man who stopped before their door and skimmed his cipher according to their notes felt amenable to work. He had not heard any information germane to his reports in three weeks, a timetable which coincides with the assassination of several ambassadors that died, in crowds of people so numerous as to obscure a criminal, in his home country.


~ by Jeremy on June 5, 2012.

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