Section 0002

     What a relief to stop it right there.

     I work with the dead, and the dead do not complain.

     Perhaps this was an exercise in Feng Shui after all. I clenched my fists under the quilt but in fact nothing out of the ordinary happened.

     It was the only impulsive action of his life, and he never regretted it. Marvelous reaction of a pale and angry young man, they thought.

     The man with the pipe said, “Well, no, that’s the whole story.” The subtlety of it was nothing new.

     And here my mind went haywire, I don’t know why. Not the things you want to hear, I suppose. In seconds people cross distances that have been measured out and reach out for parts where there is no ceiling above them and no ground beneath them.

     There I was conveniently incarcerated in a body which was walking through a strange city for reasons I knew not.

     Berthold: [who had been spying from behind the right exit by looking through the keyhole of the door]: There they are! There they are! They seem to be coming here…

     They could feel the cold as it crept in through the cracks, reaching out for them with its icy, death–dealing fingers; and they would crouch and cower, and try to hide from it, and all in vain. There was a certain pleasure in all this for him. A miraculous silence. Press the small button on the battery.

     This, then, is anger: to possess a voice in a torrent of embraces, to go boating on a long, slow river in an underworld’s lumbering cesspit, to know for certain this world stinks, stinks under a smelly angel, an angel in silk stockings and with a fine writer’s hand who records only clamor, scores of sucklings, librettos of the blissful malicious, and études of octogenarians: the noise of a world groaning under a pile of crossbeams. And beautiful tears have blossomed in my eyes.