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no gold (things will have to wait)

There is an old Russian expression for the inevitable moment when your neighbors begin renovating. "Searching for gold in the walls." They say, to describe the epic sounds of drills in ancient concrete. You might appreciate this odd humor, this dark joke, this survival tactic. I am not so graceful a man to wrap my thoughts around it. Those drills and grinders, they shake the very walls of our apartment. Early on Sunday mornings and often long into the evenings they go.

This has been going on for the last four months, maybe more. I stopped counting.

I cannot imagine there are any walls left, that there is an entire open floor below us, the wind whipping through the naked beams and nothing else. That is the only explanation. Or that they break down walls, build new ones, find a flaw, some grand mistake and then break all of the walls down again. Not swiftly with sledgehammers, but with one crappy old drill with a dull bit, mashing away, so that children hundreds of miles away…

Cracker Jack

Carrying E home in my arms, on a wet rainy night I stopped and rested against a ledge. Her face hid in my coat. I watched raindrops splattering on my shoes, in puddles on the cobblestones. I thought about a dream I had a lot when I was her age.

I am in a small boat in the center of a clean white lake. Objects that looked a bit like Cracker Jacks are popping up all around me in the milky water. Its surface is covered with the carmel corn, and then they all turn black.

The dream would repeat itself, and I would sit perfectly still, watching from the little boat. I did not cry out, as they was no one there to hear me. I did not struggle as I knew the burnt candies would always smother me.

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