No, dont worry, Harold said, picking up his menu. Im just yelling at my son, but I can do that after we order. The
waiter had given him a commiserating smile, and he had smiled back, thrilled to have been claimed as anothers in public, to
finally be a mem
Im lonely, he says aloud, and the silence of the apartment absorbs the words like blood soaking into cotton.
This loneliness is a recent discovery, and is different from the other lonelinesses he has experienced: it is not the
childhood loneliness of not
No, he says, finally. A couple walks by, laughing, and he thinks of the beginning of their walk, when they too were
laughing. How has he managed to ruin this night, the last time he will see Willem for months? You dont need to worry
about me, Willem. Ill
Okay, Willem says. His girlfriend drives up to the curb; they are staying at a hotel. Ill call
you tomorrow, all right?
Back in Cambridge, he lets himself into the silent house and walks as softly as he can back to
his bathroom, where he prises his bag fr
in both. The two films will be shot consecutively and released consecutively, but they will have the same cast and the
same director, too. The shoot will take him all across southern Europe and northern Africa before moving to Australia, where
some of the
But I guess this is the kind of stuff I wish youd tell me, Jude. Not so I can do anything with
the information, but just because it gives me a better sense of who you are. I mean, maybe youre
neither. Maybe youre both. Maybe youre just not interested. It
to you, he remembers Ana saying. Youll have to, if you ever want to be close to anyone. He wishes, as he often does,
that he had let her talk to him, that he had let her teach him how to do it. His silence had begun as something protective, but
over the y
think you were interested in seeing anyone, but Id ask. So. Im asking.
The idea is so preposterous that it takes him a while to understand what Willems saying, and when he does, he stops, and
laughs, embarrassed and disbelieving. Youve got to be kidding,
Ill get it, Willem says, but as hes reaching for his wallet, the waiter comes over to him with his credit card, which hed
given to him when Willem was in the bathroom.
Goddammit, Jude, Willem says, and he grins.
Its the Last Supper, Willem, he says. You c
Oh, said JB, and he swallowed. They sat there for a long time, not saying anything. Ill always want wonderful things
for you, he said to JB, who nodded, slowly, not
looking at him.
Well, JB said, finally, and stood, and he stood as well, and held his hand
months. He had lost the lease on his apartment, and had moved back in with his mother while he reestablished his life.
But then one day he had called. It had been early February, almost seven months exactly after they had taken him to the
hospital, and JB
maybe shes supposed to be the one to crack it. To turn back. But here comes the kerosene again. Dogs barking.
Smashed glass. More than righteousness, or charity, it is fear that spurs her on. Then another crash sends her ass-overteakettle among the grasse
headlights makes the paintjob itself seem to burn. And beneath, the accordioned hood. Yep, Brunos never going to
speak to her again. Her shoes and clothes already half-soaked, she moves out of range of the water. And thats when she
spots the form crumpled
He has gone off to make a victory lap when a Rican with a familiar-seeming face bolts from the car thats just screeched
to a stop. Angels scatter semicircularly, to a perimeter a shotgun barrel sweeps across. In high-pitched esoteric English, the
The real action, though, is up on the roof. Here, after the black slog of the stairwell, is enough light to party byfat
moon, improbable stars, a bonfire built in a wheelbarrow, and little bits of headlight swimming along the beaten tin
that stops he jumps into, and before Regan has a chance to say anything he tells the driver hes
got two fifties in his pocket, and to take them wherever the lady wants to goand step on it.
HELLS KITCHEN10:27 P.M.
THE WEST SIDE ANGELS dont need the shadow
In this. You lost them. She turns to Miguel. Is the towncar still waiting outside? Its already gone,
miss. Your uncle, he comes to take it while Im looking for flares. That little fucker! William explodes.
What did I tell you?
But Regan has already collec
And were going to charge in there with our awesome powers of persuasion and hope he
has a change of heart? If things go wrong, do you even have a way to defend yourself?
Inspiration comes to prepared spirits, she says. And he is in the middle of voicing h
coming in little gulps; still, he tries to keep his voice steady. All this time, Regans longed for her brothers return. If he
scares William off again, shell never take him back. Its a long story. Id better tell her myself.
William leans in to look at him
Assuming youre right, Jenny says, and the cops are there, we can park down the block and enjoy the perp-walk.
Maybe theyre not there, though. And if theres a bomb
A bomb is why Im telling you, please, this is a bad idea. Nicky Chaos can blow himself up, f
Did we not read the same article? NC? The gunpowder?
The men in my family are all Army, Jenny. I can tell you, three grams of loose gunpowder is
pretty useless, unless youve got an old blunderbuss lying around.
Though it comes out sounding more hypothetic
Or really, even knowing youve destroyed just one.
IN HIS MIND Mercer is already miles to the north, dithering before a shadowy penthouse, when the realization that theyve
missed a turn pulls him back to the electric molasses of Centre S
I would stand on that stage feeling as if I were having an out-of-body
experience. Staring out into the audience and seeing myself in the front row
prepping rotten tomatoes, eggs, and spoiled lettuce heads to throw at the droll
motherfucker telling every
had titles. This joke is called Racial and Religious Differences in Drinking Establishment
Patronage. Then hed deliver the Abstract of the joke. So instead of simply saying, A rabbi, a priest, and
a black guy walk into a bar, hed say, The subjects of this
Mannerisms That Showcase the Plethora of Afro-American Humorists for Whom
theres more, but Ive never managed to finish reading the temporary marquee
they hang over the giant donut sign that hovers over the parking lot. I just call the
place the Plethora
Because between that nigger Foy and the rest of world, this shits going to catch up with you sooner
or later. Forget the racial segregation, you know motherfuckers wasnt too keen on Dickens even when it
You were in that car today, werent you?
Attachment DisorderMarkedly disturbed and developmentally inappropriate social relatedness in
most contexts, scenes, and happenings. Beginning before age five and continuing into adulthood as
evidenced by either 1. and/or 2.:
1. persistent failure to init
Behind us, the student on the second floor closed her window and returned to
her microscope, blinking rapidly as she readjusted the focus, moved the slide
around, and scribbled her findings in her notebook. Unlike Foy and me, she was
resigned to her situa
It used to be that when some fools did a drive-by, an oncoming car slowing down for no apparent
reason was fair warning. The throaty belch of a V-6 engine losing rpm and slipping into first gear was the
urban equivalent of the crack of a hunter snapping a
Later that day, like any good social pyromaniac worth their accelerant, I returned to
the scene of the crime. The only arson investigator on site was Foy Cheshire. It
was the first time in twenty-some-odd years Id ever seen him venture outside Dum