“I don’t mind doing this—it’s just that I would like to understand it.”

“You will,” Gene says, as he looks up to eye the CCTV camera on the corner of the ceiling of the porch.

“Do you know someone who lives here?”

Gene looks slightly surprised, then looks around and shakes his head, “No.”


“That’s not the point?”


“Yeah. I don’t know anyone in this building, but I do know that they have a security system with the camera outside the front door and all and it makes them feel safe…”


“Look, if you’re going to employ me in your services, you need to understand a very basic principle.”

“Okay.” When she says this, she tosses her hair over her shoulder, like she does just about every two minutes. And even though he sees it for what it is, he can’t help but helplessly watch as she does it. It’s a tick—the sign of a present irritant and at having to wait for his various obtuse “explanations.” Still though, he keeps tying the balloon to a rock, and tries to take a deep breath because every time she does toss her hair, little particles of sweet-smelling woman cast off into the atmosphere and he just has to catch some particles of beauty. But he returns to reality after tying of the knot on the balloon string. He’s made the placement just right and the balloon floats up just in front of the camera, blocking its never-sleeping eye.


“Uh… you blocked the camera.”