Lampshades for comrades
A divine perfection. That is what he said. No other words would do, he said, certainly not something as trite as ultimate purity. It was past dawn. For what convention could we apologize, that we were not, that night, among the sleep-ridden and the dead—passers by, immune to our belligerent psalms, the last of which he proclaimed, to the exclusion of all else, of any other description, was a divine perfection. Alcohol made us redundant, unable to fully absorb, unable to contain our ebullience, our enthusiasm before all lyrics and motives which would help us sack the coming dawn and prevent the new day from rechristening the mortal hair on our heads. In the wane light some hours before, still wading through the intermittent pulp of the old routine, we had applauded: the old detective—this was a play, you see—made quick work of the scene, its outlines still stable, grasping at once the silence and scope of the unnatural sage who had tried to turn the situation worse, who was too ensnared to maintain innocence as he understood it. The monologue of the sage, which doubted very much that any of us were worth much, though some less than others, rang on till the scene on the balcony, half-past an interminable dawn, and the divine perfection itself, which can never be repeated.

This is a false memory, generated from so many others, the balcony at the end of dawn, unable to get any bearings beyond the shadows of buildings some way away. I know the old detective. The one from Death and the Compass who is gotten the better of. The balcony is perhaps the precipice of modernism where muddle lies beyond. Who was speaking? The blind author or the unnatural sage? The sage seems a leaner candidate,  going on as he does:

But we are bound here

See how he tries to speak for all of us.

discontinuous, ashamed, a prisoner's state, a great public fatigue brought on by our squeamish response to the drab medium in which we find ourselves

You get the impression. He leaves one, no doubt. A public fatigue. This is particularly touching, and this just out of the bit I've allowed him to speak to you through me. A great public fatigue. This is what our memories serve to protect us from, false or otherwise. The limits of our freedom lie in our gullibility. Wheretofore we have measured our progress by the guilt we feel in coffee with sugar—no, this is trite. The old detective should knock now and interrupt me; he won't find half the resistance. The scene on the balcony is long passed and I only find myself here humming along to the rhythm of the sage's soliloquy, how he would slip occasionally into Cockney with all its glottals, fresh off playing Dickens, his economic stature not much improved. What a questioning I would receive. He may pepper it with phrases from that night, like a divine perfection, to make me believe that someone, anyone had talked, had opened up, not dangerously, but to correct an error or complete an unfinished thought, because we were full of them. I would not hamper him in establishing my guilt. I was there; I sang the songs. If he were so inflexible, I would happily accompany him.

Brass tacks:

For days we had been holed up except for our strolls around the plaza and down the adjoining boulevards, making something of a pinwheel about the city sick with Debordian agitation, being generally terrible about references (culture is now so dumb that we must make a point of everything being referential, asking all the time, more than we ask after health, Did you not get my reference? It's sickening, second in capacity to nauseate only to the quotation) and blending into walls when appropriate. This was all, the hole and the stroll, a congratulations of sorts to one of us who had woken one day aggrieved into adulthood, and who would be leaving us soon after—never let them get you to start in less than a week, he said, and negotiate, negotiate, negotiate, said as the pioneer to the family who would soon follow, standing dumbfounded, wondering why land was so cheap on the other side to begin with. 

I only wanted to point out that he had killed a few flowers traipsing through a median bed trying to find something in his pockets and talking excitedly, playing the part of the sage and nagging us on to climb something or another. Like gravemen they hurried along brushing dirt back with their feet. I pursued, playing my role as the old detective, now on the case of the flowers behind my friends, the complicated objects. All my talents had never been put to use at once; my head had never been so full of lithe deceptions. I resolved on the spot to hunt them all and prevent this folly from going further.


But I've said nothing, haven't I? Ultimately?
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