The Quite American.

It is a large, damp, sea-facing attic with a boxy bedroom, boxy bathroom, boxy kitchen. The walls bow beneath my palm. I best not get drunk. I move in and I make a pyramid of my belongings: how did they do that?

On a shelf above the bath I find a paperback of Graham Greene’s The Quiet American. The bottom third is swollen and stained and has obviously spent some time in water. I take this as a lucky omen. I put it back on the shelf and carry on with my life.

The next day a woman appears.

Hey. I’m the previous tenant.

Her accent is quite American.

Hello. I’m the new tenant.

I fetch her the wet novel, which she takes with a pinch.

Come to a party, she says. This weekend. Come as a pirate. Come as a corsair. She almost says, resistance is futile. Eventually, I may come to consider the inking of these three words, quirky, shocking, kitsch, on the left side of my neck – resistance is futile – capital R, capital I, capital F – as a wisen thing.

She hands me back the novel, saying, I best not keep this. It fell down the john.

I put the book back on the shelf, rub my chin and dismantle the pyramid. The wooden leg being somewhere near the base. Glad I packed it.

8 thoughts on “The Quite American.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s