The Company – 8

OldThrown spent many days with Turd in his sewers. They did whatever Turd decided was appropriate. For the most part, they sat on a platform suspended over the murky current, their legs dangling in the air, and they played with some fishing rods that Turd had engineered with brooms, several strands of rope tied together, and wires bent into hooks. They could fish hour after hour for what they considered to be relative marvels or what everyone else would despise as horrendous filth.

When he wasn’t messing around with Turd, OldThrown was most likely with me, never too far, following my movements like a dog. He came along during my hunting rounds, and when we returned at night to my alley, exhausted from all our prowling, we slept together inside a cardboard box, cuddling together to maintain our body temperatures over those of cockroaches and snails.

He still wasn’t a conversationalist, but that silence of his, only very occasionally peppered with sudden blasphemies against his daughter, allowed me to read with the required tranquility the books that I had found over the years thrown in trashcans, left on park benches, lost on some stairs or in the middle of the pavement, or that I had nicked in moments of social detachment. Every book that I consumed made me stronger, pushing my brain a step closer to a point of eruption in which I would be my own weapon.

OldThrown may have not been much of a talker, but he was a decent percussionist of empty bottles. Between the two of us we raised an enervating noise that crawled out from my alley, up the walls and over all the corners of my grounds. The most cursed curse in the mouths of the flat-dwellers that lived in a two-block radius. In those moments in which our music intertwined and I could sense his rhythm dancing with mine, I felt closer to another human being than I had done in a very long time.

However, even though I think that the arrangement of our lives should be considered happy and eventful, we must never forget the cold abandonment that OldThrown suffered. Those from The Company have never disregarded, nor will we ever do such a thing, the following questions: in which scales did OldThrown’s daughter weigh the relative importance of her father? In which moment and under which circumstances did she start to refer to what before had been good or had tried to be good as bad? In other words, how is that something important can become, either suddenly or with time, as worthless as shit? This is our third principal question.

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