sonia walked into joe’s room without knocking and threw her hat on his bed.
joe was standing at the window, looking out at the night with his habitual air of dissatisfaction. he didn’t look around at sonia.
“well,” said sonia, “the old man finally came out with it. and stop looking so sad.”
“who is looking sad? i am just looking out the window. and what did the old man finally come out with?”
“he finally told me he wants me to do something about the problem.”
joe finally turned around and faced sonia. “he took you aside and told you personally?”
sonia sat down on joe’s bed. “first he told everybody, then when the meeting was over he kept me there and told me i was the one he was really counting on.”
“maybe he told everybody else the same thing.”
“well, i can’t say he didn’t talk to them before or call them later. i was the only one he kept after the meeting. but what difference does it make? the important thing is he admitted the problem. and he wants ‘creative solutions’. and we all know what the creative solution is.”
joe turned back to the window, with his hands behind his back like napoleon. “did he actually say the words ‘ we have a problem because there is no more crime so we can’t justify our existence’? did he actually say ‘we have to create crimes to justify our existence’?”
“no, of course not, but he couldn’t have been clearer about what he meant.”
“if you say so.”
“come on, brother, show a little more enthusiasm!” sonia looked around joe’s room. there was nothing to see but the bed, a little table, two chairs, and the door to a tiny bathroom. he shared a kitchen with three other rooms on the floor.
“this is the start of a great new criminal empire,” said sonia. “let’s go out and celebrate.”