Context: John is called to the police station, where Ray is held as in connection with the mysterious death of Neill Palmer. Inspector LaStrada from the homicide unit wants to "chat." And, there's a new addition to the offices of the police department, a goldfish bowl.
The detective points at a transparent folio-sized zip bag on the counter, holds it up, and dangles it in front of my eyes. It contains a used sheet of paper, crumpled and refolded several times, letter size, written upon in what appears to be an approximately legible hand. LaStrada flips the bag, and the reverse side of the sheet appears to be written-upon as well, in Alex’s hand, to be precise. This was Alex’s suicide letter, the outdated letter I handed to Neill Palmer on Saturday night when the drunken rice queen had asked for a sheet of paper as I met him in the street, I staggering home, defeated, while Alex, the survivor, was busy falling in love with Amy-Lou.
Let me interrupt myself and talk about James Bond again. It doesn’t matter which movie, so let’s talk about the last one, Skyfall. Daniel Craig introduces himself to Dr. No or one of No’s co-workers, like Bérénice Marlohe, say, and says “The name is Bond, James Bond.” And while any other person on the planet would now go, like, ‘Great,’ or ‘Can you give me an autograph,’ Bérénice has apparently never heard of the super-hero of popular culture, grimaces distantly, and shakes the stranger’s hand.
|Albert Camus (1913 - 1960)|
Analogies break down somewhere, and this one breaks down im-mediately, except that LaStrada has apparently no idea he’s dealing with one of the most outlandish documents ever featured in erotic writing. He flips the zip bag and reads: “‘Some people expend enormous energy merely to be normal’… Sounds mysterious, doesn’t it, Mr. Lee.”