Librarian of Alexandria

XII: Roberto L. von Krigelsbaum and His Dancing Tax Assessors, or, Le città e la sfortunata carenza di gentrificazione

It all started when I ate about seventy-five thousand pounds of lemons.

I woke up the next morning to find my two remaining roommates, Isidore and Louis the Negative Third, enraptured by a low-budget documentary.

"It's coming to the good part," Isidore said. "Just watch."

"Have you seen it before?" I asked.

"I never watch movies twice," he said. "You know this."

"Look, guys—" I began.

"ق", Louis said.

"I ate, like, more lemons than actually exist last night. Do you think that could be a problem?"

"Ah-ha!" Isidore said, clapping at the screen. "The circle fade. I knew it was coming. No, I think you're probably good."

"But what if the owner of the lemons comes to collect?"

"If it was more than actually exist, then nobody can have owned them, eh?"

"And property is theft, too, you know," Louis added. "And vice versa. I assume."

"But what if it harmed my stomach?"

"Do you have one?"

"A stomach?"

"Yeah, I always wanted one. My parents were poor."

"Look—do you have anything productive to say?"

"ق", Louis said.

"Aren't bananas radioactive?" Isidore asked.

"ق oh ق this kind nepenthe," Louis added. "Incredibly."

"I didn't eat bananas, I ate lemons."

"They're yellow," Isidore observed.

"Okay, fine, this is asinine," I said.

Oh, how wrong I was.