Today on Tablet, the latest installment of our critically acclaimed original fiction is up and ready for your consumption.
By the time Nachmann was born, the youngest of many grandchildren, his grandfather was very old and had retired to a part of the city far from the docks. He was remembered as a small man who kept his hat on at all times, even in the house, said the word pesetas with an Odessa accent, and at some point after the Bay of Pigs Invasion, changed his name from Nischtmann, to Nachmann. Nischt, nothing, a reasonable name if you can make yourself invisible, he had said, but this was not a family skill, as proven many times over. The two stolen boxes of gold were never found intact. What did they expect? His grandfather shrugged. You give a bear a piece of meat, you expect he’s going to return it to you in the same condition in which it was offered?
If only his grandfather had been the sailor, if it had been a sailor, who figured out how to steal such a treasure. Even two boxes would have been plenty, even all those decades ago, enough to change Nachmann’s life as it reached into the twenty-first century. If his grandfather had shown even a little ingenuity instead of just sleeping on top of the all that money, Nachmann now wouldn’t be balancing in his knock-off running shoes on the edge of a Coney Island rooftop, feeling the crenellated tiling through thin soles. The ladder to the nearest fire escape down didn’t look very securely attached and some of its rungs were corroded. He could make out a sign on the ironwork that said, Anyone Placing an Encumbrance On This Balcony Will Be Fined $10. Ten measly dollars. Who cares? That’s how old it was. In the yard between the buildings lay a patch of poured concrete whose cracks resembled a topographical model of some large creature’s arterial system, bottles both glass and plastic, abandoned signage from Gross’ Aluminum Siding, and a small halal food cart.
A fantastic piece of writing. Enjoy the rest here.