1 January 1958
Between the hallway photograph of the River Nišava and the champagne flute left on the floor by Vjekoslav Kaleb during the New Year’s festivities
Dear Comrade, Esteemed Hero of Ornithological Quests, and Master of Socialist Alchemy:
Happy New Year!
Josef Stalin is still dead and the Josip Broz Tito Lives! Does this mean there is a God? What kind of God kills one and leaves the other?
I write to you this morning as a rejoinder to our conversation of last evening. I admit it was difficult to follow our discussion of New Year’s resolutions amidst the revelries. Heisenberg’s insistence on performing Bach concertos for two pianos, with you, while we spoke, was quite distracting. Somewhere around the eighth measure, I’m certain you stopped paying attention. Now, without the benefit of Heisenberg’s rambling arpeggios, I would like to finish my list of resolutions. They are as follows.
To locate the *Picus Viridius.
To discover the Unseen Foolishness I Cannot Understand
Visit the *village in Albania where the dehydrated towels and sheets that are packaged and served for my post culinary convenience.
Find the ticket stubs for our next trip to Zagreb. After speaking with *Heisenberg last night, I’m certain we’ve already returned. Though I can’t recall what we found. Do you have them?
Loose one toe as my final concession to what I perceive as a case of gout or frostbite which has yet to arrive. Did we catch frostbite in Zagreb? Is this why my toe feels dead? Why do I have no memory of going to Zagreb?
Purchase a *cover for the hole the street adjacent to the flat. I fell 17 times last year. If I must, I will write to the Marshal directly.
*Picus Virdius – The Common European Woodpecker
*Dehydrated towels – Legends speak of a labor camp run by Enver Hoxha which forced Albanian political prisoners to manually dehydrate napkins and towels with their mouths.
*Yes, that Heisenberg.
*Manhole cover theft was a problem in Belgrade in the late 1950’s. Hipster coffee shops decorated their walls with the heavy, iron pieces. They were once considered the ultimate in socialist realism.