“Where have you been Miles?” “Did you happen to read the Post today?” “What Post?

I’ve barely had the time to visit the shitter” “The Prague Post. I came across a feed about a dead billionaire living in New York City” “So? People die in New York all the time. Poor, rich, and people I can’t tell who are poor or rich. Why do you care about some billionaire who probably cursed your existence? Also, since when did you read anything besides the New Yorker?” “I dunno it was just interesting. Apparently he left Prague about 30 years ago for New York and kept his rich identity hidden for the most part. No one knows how he made his billions” “Cool guy I suppose. A regular Bruce Jenner” “Not exactly but sure” “Well you gonna finish your sandwich? Lunch break is almost over.” “Yeah I’m going at it” Maybe I should tell him. Tell him that for the past 5 years I’ve been keeping private tabs on Radek. Radek Srna: the non-eccentric, seemingly quiet and confusing man whose neighbors couldn’t quite figure out why such a man always seemed to produce strange sounds in his 1 bedroom apartment in the heart of the Bronx. Why it always sounded as though he had company but when the police came a-knocking, it was only him and his 3 month golden brown cat. It was all too interesting. I took it upon myself to figure out what the hell his deal was so I followed him. On foot and in the signals. I was going to get to the bottom of Radek’s secret. It seemed to me Radek had one thing only on his mind when he left the gates of his not so well protected apartment across the street from the Wells Fargo bank, which apparently stored hundreds of thousands of dollars of his money. He always made it a point to withdraw at least two hundred dollars every 3 days. His only motive, at least from my limited perspective was to get lost in the city and make one or two purchases. Taking the subway, walking, sometimes, but rarely, unless it rained heavily, catching a taxi, Radek wanted to get lost. He would pace back and forth along the gridded streets never asking for directions. From Bronx to Queens to Brooklyn to Manhattan to Bronx. The man at least had goals. The one place he always made it a point to visit on his quest was the Burberry Store. This wasn’t his favorite I noticed because he would always go in and purchase the same thing with every visit: those checkered scarfs Burberry is famous for and hurry out to the Saks across the street. One day though I saw him enter the Marc Jacobs outlet only to purchase a pair of high heeled boots. This later became a habit, but the product of purchase did vary however slightly. This was odd since Radek didn’t seem to have any female companions or children. I mean I checked all his records and no mention of him ever having any children or a wife. I also can’t believe he never spotted me watching him although I did my best to keep my distance. Luckily also, my aunt lived in the apartment building across from him so I had the best view into his apartment which I managed with an old telescope I got for my 14th birthday (I’m 24 now) and a tiny camera I picked up at the RadioShack so I could watch my old friend in the office. Apart from these purchases, Radek kept his spending habits minimal. He never went out to eat and didn’t spend much on his own outer appearance. He practically wore the same ensemble everyday: suit, shirt, Clark desert boots, fedora and watch to match. His general street movements were unpredictable. Radek always managed to keep his blinds and curtains closed when he returned home from his usually futile efforts to get lost. I couldn’t see what he did with his expensive purchases of the day. On the day of his before his death and after 5 solid years of waiting, I got my chance to peep into the private life of Radek and his shoes, scarf, watch, or perfume. That night, I called off work and made my way to the top of my aunt’s apartment building where I sat with my telescope and a six-pack of Bud to accompany me. I noticed Radek had his bedroom light on. Something he managed not to do in all my time of knowing him. I also noticed his undressing from his outfit for that day, laying his purchases on a rug in front of his desk. I saw Radek slip on a pair of those Marc Jacob stilettos he bought, not on that day but a year ago on that day as well as a Burberry scarf. He proceeded to grab a tree branch I had seem him just hours before break off a tree on the sidewalk of 5th avenue. He proceeded to lash the products as a headmaster would to a disobedient child. 1!2! His movements dictated. I quickly got out the sound amplifier I had taken from the office and ran down stairs, across the street, to Radek’s apartment building. I climbed the stairs to the

second floor, door 23. I got close enough to make out a series of sounds: “You like it don’t you, you filth” a series of “yes” and “no” and arduous grunts. “Was he in there with someone? Is this probable cause” The thoughts kept racing. Something came over me though and I broke in. Standing there was a naked 50-something year old man with a branch and a slew of expensive products, still in their plastic wrap and tags attached, he had been hitting as if to discipline them for sins they had committed. We both stood there for what seemed like hours, staring at each other, neither wanting to make a move or contemplate on the events we had stumbled upon. I started walking back slowly and he slowly approached me with a disbelief in his eyes. I didn’t want to run. He ran. I quickly changed pace and stood my ground and pushed him to the ground. He fell with a hard thud. I was shocked and ran away quickly down the stairs, breathing heavily. I made it to the street corner by the apartment building clenching my chest as my heart pounded through my shirt as if it was gonna rip the fabric of skin and land on the oily asphalt. I wasn’t sweating. I didn’t know what to do so I went home, trying to not even think about what just happened and reassuring myself by saying, “at least no one saw me”. I arrived home, drank some scotch and popped a sleeping pill. I passed out instantly. I woke up the next morning, actually afternoon, right around lunchtime, showered, threw on some clothes, checked my RSS feeds, and went to work. I initially bumped into John in the cafeteria and had that conversation I started out this confession with. Why, Radek?

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