25 December 2006

In Which Sarge Wishes Peace to His Comrades and to the Demons...


Here it was, they say, that Kalev's grieving wife made for him a burial mound some one thousand years ago, this hill of Toompea dominates the central geography of Tallinn and there it is, in that apartment, just off Dunkri, I thought one day I might surprise another who has grieved, perhaps with pastries from down the street and an omelet made with whatever looked nicest at the market, perhaps other days with a bottle of wine and a picnic basket. A grief that has been the foundation for castles and governments, this hill of Toompea, and I'm writing holed up in some junior efficiency apartment wondering if I have the scope on correctly. Wondering if I have ascertained the angle of the sun correctly so that I won't give myself away, but I fear Cpl., that I may already have.

Tallinn has been one disaster after another, and I wonder now how many enemies have made their way here to watch my death and to perhaps assist in it? Still, there is this junior efficiency, with it's refrigerator stocked with sausages and pickles and a half a bottle of vodka on one of the two windowsills, the corpse of Aglionby keeps me company, sprawled out across a dorm bed probably carted overland from Vilnius where he studied seven years ago. He is not the catch that Deseilligny was, but his soon to be worm-eaten hands will count no more money toward his vile cause and the information he had on me dies with him, unspoken save by my own lips: I am in Tallinn.

They suspect though, and they gather, and if they find that the woman might still be a useful bargaining chip and is still here, then I am done for. I need to know things that I cannot know fast enough about my own position but all I think of is yesterday I saw her smiling over dinner with another man, a judge. Maybe the only honest judge in Latvia. I re-read Ranger's missive, delivered by the old flower-peddler with seven fingers who served other, more desperate causes a few generations ago. It offers grim hope though, if Ramirez is right then there is a thaw in Ottawa and this might not all be for naught.

I am writing with the regrettable news that I will not be able to make it to dinner in Berlin tonight, but I will wish you anyway, the warm hopes and yes, the faith that is Christmas. Please send the same regards to Ranger and Nwargo, I have odd company for Christmas this year, but perhaps next year will offer more convivial company and more edible repast.

With fondest regards,


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