6. It was the creaking in the night which gave it away, and the sotto voce of the man who claimed to be J.’s father; then, the sound of grinding, like a minuet was being gracelessly danced on a floor of glistening wax. But it wasn’t anything at all like this, no, something was moving more darkly across the screen of his mind, like the galloping of dark, slender horses. All J. could do was fix his two index fingers into his ears, which did not help at all; and when they emerged, there were two plugs of sticky gray wax coating his cuticles like resin from a leaking tree. J realized nothing would work. Perhaps he should just jump over a bridge on the Tiber and die.