“Yeah, last night a rat came out of the dumpster and ran up his arm.”

Today, leaving the Foggy Bottom station, UD watched a construction worker tell this to a woman he strolled with as he exited the site of George Washington University’s new science building.

He took the woman’s hands then.

“Wanna have lunch?”

*********************************

Why not, thought UD. Why not. A city full of rats still gets pristine October afternoons. The streets glowed in sunlight, copper leaves fell along metro grates, mums flashed in front of fine cafes.

Disregard the ratworld, she thought, which made her think of the student in her short story class who can’t stand any of the works we’ve read except for Tolstoy’s Death of Ivan Ilych, because Ilych offers salvation. Which made her think of Georg Lukacs, who attacked Kafka’s writing because it makes social action feel futile…

UD went on musing as she reached the door to her office. She thought: The difference between ratworld and artworld is two transposed letters…

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