by Will Cordeiro
I sat on my couch eating corn chips. The mail-lady would come soon. Perhaps she’d drop something in the little letterbox slot in my door. One day, I was certain, it would be the message I awaited, the announcement of an immutable truth: a letter that would produce a pure rapture, a few lines that would change my life. From whom it would come, what its message would say, wither I would go upon reading its words—these remained, of course, a mystery. I heard her lightsome footsteps down the hall. I jumped up from my couch, tossed my bag of corn chips aside, and hovered near the door. My ear like a suction-cup pressed again the paneling. An envelope flew in the slot. It was addressed “To Current Resident.” In fact, it was the same junk mail—a coupon for a new donut shop—I’d received yesterday. A duplicate or accident perhaps? Dejected, I looked around at my messy apartment: other junk mail, overdue bills, catalogs for camping gear and lingerie, crumpled Chinese fortunes and crumbs from the cookies they’d resided in, the crossword section of the Sunday Times, a translation of Virgil, and nutrition facts on the back of my corn chips bag… Suddenly, I had a belated inspiration: could it be, the message had already arrived! Maybe I had overlooked its significance. Perhaps the second coupon for the donut shop meant something different, more profound than the first? After all, I remembered Borges’s parable of Pierre Menard. The signs were right here; the signs were all around me. The message had arrived long ago, only—what I needed was a method, a process by which I could be assured of its indubitable, its astonishing interpretation.