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study-styled room encouraged, even though the blue linoleum floor had only been worn by his mother's entering the empty room over the years to hang her wash on the clotheslines outside the windows.

Inside the closet, hanging on a wooden rack in long, zippered plastic bags, were the suits and clothes he had worn when he was a student at the private preparatory school on Park Avenue. Even the cordovan shoes were there, on the floor with trees in them. Rummaging around in the closet, he noticed something that was ironically funny. On the left, behind an old Eisenhower jacket, was an ancient wall safe that was built into the closet when the building was constructed as a fashionable residence at the turn of the century. Kenny couldn't help but laugh, and he was curious to see if anyone had left anything in it. He got a small crowbar from the tool chest in the kitchen and easily pried open the door of the antique box. There was only a letter inside which was written in German, and as far as Kenny could make out, it was about love. There was also a small photo of a very distinguished gray-bearded man with a high collar in the envelope with the letter. Kenny was disappointed because he expected something more extravagant. He put them back into the box and banged-jammed the door shut on someone's fading lonely-heart memory.

He was still hangover-tired and he sat down in the armchair and thought about it for a moment: about how his family had more money since he left them with one less mouth to feed and his mother had gone to work; about how they spent their money to make a nice home for themselves and give him and his sister their own rooms; about the disappointment they must have felt all the years his room remained empty, except for an occasional guest staying the night or his cousin Paul, whose family's nearby apartment was too small for him to have any privacy and whose books were on top of the desk. Paul at least used the room as it was intended to be used. He also thought about what he was going to tell his parents when they eventually asked him what were his plans for the future. He would really have to think about the answer to that one.

For the next couple of days Kenny stayed around the house reintroducing himself to New York's television, daily newspapers, and AM and FM radio stations. He was impressed more by the quantity of the media barrage being pumped into the homes throughout the city for the entertainment of its residents and by the incredible amount of things advertised for sale, than he was by the quality. [end page 215]


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