Rudy went to the bathroom to splash cold water on his face. The scuffling in the sink when he flipped on the light reminded him the hermit crab was still there. He’d worked around it earlier by putting it in a drinking glass. Though effective, it seemed mean and he’d moved the crab back to the sink when he’d finished.
It needed a more suitable dwelling. Or just to be out of his way. He tore the top off the foam Fausto’s takeout container and inverted it on the counter. By setting one end of the container top on a bottle cap he created a slope. He ran a small quantity of fresh water into it. The resulting habitat allowed the crab room to move and gave it a shallow pond at one end to get a drink. Or take a bath. Or whatever these things did.
By the time Rudy dried his face the crab had scaled the porous slope of the polystyrene material and teetered on the brink of falling out. This wouldn’t work. He needed steeper sides. He got the empty Sunset Ale six-pack carton from the trash can. By tearing out the lower walls separating the six cells he created a space that was roamable but contained. He rinsed out the bottle cap and filled it with water like a tiny dog bowl. At least the thing could get a drink and it wouldn’t fall from the counter. He wasn’t sure why he gave a damn. Kak obviously didn’t.
Somewhere music was playing. Outside people engaged in careless fun. He lowered himself to the same level as the crab.
“Time was,” Rudy said, “that a transistor radio could solve all your problems. Don’t forget that.”
He went to his makeshift workspace on the balcony to explore method two: capitalization of expense. It was weak, but there were only so many levers to pull. In forty-five minutes he’d shown himself that capitalizing dollars was in no way viable as a solution to the Q4 problem.
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