the smuggler’s bible


Ronan works through the night chopping and screwing chipboard to finish the bookshelves, then starts in on the futons. He realizes later that he has been building the arms backwards and has to backtrack. His progress suffers.

It occurs to him that the extra screws and brackets are accumulating faster than expected. He wonders in a weak moment whether a man can suffer from such a thing as cardboard poisoning.

“You absolutely must focus on the immediate assembly,” Ronan says to the bolt man he constructs in a desperate fit of loneliness. “Don’t consider anything beyond. It’ll drive you crazy.”