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The Spartak Trigger

“What do you call your act?”

The drunken asshole keeled over next to this beat-to-shit garbage can finishes vomiting all over the sidewalk and looks up at me with glassy, reddened eyes. He mumbles something I can’t understand, his slurred words sounding like some kind of extraterrestrial mating call.

I toss a dollar bill at the prick and compliment him on an impressive avant-garde busking routine. The narrator tells me that ‘transgressive performance art’ probably would’ve sounded better just as the boozehound collapses onto a sewer grate and howls an eclectic array of expletives into the crisp night air.


Business is slow tonight. For the restaurant anyway.

A handful of bored-looking customers are scattered throughout a spacious dining area. Dozens of tables sit empty as I continue to linger near the main entrance, pretending to scribe a lengthy email or text message on my state-of-the-art smartphone.

Out of nowhere this clumsy, weird-looking busboy bumps into me. He apologizes. ‘Profusely.’ I don’t say anything but give the guy a harsh look, like he’s lucky to still be breathing after invading my personal space. He scurries off with his tail between his legs. I’m finally in character.

The mark is sitting alone at the bar, just as he’s been instructed to do. He looks nervous. Real nervous. I’m ten minutes late and he’s checking his watch every twenty seconds or so, probably telling himself he’ll get up and leave if I don’t show up soon.

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