Millions of walls, thought of as paper bills, some accumulating, some reaching up in metal and fibreglass until they lost their partitions, others pockmarked and being measured and driven towards by industrial equipment. It was being decided how they interchanged in value.

By now there were other couples around them in the bar, with half-empty bottles in the centre of their low candlelit tables, amongst the Mongolian rugs and fluffed cushions, stunning Chinese girls who on other nights they itched after, young men smiling and talking seriously, aiming forks around the tapas. They had all those notes in their pocket, probably twenty or thirty pieces of paper, safe to carry in this city, in these depressed streets that had gone dark while all of them sat and drank, no fear to do it within this social structure, vigilance maybe but that was only internal, it wasn’t a material.


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