everyone liked him. Naturally he earned a lot more working
up there. But it wasn’t about the money for him.
So can you imagine it, one day during lunch, word went
around that the Priest had fallen to his death. Some people
said he’d fallen, others that someone else must have had a
hand in it, still others that he’d fallen deliberately. Other-
wise he would have been holding his torch and had his
goggles on. Whereas he’d set the torch aside and taken his
goggles off. But we never learned the truth. The cause of it
may have been concealed up above there. The construction
had already reached the fifth floor. And the floors were high
ones, the building was going to be a factory. When you get
used to the high places like that, maybe you can’t get over
the fact that you live down below. With high places there’s
no messing around. Me too, whenever I climbed up to visit
with him, I always felt something either pulling me
downwards, or drawing me even higher.
If you ask me, though, the truth lay elsewhere. There was a
girl. She worked in the cafeteria. No, nothing of that sort. I
told you he kept away from girls. He liked her, the feeling
was mutual. He was gentle, polite, not like the rest of us.
The most he did was when she’d bring the soup or the main
course, he’d admire her braided hair, say how beautiful it
was, how you hardly ever saw hair like that anymore. It was
true, her braid was as thick as my wrist here. And it reached
all the way down past her waist at the back. Everyone
would tug at it as she brought their food.