No angels, no devils. Maybe some celestial functionaries, two of them, sitting together a little ways away, slightly elevated. But these figures, if they even exist at all, can only peruse the goings-on below, powerless to influence them in any way, the world of the beyond a bureaucratic morass, reports compiled and filed away unread. So there is only this, this life in the foreground, this wall close at our backs. This wall! Some find it quaint. But it’s so close it tenses your shoulders, tightens your features, subtly riddles your cheer. It even sours the prayer hidden in your hands. You are on the brink of bursting out laughing. No joke has been told.