Two men are met in the marketplace. They talk in coded terms, in loaded meanings; it is not clear, even to them, whether they speak of the same things. They seem to talk of money, and weather, and their own infidelity. This is safety.
One draws a line in the sand with his toe, idly. One, without ceasing his talk, draws another.
There is a pause.
“What is that?” says one.
“What is that? What is that a picture of?”
“You don’t recognize it?”
“Maybe I do, and maybe I don’t. It also doesn’t look like anything I’ve ever seen. Is that a cloud?”
“A cloud? No! A cloud. Does that look like a cloud to you?”
“It might be a cloud. Clouds look like all kinds of crazy things.”
One snorts. “A cloud. Son of man, a cloud. It’s clearly a–“
“Wait,” interrupts one. “Not out loud. Just in case.”
One rolls his eyes. With great care and gravity, he inscribes ΙΧΘΥΣ, which is to say, fish.
“Oh!” says one. “Wow, that’s a terrible–“
“Shush!” says one, suddenly paranoid, and erases the whole mess with his sandal.