Ministries became the front-facing ashopsa of the proliferating mafia structures, manned by ousted, but well-connected Communist functionaries, and hundreds of disaffected secret police agents and prospectless
young wrestlers and boxers, let down by the sudden loss of state subsidy for their local clubs (such were established in most towns in Communist times).
This was the writer at sixteen, a twelve-dollars-weekly map clerk, kid soon to be called up, prospectless
runaway from home and school, who sometimes climbed to a fifty-five-cent Saturday matinee seat at the Morosco or wherever, and when he did was ready to tear up the minute Saroyan's pearly-pure offstage cornetist eased into "My Wonderful One." Big-eared in the photo album, wide round eyes, sweet grin picking daisies in a field with an older sister, he knew from toddlerhood the blame was his for what he was--a fuckup--and surrendered in early adolescence, without protest or resentment, to going nowhere and hating nothing.