First of all there is Blue. Later there is White, and then there is Black, and before the beginning there is Brown. Brown broke him in, Brown taught him the ropes, and when Brown grew old, Blue took over, that is how it begins. The place is New York City, the time is the present, and neither one will ever change. Blue goes to his office everyday and sits at his desk, waiting for something to happen. For a long time, nothing does, and then a man named White walks through the door, and then is how it begins.
The case seems simple enough. White wants Blue to follow a man named Black and to keep an eye on him for a long as necessary. While working for Brown, Blue did many tail jobs and this one seems no different, perhaps even easier than the most.
Blue needs the work and he listen to White and then doesn’t ask many questions. He assumes it’s a marriage case and then White is a jealous husband. White doesn’t elaborate. He wants a weekly report, he says, sent to such and such a postbox number, type out in duplicate on pages so long and so wide. A check will be sent every week to Blue in the email. White then tells Blue where Black lives, what he looks like and so on. When Blue asks White how long he thinks the case will last, White says he doesn’t know. Just keep sending the reports, he says, until further notice.
Auster, Paul. Ghosts. In: The New York Trilogy. Penguin Books. NY, 1990