Outside, on the landing, are two small boxes that have been left neither in front of my door, nor my neighbors' door, but snugly against the door of the third apartment, which has been vacant since January. They have been there since I left for work yesterday morning. One box contains the unabridged audio recording of Brideshead Revisited and the other the unabridged audio recording of Pride and Prejudice. Both sets are recorded on cassette. There is no note.

My neighbors and I have now passed these tapes several times and neither household has claimed them. My confusion is increased by the fact that I have a great fondness for both of these books (while also harboring enough general snobbery and specific hostility toward my clattery neighbors [who fill the shared recycling bin to the brim with their uncollapsed boxes each week] to believe that a similar appreciation cannot be attributed to them). Yet, I do not know of anyone who would sneak up the stairs in the late night or early morning to leave recordings for me.

Perhaps most vexingly of all, even if these are a gift just for me from the patron saint of dead English writers, I no longer own a tape player.