The crowds of Busarra are thrilled by base and awful games. They will throw change to watch lizards fight until death. There are tickets to buy for pigeon races and judges who claim expertise in the sport- though it is wholly conjecture. The road to the Palaestra is dotted by gaudy and imprecise herculean figures, some copper, most paper maiche. In all, there are 72 stadia in the city and twice as many gambling houses. Visitors must wade through trash to reach every destination, their legs half covered in a soup of damp tickets, rotting bread, and orange peels. The city sinks ever slowly into this mounting trash heap, though the decorous owners are constantly adding boxes for courtesans at the pinnacles of the stadiums.
Busarra is not a place to be from, and few claim to be citizens of the city. Instead, it is one of these places that men are always going to, waking up inebriated and hung over and then returning elsewhere. There are apartments for rent and hotels with a clutter of domestic objects, but nothing close to a home. Even the main square, with its handsome white church, devolves into a bocce court at dusk. The competition is brutal and bets are high.
As for governance, many years ago, a city leader made the decision to contain the city’s sprawling filth and intransigence. His grand fortifications were his greatest gift to the citizens, for the children now watch the ball games free from the towers and the parapets and between the crenellations the scores are posted daily for all to see. Beyond the walls, there are a few flophouses and restaurants and bungalows, but the show peters out quickly without remorse. The wall has become a threshold at which to abandon one’s morals.