half an hour I felt like a plastic mannequin, only half conscious of the world around me.
Eventually Lyon appeared in the far edges of my window. It started with the same generic
industrial sheath that encapsulates all modern cities. The computer c
the two had lived with relatives in various parts of Germany until a year ago had finally
move to Rodez to start a new life. Uta easily picked up work as a music teacher. Lotte had
entered her second year of school. She had difficulties wi
A few weeks later I started reading Lotte bedtime passages from Joyces Dubliners. I felt
they were simple and straightforward while still charged with charm and depth. Lotte liked
Araby, the story of the little boy who wants to go to the fair, but only ge
cant tell you where I am. All I can do is beg that you meet me back in Lyon. We can meet in
that caf we always used to go to. Faade. Ive emptied myself of the past almost completely.
Only a few items remain. A few loose memories. And you. Come with me. We
garbage can wearing the same sailor suit he wore the last time I saw him. The water was
with a glossy metallic sheen as the first hints of light reflected off its surface from the furthest
reaches of the horizon. I looked over at Jillian. Her face
someone in order to liberate him from his former self. It was ritualistic, passionless, in short,
murder of essentialities.
How could you say that? How could you? Youve become so cold. So inhuman.
How quickly you judge something you known nothing about.
she ran like a phantom lynx through the bushes, slipping between the tangled branches like a
creature woven from vapor and light. Through all of these dreams I tried to fight my feelings
her as if they were that deadly sense of drowsiness arctic explo
down by gravity to the lowest point on the landscape. As I walked closer, I saw the
a path that descended into the valley. Curious as to the source of the fog - or whether it was
really fog at all and not smoke or perhaps an optical
There was a thud followed by Jillians scream. Id never heard the expression of such
concentrated pain in all my life. Then silence. I moved quickly to the edge of the bus shelter.
the distance I saw a fading streak of white moving like a hunted rabbit
are to the swooning sex, how voracious the heads of pleasure, how pleasure spreads her
to the extremes of the game. Her poppies of sound, of daylight and music, swiftly, like a
magnetic tearing of birds. Pleasure playing a trenchant and mystic mel
branch for all this blank-minded, chattering idiot of a deity cared.
That night I could hardly sleep. I tried to piece together what had happened and whether or
not Jillian had seized the gun from Munif at the last minute and turned it on him or if
read about it in the paper the next day. Her justification was that they never liked Alan
but would still insist on turning the wedding into a grandiose spectacle. I was the best man
Ulaf reluctantly played the awkward part of the bridesmaid.
Almost like rubber. Or maybe it was just my knees that were giving way as I walked past a
of cigarette machines towards the exit of the station. By this time the rain had almost reached
tropical proportions. I checked my wallet for money. I
Im sure that you want an explanation. Im sure you think Im twisted beyond belief. The
reasons are so complex. The story is so long. To tell you in a few words would be to relate the
story of the birth of the universe in a single minute. And we have very l
path. I walked across the lawn and followed the path, trying to see if what I had told Lotte
seeing with your mind was really true. The darkness was so pronounced that I had to walk
outstretched hands to ensure that I didnt walk into a bush or
You said it yourself, I said. Love doesnt end.
No. Love does end. Only some loves continue.
Yes, Jean! Although I loved him at the time I now see that Munif was just a platform
allowing us to spring to an even higher state of love. He broke us
A name I once used as an alias to publish a book of essays. I needed some way of throwing
You fucking bastard.
Come on, dont just stand there. Ive decided to extend my hospitality and invite you both
to spend the evening with me. Theres no need f
I read on into the night with frenzied enthusiasm, underlining words and phrases that rang
with new truths Id never noticed.
And Van Gogh was not there, he who painted the Arles Caf. But I was at Rodez, that is to
say, still on earth, while all the inhabi
deep voice echoed through the air with its deep, tense vowels. The female voice was lighter. I
listened more carefully to their conversation. Some words were louder than others and jutted
of the baseline of silence like punctuated shouts. Other words
muddied black water. Close to losing consciousness and on the verge of drowning, he felt a
presence behind him grab his foot and release it from the grasp of the branch. The prince, in a
hazy state as if emerging from a dream, was so grateful that he
Maybe I am. I took peyote with Poilblanc and for the first time I came face to face with
something so evil, I spent the next year running away from it.
Yes, she said as if I had suddenly touched a deep chord. You are.we are.all enshrouded
from Jillian, I began to see him as a man who rebelled against all that was vacuous in life.
since coming to Rodez I had completely lost interest in his work. It seemed like little more
the shallow and vacuous outpourings of a lunatic.
I sat besi
to pick up my shovel. The foreman immediately grabbed my hand, thinking I was going to
as a weapon against the worker, and pushed me against a chain-link fence.
Wait, I pleaded. I could see I was outnumbered and while they were clearly the aggresso
with his proposal unless there was something forcing me to stay away.
Its not what you think, Jean. With every murder comes renewal.
I stood there, both horrified and transfixed by her inhuman, almost Kurtz-like confession. I
felt as though I
word. And our beloved restaurant, our little love nest! We serve quail over orange and
chocolate, wild rice with wine-dipped asparagus and lobster stuffed with Gruyre! I look
me.here, in the cradle of the earth. Joy. Lets be happy together on this d
originally thought was a blanket of fog was actually smoke. I felt at ease, happy that the
wasnt just my imagination or an optical illusion. In the depths of night any handle on reality
welcome. Then I saw the white flash again, but this time it
You were merely one panel on that glass. One part of the story. Now I have to move on.
I reached the edge of the shelter and poked my head around with the silent slow motion of a
chameleon on the glass wall of an aquarium. The light was too weak to be sur
Its like that since their first day of school: all the parents doting over their wonderful little
and ribbons, while all the scruffy little boys sit on the sidelines frightened and intimidated by
early levels of female perfection. The same p
Ha. Had you fooled. I suppose you want to talk to the boss.
I heard the receiver drop and in the background I could hear some clattering of silverware
and what sounded like someone kneading dough or chopping meat with a dull blade.
You always call w
face, but instead focusing on a wall of beer glasses behind her. They seemed to posit their
form of superior existence: one without pain or human worries.
I thought I heard her sigh before she turned and walked to the counter to order a beer. Little