ADVENTURES IN THE IMMEDIATE UNREALITY (Romanian title: ÎNTÎMPLĂRI ÎN IREALITATEA IMEDIATĂ) (1936) By Max Blecher (1909-1938) Translated
by Alina Savin
„I pant, I sink, I tremble, I expire" P. B. Shelley
When I glance for a long time at a precise point on the wall, I sometimes forget who and where I am. At that particular moment my identity vanishes, and I feel, for a second, no more, like a totally different person. This abstract character and my real self are fighting for my awareness with equal forces. But very soon after my identity recomposes itself, like in those stereoscopic views in which sometimes the two images are being separated by mistake and the operator reunites them, offering, all of a sudden, to the viewer’s eye, an illusive relief. My room appears in those instants of a freshness never before existent. It regains its precedent consistency and the objects flow wisely into their places, just like a clod of soil thrown into a glass of water lays to its bottom in layers of different elements, well defined and of various colors. The room’s elements stratify in their own contour and in the coloring of the old memory I have of them. This feeling of remoteness and loneliness during the instants when my daily being is dissolved into inconsistency is tremendously different from any other physical sensation. When it lasts longer, it converts into the pure terror that I might never again regain myself, and an insecure silhouette lingers in my brain, surrounded by a strong and profound, almost tactile light, as certain distant objects seen in the fog. The terrible question “Who am I?” lives by its own in me, like a totally new entity, a mere excrescence from my body, made out of new and totally unknown skin and bones and organs. Its solution is being asked for by a sort of clearness, more profound and more essential than that of the brain’s. Everything capable of motion in me begins to stir, to move, to struggle, to revolt, more strongly and elementary than in my daily life. Everything begs for a rapid solution. I sometimes rediscover the chamber as it usually is and as I know it, just as if I simply
closed and opened my eyes; and every time the space is clearer, just like a certain landscape appears through the field glass, better and better organized, while, setting the distances, one’s eye sails through all the veils of intermediary images. I finally recognize myself and my room, and I feel a slight feeling of drunkenness. The chamber is unexpectedly condensed in its inner matter, and I’m implacably back to the tactile surface of things: the deepest the wave of obscure misunderstanding, the highest its peak; now I have the clear certitude that every object must occupy its inherent place in the universe and that I must be the one I truly am. Thus my awkward struggle in the midst of uncertainty has lost all its denominations, it becomes just an untainted regret that I had found nothing in the depths of my efforts. I am only surprised by the fact that such a complete lack of meaning could ever have been attached so profoundly to my intimate matter. Now that I found myself and I try to express my feelings, these appear to me like totally impersonal, simple exaggerations of my identity, grown up like a cancer from their own substance. Like a jelly fish’s tentacle, stretched immeasurably, having desperately explored the waves’ entrails before returning safely under the gelatinous sucker, I traversed all the certainties and uncertainties of my existence, in order to come back, irrevocably and painfully, under the opaque shell of my solitude, which all of a sudden becomes infinitely pure and pathetic... The feeling of remoteness of the world is clear, and more intimate: a lucid and tender melancholy, like a dream which comes back into one’s mind in the midst of the dark night. Only this melancholy reminds me something of the mystery and the slightly distressing charm of my childhood crises. Only in this sudden vanishing of my identity can I revive the past fallings into cursed spaces, and only in the seconds of immediate lucidity that follow the return to the surface does the world appear to me in the light of its unusual inutility and desuetude, which grew around me when my hallucinatory trances had overthrown me. My crises were always provoked in the very same places, a street, the house, some garden. Every time I was overrunning their borders, I was overwhelmed by a state of swoon and dizziness. Invisible traps placed at random through the town, differing in nothing from the surrounding atmosphere, they were ferociously waiting for me to fall a prey to their special substance. A step, one single step was enough to enter deep in one of these cursed spaces, and the crisis was inevitable. One such place was in the town’s central park, in a small clearing at the end of an alley, where nobody was ever walking. The ring of bushes and wild roses and dwarfish
acacias surrounding it opened tightly towards the desolating landscape of an empty field. In the whole world there was definitely no other place so sad and so deserted. Silence was setting down, opaque and condensed, on the dusty leaves, in the summer’s musty heat. From time to time one could hear the echoes of the trumpets from distant regiments. Infinitely poignant were those long callings from the desert… Far away, the air heated by the sun was trembling, vaporous like the transparent steam flowing above the boiling water. The place was wild and isolated, of an endless loneliness. There, the day’s heat was infinitely more tiresome, and the air heavier by a long way. The yellowish dusty bushes were burning in the sun, in a scenery of an absolute seclusion. A bizarre feeling of uselessness was flowing above the clearing, which was living its own outlandish existence somewhere in the world, where I had come without any purpose or reason, in a certain summer afternoon, useless as well, an afternoon chaotically lost in the warmth, anchored through the bushes in the tangential space. At that particular moment I was feeling, profoundly and painfully, that I didn’t belong to this world, that I had nothing to do in it but wander through lost parks, through their dusty, heated clearings, deserted and wild, wild and deserted. And this wandering was finally breaking my heart to pieces. Another cursed place was at the other side of the town, between the high and hollow shores of the river in which I was bathing with my playmates. The shore was sunken on a side. Up on the bank there was a sunflower-oil factory. The seeds’ hulls were thrown between the edges of the sunken shore, and in time the pile raised gradually, until it became a long slope of dry hulls, uniting the bottom of the coast to the bank of the water. My playmates were descending towards the water on this slope, carefully, holing their hands, stepping deep into the carpet of rotten vegetable fabric. The walls of the high shore, on the two sides of the slope, were abrupt and fantastically irregular. The rain had sculptured long stripes of delicate fissures and intricate arabesques, but hideous like the badly scared wounds, true rags into the mud’s wet flesh, horrible and unwrapped cuts. I had to descend as well amidst these walls which impressed me tremendously, towards the river. When I was still far away, long before getting to the shore, my nostrils were filled by the smell of the rotten hulls, which was preparing me for the crisis, as a short period of incubation: this smell was unpleasant, and, at the same time, sophisticatedly suave. Yes, my crises were all like this… My olfactory sense was separated somewhere deep inside me in two different parts, and the effluviums of decomposed aroma were vibrating in different regions of my enflamed
I was descending towards the water in a madman’s rush. at the same time. a very pleasant. forming. but the objects were gradually losing their
. I knew very well what I was doing. dust everywhere. The whole space was repairing for it. I couldn’t stand being alone in an unfamiliar room. it was transforming me in only some seconds. a warm and hospitable intimacy was filtered by the walls. Usually. I was avoiding the pile of hulls and running further on the shore. cool as a small room engraved in the rock. because. and other living creatures and various things. The air was opposing me its strong density. All of a sudden. with anonymous houses. My playmates were witnessing with fearful eyes my fanatical gallop.brain. emanating. on the pile of hulls. circulating abundantly through all my inner fibers. There was a small cave deep down there. as my chest was filled with a pleasant and bewildering feeling of fainting which hurried my steps towards the shore. the room became sublime and I was feeling immensely happy. But this was only a betrayal of the crisis. flowing gently over the furniture and the objects. fantastically beautiful. Still. towards a place where the coast was hollowed. the crises were coming more easily and more often. in the middle of the floor. The gelatinous smell of the decaying dirt was very distinct. When this perfume touched my nostrils. sweaty. As I was finally regaining my spirits. the worms attached to the pieces of wood. and the slightest wrong step could have thrown me into the river. the rest of the small town was lost in a paste of shapeless banality. over which I was leaning to see the wonderful laces of the green moss on its bottom. everything would fall down into tiny pieces. covered with rust and mud. in closed spaces. the place of my final defeat. I would enter it and fall down. with lazy dogs. sharp as a knife’s blade. in a place where the bubbles at the surface of the water confirmed the evidence of tremendous depths. a basin of very clear water. vacant lands and dust. I would find next to me the intimate and immensely pleasant scenery of the cave. chaotically. a shadowy cavern. The gravel was very narrow. with trees unbearably immobile. warm and domestic smell of grilled peanuts. Upon arriving near the water. and the world’s chamber was crumbling. one of its delicate and tender perversities. in that rush. with its delicate spring flowing directly from the rock on the ground. in the next second of my ecstasy. Still. the fragments of old iron. which could have replaced one another. The mere fact of waiting would produce in some seconds the suave and terrible faint. I was staring around me with eyes wide open. From that moment on I couldn’t avoid my natural impulses. Except for these two cursed places. tired and trembling. dissolving and then replacing them with a more airy and insecure matter. in an immense hole with unexpected forces of attraction. completely mingled.
as an unreal water of marble and gold and shiny waves. pleasant and painful in the same time. now I try to define exactly my crisis and I can only find images. as if they had been suddenly uncovered by an unseen hand from under the multiple layers of thin and transparent papers which had hidden them until then. sweaty. ferociously hidden in their severe stillness. I could observe in them new details. The supreme moment of the crisis was consumed in a floating beyond any world. the room was imperceptibly diminishing its exaltation. But if I heard steps on the corridor. I was becoming part of the room. finally anaesthetized and overthrew me. in a strange way. tired and filled by the sensation of the uselessness of the surrounding things. grafted on the living flesh. and alive. The room preserved vaguely the memory of the catastrophe. I was always touched by their enthusiasm to live in a new aura: I was tied to them by powerful adherences and invisible anatomical cohesions. integrates to the foreign body. Actually the objects around me never abandoned this secret attitude. the room was reintegrated quickly in her old appearance. they were becoming independent. But this is not all: the objects were revived by a regular freedom frenzy. and thus they seemed to me of an excoriated purple-red color. and this fact was offering me the assurance that the certitude in which we live is separated by the world of uncertainties by a very thin pellicle. I was regularly disturbed by the most common and known aspects of those objects. and a new existence was surrounding them. just as if one can discover a strange facet in an object which he had been using for years. concealed to my modest understanding. The common words loose their viability at certain depths of the soul. I was looking at the books in the bookcase and I could notice. during a crisis. I could see the corner of a large wooden bookcase with thick volumes with leather covers protected by the glass windows. tremendously alive. and their appearance was suddenly ineffably new. The walls were again condensed. like all the other objects.common sense. through subtle exchanges of fluids and substances. a treacherous air of complicity and mystery. like a last inhalation of chloroform. in their immobility. like the smell of sulfur after an explosion. and these prosaic details. the sun had sent on the wall a tiny cascade of rays. not only isolated but also ecstatically exulted. in the same way in which a new organ. dissolving from them
. The magic word expressing them should borrow something from the essences of other sensitivities. Once. destined to a superior and mysterious utility. for example. I would wake up in the far-too-familiar room. The habit of seeing them so many times finally managed to dissolve their exterior skin. perceived from the remoteness of my faint.
I was practicing certain strange rituals. I was sometimes defying the evil forces around me. with their whistling fear which crosses my spine in an unforgettable second. that of the imperfection of any manifestations in this world. I was facing with despair the conviction that I was living in the world I was seeing. and then something from the disequilibrium of falls in a dream. my walk resembled to a thin wire. with which I was looking around me. as if my whole skin were pierced. Reminiscent of a sort of equity between me and the world (an equity which was deepening me irreparably into the uniformity of the unrefined matter). but all the rest were already fallen into trance long before my arrival there. or terrorize them. that nothing can be brought to perfection. I envied the people around me. In a perhaps endless interior dialogue. after
. or something like the fog and transparency surrounding the bizarre landscapes in the crystal globes. all its tentacles. be they even supernatural. If. it’s undeniable that some of these places contained in their being a sort of “personal” evil. The objects’ fierceness was being exhausted as well. The attention. Well. the conviction that the objects could be inoffensive became equal to the terror which they were sometimes imposing to me. or defeat them. while between me and the outer world there was no boundary.as a new smell in a scholarly composition of perfumes. it should contain a small piece of the stupor which overwhelms me when I’m looking at a person in reality and then I am following his or her gestures in a mirror. hermetically closed in their mysteries and isolated by the tyranny of the objects. Their harmlessness was produced by a universal lack of forces. I was always coming back to my initial trajectory. and if I hadn’t closed it on the same road. They were prisoners under their overcoats. but nothing coming from outside could harm them. in the same manner in which I was sometimes despicably eulogizing them. The “crises” belonged in the same measure to me and to the places where they occurred. anyway very distracted. but far from useless. such as certain chambers where I could feel that my crises are being crystallized from their melancholic immobility and their infinite loneliness. In this way an idea grew into my mind gradually. was not a simple act of will. The world was prolonging in me. I was invaded by everything surrounding me. In order to exist. naturally. And I had no weapon to fight against this certitude. nothing could infiltrate in their magnificent prisons. this happened only because I never wanted to draw with my steps an invisible circle and close in it houses and trees. and all the long arms of the hydra were crossing my entrails. I vaguely felt that nothing in this world can be accomplished. having left alone from home and walking on different roads.
their strong memory lingers in my brain. the quinine he gave me
. as though. This impression was so powerful from the first moment. His small velvet eyes. but still. but that crepuscular state which preceded them and the feeling of the profound uselessness of the world which followed. In all these actions there was hidden a certain melancholy of being. The uselessness filled the hollows of the world. lengthily and sonorously. above all. acquired the concrete color of despair. the objects assembled in the footsteps’ knot would have remained forever and irremediably tied to me. In time. today and forever. all these become gradually my natural condition.
A doctor was consulted regarding my crises. like a liquid diffused in all directions. some of the crises disappeared naturally. that it seemed to me natural. I was trying not to move the stones in the steams’ way. Also. and the sky above me. and. when he began to talk. first one. in continuous stir. I was always carrying in my pocket a box of matches. such a peculiar name. a sort of torment organized in the limits of my childhood existence. absurd and indefinite. I couldn’t understand how the sick spaces. The doctor prescribed me quinine: again I was astonished. When I was very sad I was lighting a match and passing my fingers through the very flame. his short gestures and his ejected mouth made him look like a mouse. his head like an egg. while speaking. I had no more crises. The pointed extremity of the egg elongated itself with a little black beard. they. then the others. during the heavy rains. and he pronounced a weird word: “paludism”. and thus. But I was mostly bewildered by the doctor himself. with tiny. Long time after the consultation he kept existing and wiggling in my memory. to hear him prolonging the letter “r” in every word. he were crunching something hidden and delicious. always correct. The doctor was a tiny little man. If. I was very surprised that my most intimate and secret anxieties can have a name. to avoid interceding with the displaying of its elementary forces. could be cured by the quinine which I was supposed to take. this was only because I didn’t want to add any effort to the water’s action. and I was unable to stop their inexhaustible mechanism.having declutched it. In this surrounding uselessness and under this everlastingly cursed sky do I still wander. automatic gestures. When I become a teenager. Fire was purifying it all.
after having recently accomplished his military service. They were living together in a slum somewhere. The elegant painting on the walls evidently reclaimed this kind of delicate craft. Eugene and Clara were sitting there all the time. its entrance hidden by a green curtain. They called it “the artists’ cabin”. when. and during the day they were working in the shop. in order not to leave the shop during the day.strengthened my conviction that the doctor had something mousey in his personality. What am I. Sometimes he was even signing himself. with a shade of dark-red ceramic. Close to our house was a shop of sewing machines. but impressive. and one day I heard Eugene saying: “This is indeed an artist’s cabin. He was leaning over the music papers on the table. came in our town to make a living and opened this shop. The sewing machines were meticulously placed one near the other on three lines separated by two large alleys. that I must devote some individual lines to this incident. one year younger than him. Every morning. it reminded me of a royal funerary monument. I masterly try to convince the client to buy a swing machine?” And then he added. Eugene was sometimes playing the violin. that’s why the walls preserved the memory of the previous saloon painting. for half an hour. with violet garlands of lilac and the rectangular and discolored traces on the places where paintings had been hanged. life as a whole is but pure drama. Eugene was carefully drenching the floor. Well. old and obsolete. rented for the first time for trade. separated by the rest of the space by a sort of screen of wooden boards. and remain there for hours and hours. they were also eating lunch there. The whole afternoon a small gas lamp was burning on an old wooden bottom drawer. with a very erudite tone: “Well. drawing on the floor spirals and scholarly eights. The trickle of water was very thin and Eugene was handling it with adroitness. or of a retired general. it was a very remarkable collection of precious ornaments. and it is so intimately connected to very important occurrences from my childhood. patiently deciphering the notes. At the back of the shop there was a sort of cabin. who. Eugene. or was writing the date. filling the
. covered on the side with green faience leaves. the shop was just a simple private room. and from the ceiling a bronze lamp was still suspended. Its owner was a young man. in order to take out of it only one single delicate purl. as if he was untangling a ball of knotted thread.” Behind the curtain. wearing during the parades his old and elegant uniform. He had a sister. if not an actor. the music line. with an old pierced sardine can. I got the confirmation of this certainty in the weirdest way. they had no relatives or acquaintances in the town. Clara. where I used to go every day.
so that Eugene wouldn’t believe that I was a client. if I heard it. Her shirt was short. It was such an old mirror that. She kept her dresses in a small wardrobe and she was looking into a mirror.room with a dead light and projecting on the wall the enormous shadow of the violin player. which I was weighting and spying with a maddening and unusually sharp sensitivity. long and vibrant antennas were growing from my body and explored the air in order to catch the sound of the violin. and I was waiting for Clara to finish her toilet. then he left from the cabin. and he could have put his violin aside
. If Eugene for example was thirsty. on the coach. squeezed by the perfectly-stretched stockings. raising shamelessly her arms. and thus stop his playing even for one second. Clara was making her toilet. She looked exactly like a half-naked woman I had once seen in a pornographic postcard. like in a photograph with superposed negatives. that she had to rub her legs against my knees. and when she was bowing. and the space between me and the table was thus large enough for Clara to pass far away from me. her presence provoked in me the same unidentified feeling of fainting. just as the obscene image did. I could see entirely her amazingly beautiful legs. or her breasts. the objects behind the mirror could be seen intermingled with the reflected images. in time. shuffling her hand through the shirt’s wide opening. At that moment she was usually getting out of the shop. a sort of void in my chest intermingled with a atrocious sexual longing. which was clutching my pubis like a claw. which a seller of cracknels had shown me in the public garden. through the partly faded foil and through the transparent spots. I was waiting for this moment every day. near the lamp. I always sat in the cabin in the same place. while getting close to the shop’s door. I was entering as quietly as possible and I was saying aloud my name even from the doorway. I went there so often that. When I was going there in the afternoons. through a space so narrow. or had to welcome a client in the shop. it might have been possible for that precise second of silence to interrupt suddenly the calm flowing and the enigmatic miracle of the melody. a thing which didn’t bother anyone and of which nobody took care of. passing between me and her brother. or didn’t feel like playing the violin. a prolongation of the old oilcloth couch on which I was lingering immobile for hours. Sometimes Clara undressed herself almost completely and perfumed her armpits with Eau de Cologne. behind Eugene. equally eager and tormented. But its accomplishment depended of a long inventory of infinitesimal circumstances. At the back of the cabin. Every time. placed on the bottom drawer. I became a sort of furniture-guest. I was suddenly becoming peaceful and tranquil.
in parallel. was like a scaffolding of heteroclite objects held in a fragile equilibrium by a magician in a single immobile point. unconcerned. For example. I was sitting exactly at the edge of the couch. or. to sculpture. in a position if not weird. full afternoons. So many other things happened in that cabin… While Clara was making her toilet. Clara’s toilet and the conversation in the shop. waiting with the same impatience as usual. these minuscule facts. I was tossing and turning in my burning sheets. so that they could meet Clara’s feet. and they will smash or will pass one next to the other. I was following the painful deployment of the two events. but so abruptly and starting from such a insignificant gesture. Clara continued to make her toilet. transformed it instantly into a startlingly green one. in which a small piece of crystal. I secretly hoped that Eugene came before his sister finished dressing. like in certain movies.and not touch it for the rest of the afternoon. like in that old chemical experiment. With a single step. I was listening to the most inaudible sounds and I was observing the slightest movements. depending if a mysterious hand intervenes or not to change the switch. could ruin. Clara changed entirely the content of my visits. on the contrary. that my whole subsequent joy. in my bed. giving them another meaning and a new fever. like this cursed cough. The whole day was then losing its vital substance. thinking that they could continue to unfold independently until Clara got out of the shop. to disembowel and to caress this beloved image). in the same place. Everything seemed lost. But this was not the only possibility of unfavorable occurrences. it all began with the halo of a disaster and ended with an unforeseen surprise. something particularly unusual happened. then at least comic. put into a goblet of red liquid.
. and during the night. when suddenly the door opened and somebody entered the shop. Eugene could vaguely cough. relying on it. because any of them could have ruined the afternoon. in those moments of febrile waiting I clearly felt that the conversation is following its own way and. monstrously and enormously. unable to sleep and waiting anxiously for the next day. I was sitting on the couch. instead of thinking at leisure (and stopping for some minutes on every detail in order to visualize it and remember it better) of the precise moment when my knees touched Clara’s stockings (that is. swallow a drop of saliva or say that he is thirsty and wants to go to the confectioner’s to buy a cake. Clara kept powdering her nose… I desperately tried to correct the fatality by stretching my knees towards the table. One day. Eugene left the cabin immediately. while the conversation in the shop prolonged endlessly. to hollow. they could have met in the fix point of the cabin. when two steam engines come one towards the other with a crazy speed.
a secret tension manifested through an extreme indifference from her part. It sweeps instantly all your body. her challenge was so elementary and almost brutal I might say. a joy that always preceded the sexual act. the moment she passed next to me. Just as I was impulsive and daring. Soon she finished rounding with carmine the contour of her lips. still preserves in my memory something from that past initial virulence. full of inconsistencies and anxieties and gritting of teeth. smiling. every evening I was building dozens of projects. a perfect secret understanding. through the mirror.I had the impression that. In the minuscule second when Clara’s feet touched me. something that could have been love if it weren’t just a simple continuity of a painful eagerness. With Clara I understood everything from the first day. without saying a word. and my present indifference is corroded like by an acid. like an interior melody. There is a complicity of the vice deeper and more rapid than any understanding through words. from the first moment. immense and incontrollable. with that air of indifference that between us nothing is going on. Clara was looking at me. Some weeks passed from the occurrence in the cabin. and powdered her cheeks for the last time. and the anonymous verb she used. It is enough to think a little longer of that phrase. and between us grew suddenly a sort of severe coldness. We were both sitting silent in the shop. your flesh and your blood. that the poor phrase she uttered then. she was my first complete and normal sexual experience. I only lacked the mysterious word that could have gone through the conventional layer. knitting attentively. playing a tremendous part in its process. and felt a sort of doggish joy in seeing me suffering. Clara was calm and capricious. Clara was wearing her regular afternoon dress and she was sitting cross-legged behind the screen. like every day (or maybe even intensively? But this was of course just a physical illusion). new expectations and new hopes were born in me. and. The perfume spread in the cabin dizzied me with despair and lust. We stayed one in front of the other for hours.
Eugene was away in town. An adventure full of torments and expectations. and transforms completely your thoughts. The first time the thing I had been waiting for so long happened between us. and still. she had a violent manner of provoking me. but the next day they were crushed by the most
. in this silence one could feel the threat of a sudden explosion. the thing I least expected happened: she touched her legs to my knees. and her words become again violent as they were back then.
my chest was filled by a warm hope. tormented. to beg her.” “Please. Clara and the same sonatas. but I was wrong.” Until then. for a long time. I took her hand and begun to violently caress and kiss it. like an antique marble statue grown from the floor in the middle of the shop. “Come now.” I was touching feverishly her shoulders. it’s too late. Clara did not permit any other prelude than the one in the shop. only rarely did Clara accept to come with me. all the afternoons changed their “habits”: the scenery was the same. in the cabin my unrests transformed into other monsters.” I was imploring her. From that day on. without enthusiasm and trudging her feet on the floor. My jaws were always clenched. but now I could hardly stand the sound of the violin. Clara interrupted it. I kissed her hand again and I forced her to rise from the chair. too correctly arranged in order to permit any change in the shop. I was sitting in front of her on a stool and I was beginning to talk to her. it’s so good there…” And when I pronounced the word “good”. never in our silences the shadow of a sexual allusion could have been found. When Eugene was leaving. irritated: “Leave me now. between us sprang a new reality. without it our adventure could not take place. She let herself go. as if I was playing a new game on a paper with lines drawn for a game already known. just leave me alone. “Where?” “In the cabin… come on. Eugene will come back. I had to uselessly wait for her to dress and to go near the window so that I could open the fleshy book of the afternoon at its first page. to ask her. She spoke almost in whispers. come…” “No. without raising her eyes from the knitting: “If you had come today earlier we could have done it. I was waiting for Eugene to leave. She wrested it and said. and all of a sudden. Sometimes Eugene was leaving while Clara was almost naked in the cabin: at the beginning I thought that this detail could rush the course of the events. Clara kept protesting. from only some words. the silence was terrible. the silence in the shop or the three lines of sewing machines. even a sentimental one. Clara was sitting at the window. so miraculous and extraordinary.elementary obstacles: the knitting that could not be interrupted. locking in itself the evidence and the contour of a scream. her breasts. Eugene. Clara. it’s too late. her legs. behind the window. Eugene left immediately after lunch in town. we still have time. the true expectancy begun: it was heavier and more unbearable than the previous one. among the innumerable sewing machines… In one second I was near Clara. knitting: this was our every day “prelude”. I knew it was in vain. the lack of a more favorable light. the silence of the shop turned into a block of ice. now.
The proofing of my impression that he had something mousey in himself was accomplished in the cabin and. During this period the doctor who prescribed me the quinine was consulted. and was looking at me with its small black eyes. as if she had stumbled over something. All of a sudden this mutual fascination dissolved and the mouse ran away. Then she put her hands under her head and closed her eyes as if she were sleeping. please don’t follow me. behind the powder box. a mouse. and only her intimate and secret warmth proved to me that she is attentive and that she “knows”. in which the light of the lamp was reflected in two shiny golden round spots. it was impossible for me to change even with a centimeter the position of her body. as I already said. in the most surprising way. at the moment when I had to take the quinine. He stopped exactly near the mirror. in order to establish an universal equilibrium. and I saw on the bottom drawer.” Some months after the consultation. disappearing behind the drawer. I turned my head. The same evening. I have a horrible headache. She was then falling on the couch. For some seconds long as the eternity its gaze pierced my eyes and descended deep down into my brain. but didn’t help me either. One day. and I felt in its silent meditation a heavy reproach towards my actions. he prescribed me the most unpleasant medicine ever.” I would promise her not to do it. only because she didn’t want to offer me her perfect allowance: “I’m going in the cabin to take a pill. while I was pasted to Clara and I was tearing her dress with hungry gestures. I suddenly felt something strange moving in the cabin and –with the obscure but very sharp instinct of the extreme pleasure towards which I was heading. She was immobile and indifferent like a piece of wood. I had to wrest her dress from under her legs in order to touch her. scared.and then she used one of her foxiness. the doctor was found dead in the attic of his
. my theory was enforced by a perfectly illogical reasoning. and which couldn’t admit any foreign presence around. of course. on the drawer’s edge. and in the cabin one of these fabulous fights was starting. but very plausible for me: the quinine was bitter. thus. a fight during which Clara’s forces were of course ready to give up.I understood that some living being had penetrated our intimacy and was looking at us. the bitterrrrr the rrrrrrrremedy. and the doctor had seen in the cabin the pleasure which Clara was offering me. and not with my real senses. and I could almost hear him crunching his reasoning: “The biggerrrrrr the pleasurrrrre. I was now positive that the doctor had come to spy us. Clara had no resistance to any of my gestures. and in one second I was following her.
they are flying in frantic spirals. My imagination distorted the feminine organ and the carnal act itself. The air was filled with the smell of the rotten fruits. lost under the unrefined fingers. he had shot himself in the head. which became in time more and more accurate. in order to be able to practice his illegal “human” existence. in these misinterpretations. this piece of information was vital. Still.house. Maybe at a certain point I confused all the living creatures in a unique clearness of movements and stillness. attentively.
. The sexual secret was always only apparent. When I examine attentively my most distant memories. its gate opened towards a deserted market. in a long shirt touching the ground. like the adventures of the night. like a great artist’s painting. an afternoon market. to hole it and to extract the entire mousey matter. in the dust. which appears to me with the same nostalgia and the same purity. I rise. trying to determine the difference in weight and size of my small hand. with sleeping dogs and people sleeping in the shadows of their stalls with fruits and vegetables. different in nothing from the melancholies and the other hopes. crying in a doorway. but I have no exact memory of this period. which started from a simple sketch of shapeless forms. borrowed by the doctor during his lifetime. in a sunny yard. which I was measuring concretely every time I was shaking the hand of someone older. I begin to urinate. warm and infinitely sad. there was a feeling of mystery and bitterness. some huge flies are buzzing around me.
I must have been twelve years old when I met Clara. for example. sucking my tears fallen on my hands. but just as well it could have been an object. the boring expectation to become an “adult”. My first question when I heard the news was: “Were there any mice in that attic?” For me. At no single moment in my childhood did I ignore the difference between men and women. in the enormous palm of the one holding mine. they are all related to the sexual awareness. I remember myself very small. it was imperative that a wild herd of mice to raid over the dead body. like a table. in the yard’s dense and heated light. of the fear or of the first friendships. It was a simple “secret”. No matter how deep I explore my childhood memories. which completed its consistency little by little. In order for the doctor to be truly dead. which for me was more pompous and eccentric than what I subsequently discovered with Clara. their lack of actuality is being revealed through the misunderstanding of the sexual act itself. or a chair.
in the sun. feeling their flavor. the evolution from childhood to teenage meant for me a continuous diminishing of the world and. no word could possibly portray his red tunic in the greenish air at the shadow of the acacia. their ineffable aspect disappeared gradually. Ecstatic. sandals knitted from delicate strips of white suede. I yawn because I didn’t sleep and from time to time I try to catch a fly. she whirls the rusted wheel of the pump. I move at the shadow. obscure instincts swallow. and his clothes were far from ordinary: he was wearing a dark-red tunic. the little girl had already begun to accept my proposals.The ground absorbs avidly the liquid. now I draw with my finger in the dust circles and lines. like the trace of an inexistent object. From now on. Still. my father slapped me several times on the naked buttocks. deer-suede trousers and. Not long time ago. in the room. and was reading a number of Buffalo-Bill. I was beaten. the moment my father suddenly raised the blanket. I look at the water springing in the pail. I’m trying to think. I sit in the doorway. When I sometimes want to live again the extraordinary sensation of this meeting. In the yard. I didn’t hear them coming. I was lying in my bed. His first gesture was a sort of elastic jump. like a shiny surface covered steadily with vapors. This was everything. I listen carefully the squeak of the old iron. It’s my first sexual adventure and my oldest childhood memory. I sit crosslegged on a big rock and I feel better. I wipe my face with my shirt and I lick the tears gathered on the corners of my mouth. I only know that. I cried and then wiped off my tears. I sit again in the doorway and I feel miserable. What should have been an amplification and a continually growing fascination was for me a long series of renouncements and dreadful reductions towards the ordinary. I look at the girl’s big dirty legs. with buttons sculptured in bone. got angry and beat me. I stare for a long time at the yellowish cover of some old number of Buffalo-Bill. My father became red. I don’t remember what I was doing to the little girl under the blanket. I change my place. while our parents were gone for a walk. the sun keeps pouring its overwhelming heat. When I met him he was sitting in the shadow of an acacia tree. on his naked feet. A girl came in the yard to take some water. near a little girl of about my age. grow and distort. like a magnificent silver horse tail. Walter’s real presence was beyond any description. We immediately became
. we had been put there to sleep. Walter’s shining figure still fascinates me. in a fizz of chilly shadows. entering in their natural limits. It’s the simple life that starts again after tears. as things organized themselves around me. The clear morning light was filtered by the green and thick leaves. I don’t know too well why. on a trunk. and on that place remains a dark spot. miraculous. like an animal’s.
with a very pleasant click. in front of it there were a ditch and a deep pit. I tried as well.
. the people and the houses. the pit opened directly into the wall. In only a few seconds Walter was up in the tree. then I said “I want to”. we cannot walk further. impenetrable. where no iron people existed. and a suave and fresh perfume spread in my mouth. with a voice which wasn’t mine anymore and with a desire of risk and adventure exploded suddenly from in my inner depths and which I felt as not belonging to me. We spoke a little and all of a sudden he made me a stupefying proposal: to eat acacia flowers. Walter brought from somewhere a wooden board and we sat on it. and then suck only its top. with iron hands and heads. We slowly descended about ten steps. It was good and chilly in that cellar. It was the first time I ever met someone who ate flowers. Walter said. He then got down and showed me how the flower should be delicately detached from the corolla. All of a sudden. there at the back there are some iron people. and it is through there that we entered into an abandoned cellar. The cellar become swiftly of an unprecedented appeal. isolated. The useless hum of the afternoon could be heard like a distant echo. “Do you want to or not?” he asked me again. I was suddenly afraid. We remained silent for some minutes. “We bring here the girls we catch”. I hesitated for one second. he grabbed my hand tight: “Would you like to see the headquarter of our gang?” His eyes were burning. For a while we ate acacia flowers.friends. the walls were filtering moisture and the darkness in front of us.” I turned my head and I looked with despair towards the circle of light on top of us. closed between the cold walls. in complete silence. Walter took my hand and we passed through the small gate at the far end of the garden. and he gathered an enormous bouquet. Walter jumped inside and called me after him. I felt good there. the flower crackled a bit under my teeth. grown from the floor. I vaguely understood what he was talking about. We finally got to the ruins of a wall. The nettles were burning my feet and we had to put aside with our hands the thick stalks of hemlocks and burdocks. the air had a heavy smell of humidity and I could have remained there for hours and hours. under the earth which was walloping in the heat. a new perfume. never tasted before. coming from a simple and clear world. and where one could see from the distance the plants. form the boring and depressing little provincial town. The steps were broken and covered with moss. through the opening of the cellar. “We have to stay here. he said. and got to a deserted and vacant field. Walter clenched my hand and dragged me after him. and then we stopped. far away from the heated streets. They stand still and if they find us in the dark they will strangle us. The grass and the wild herbs had covered the soil.
“And what do you do with them?” Walter laughed. in the middle of that odd chamber with wet herbs. I could hear like in a dream. only now did I realize how far away that cellar was from the town and its dusty narrow streets. I could not possibly understand what was going on. “You mean you don’t know? We do what all men do with women. Maybe if Walter hadn’t got out of his pocket that feather. as if he wanted to wake me up. we sleep with them and… with a feather…” “With a feather? What kind of a feather? What do you do with them exactly?” Walter laughed again. but all of a sudden this isolation got a new and painful and deep meaning. under some ordinary summer day. Walter was bowed over my pubis. The black shiny feather which Walter was showing me was the concrete proof that nothing more exists in my decipherable universe. slowly I began to regain my consciousness. wide open mouth. was becoming more and more white and vaporous with every second. but he was so far away from me.” He got out of the pocket of his tunic a small bird’s feather. Walter rose in his feet. I climbed the stairs as
. “How old are you. “You first caress the little girl with the feather. and then you caress yourself… You must know these things…” All of a sudden. a spot of fog wiggling in the shadow. In that split second I felt that one of my habitual crises was starting. little boy? You don’t know what men do with women? You don’t have a feather? Here is mine. When I opened my eyes. its mouth tightly stuck to my sex. “This did you good… The Indians during the war wake up the blessed like this. and so airy. in the loneliness of an underground depth. seen through the cellar’s opening. Slowly. “What’s wrong? Water asked. we know all the Indian charms and incantations and remedies…” I woke up smashed and tired. in that darkness which was inhaling the light like a cold. hungry. It was like I was withdrawing from myself. His words were hitting the walls and were crossing my soft flesh as if I were a liquid creature. Walter came close to me and begun to shake me. Let me tell you what we do with the feather…” The sky outside. Walter ran away and disappeared. that he seemed just a simple clearness in the dark. Everything was melted in a swoon where it was shining weirdly. and we in our gang. Walter kept talking. I would have continued to tolerate around me that air of complete and desolating seclusion of the cavern.
and that evening a heavy and ponderous storm had started. she suddenly began to laugh:
. From time to time I was unfolding the piece of newspaper and I was looking at the feather for a long time: its mystery was unreachable. “Look. The block of white stone was moving up fast and edgeways. I was sitting in a doorway and I was looking at the game of electric lights on the walls of the narrow lane. Sometimes I had the impression that I was the one who invented that entire story with the feather. The wind was sheering the bulb which illuminated the street and the concentric circles of the globe. I must have had my mouth and my eyes wide open. I was touching my cheek with its soft and silky shine and this caress was shuddering me as if an invisible person. the deserted field was completely changed. a little girl stopped in front of me. a flying statue… look quickly… it will soon disappear…” The little girl looked up attentively. like a balloon escaped from a child’s hand. with corpses of animals and rotten rubbish. In that precise moment. All of a sudden. holding hands and sliding in the sky like two skiers. but told me that she could see nothing. With Walter I hadn’t seen any of these things. Long ribbons of dust were raised on the road. knitting her brows. rising in spirals. During the next days I searched for him everywhere. the size of my fist. wrapped in a piece of newspaper. I always liked to stay outside until late. smelling horribly in the sun. like every certitude. All the day’s heat was condensed in an overwhelming atmosphere. shadowed on the walls. and that Walter never existed in reality. the last option was to meet him in the cellar. in quite unusual circumstances. because she asked me. a fattish creature with red cheeks like the rubber and hands always wet. In only a few seconds the statue became a simple white spot in the sky.well. Now. were swerving like a liquid agitated in a vase. Until that night I had only seldom spoken to her. Soon after this I got a feather which I was keeping secretly in my pocket. in front of me. astonished. At that moment I could guess an incontrollable certitude. what I was seeing up there. in a wrapping of wind. She was my neighbor. had touched my face with the top of the fingers. looking amazed at the sky. under a black sky cut by lightings. but still a real one. I could now see distinctly two white persons. but it was in vain. I gave up going to the cellar and so I never saw Walter again. I had the impression that a white marble statue is rising in the air. but when I went there. everywhere there were piles of garbage. very carefully. The first time I used it was one beautiful evening.
with a dress with furbelows and frills. during the sexual act. and finally I imposed to myself to be more cautious next time. and my inflamed imagination gave to his words a new meaning. sometimes separately: it was obvious that they mainly met in the hidings of a park and in the shadow of the ruined walls. The most surprising sequel of this adventure came some days after. one of which I was preoccupied during those days. submissive. and maybe we even stood in the very light… All these presumptions strengthened my conviction that. I was looking at the lime boiling when suddenly I heard someone calling my name and someone said aloud: “Aha. I think he was living in some house inside the dark passage. I finally concluded that maybe the passage wasn’t as obscure as I thought it was. which was blurring my sight and my whole senses. I raised her dress. under the weight of the excitation and possessed by it like by a heavy sleep in which I was moving unconsciously? In deep.“I know why you tricked me. I was possessed by a sort of dream. emerging like a phantom from the lime steams like an infernal apparition speaking in the middle of the fire and of the thunders. on the other side of the container. The children appeared in the drawings sometimes together. in the middle of some market. I called her in an obscure passage and she came without any resistance. There. with curly hair and velvet clothes. Maybe he told me something completely different. she said. holding my shoulders. a big reddish boy. Did the little boy have a feather. In every one of these drawings appeared the image of a blond little boy. and of a fattish little girl. extremely bewildering. Some masons were slaking lime in a container. a horrible and unbearable creature. I rised and ran after her. I only saw him screaming at me for one second no more. She let herself be handled. with a small black book. Who knows to what sort of aberrations my inflamed body and spirit could force me to accomplish: in full day. in an edition illustrated with many drawings. Maybe she was more surprised by what was going on. “Frida”. Still. The little boy looked exactly like Walter. I
. I know what you really want…” She began to move away from me jumping in one leg. and everything was visible. almost organic connection with the memory of the feather there is another one. I begun to look for it everywhere. I cannot believe he could have seen something in the compact darkness of that passage. the little book disappeared without traces. than aware of the indecency of the action itself. by Andre Theuriet. It was an ordinary novel. like me. with the feather… you like to do it with the feather…” He was a young man of about twenty years old. Some days after. thinking more about it. I once found it on a table and looked in it with a lot of interest. and kept it hidden in his pocket? You could not see it in the images and I didn’t have time to read the book. What were they doing together? This is what I wanted to know.
of all my hidden vices. a tender ashtray of green faience sculptured like an oak leaf. Anywhere my reason was heading towards. which surrounded me from everywhere like a water with mineral waves. or with its most far from understanding forms. in the simple and elementary remembering of Samuel Weber’s glasses with thick lentils: in these tiny ornaments and domestic things can I find the whole melancholy of my childhood. It was probably full of secrets and hidden truths if one couldn’t find it anywhere. but nobody ever heard of it. terrorized by their diversity. with slightly trembling glasses. an ordinary book. A tall. in front of the shortsighted man.asked of it in all the bookshops. and old photograph with fragile and obsolescent characters. in it is enclosed something from the bitter and authentic perfume of my childhood. The image of a small black book is still intact in my memory. who seemed to suffer from some serious internal disease. was sitting in the back of the hall. and there. I now had the concrete proof that “Frida” contained the most veiled and most thrilling revelations. meaninglessly. I got very close to his desk and murmured with a feeble voice the infamous title. it always met objects and immobilities. The raw matter -with its profound and heavy masses of soil. stirred by the series of objects continuously
. on a tall chair. I was bound to go to his table. or the colored statues. to pronounce the sensational word “Fri-da”. The librarian’s glasses begun to tremble more evidently on his nose. he closed his eyes as if he was searching for something in his memory and then told me distinctly that he “never heard” of it. the weir adventure of being a man. perpetuating in me. and that essential nostalgia of the world’s futility. always smelling of old ash. rocks. like a confession. Many years after this I found the book again. on the shelf of some forgotten bookshop. and I was tormenting myself during the endless nights.
In the minuscule and unimportant objects: a black bird’s feather. and this state of slavery was always hitting painfully my inner walls. like some sort of walls in front of which it had to kneel. the paper flowers. but a humble and miserable brochure. the trembling of his glasses was the proof of some interior trouble.always kept me prisoner. It was not my small book dressed in black fabric. But still. with yellowish covers. For a second no more I wanted to buy it. of the infinite forms of the matter. but I changed my mind and put it back again. the mirrors. pale man. and looked at me coming timidly. for me. the small glass spheres with their enigmatic interior spirals. One day I dared to enter in the building of a public library. There was no way back. I was thinking. sky and waters.
like a mechanical stair unfolded in thousands and thousands of steps. during the night. with his thin legs slopped like water. the sexual cavern… I don’t remember from where I got a small electric lantern and. then walking between horizontal trees. with strained attention. I was imagining. like black birds born from the black dust. I was hiding under the blanket and observing. in my bed. My father found me once. All the channels. I almost fainted. representing their positive image. But he didn’t scold me.the succession of all the shadows on the earth. or of a distinct object. and took it from me. I imagine. like those delicate fossils which reproduce in the rock the traces of some prehistoric shell of leaf. in order to stop the wave of things and colors which was flooding my brain. I would imagine the evolution of a single contour. so that all that is empty could become full. or from a gloomy aquarium. The shadows of the birds flying. in a positive structure of its caverns. unstable and aquatic like the common sadness which comes and goes. like a correct repertoire of the world. lost somewhere in the space of our round planet. and the present relief could simply become a void of an identical form. exploring with the lantern the unknown under the blanket. Sometimes. the outlandish and fantastic grey world that sleeps at the bottom of the so-called real life. with diaphanous branches. I was tremendously impressed by this photograph. for example –and this. sliding on the scum. that he couldn’t find in his common vocabulary the words and the morality which one could have applied to such an action. leaving behind only the delicate prints of their
.aligned in my remembrance. lying like a veil on the grass. but also of that elastic and warm and ineffable cavern. all the sinuses and all the holes were made of full matter. with arms of dark iron. The shadows of the ships fleeing on the sea. maddened by the lack of sleep and by the objects in the room that were continuously changing their place. in an intimate and aimless study. in my solitude: The black man. at midnight. And then the solitary shadow. of them. I was also thinking of the caves and the grottos and the unbearably deep precipices in the mountains. the folds of the sheet and the minuscule valleys between them. without any content. which macerated during the time-consuming epochs. all of a sudden I realized that the world could exist in a more authentic reality. I needed such a precise and minuscule occupation to calm down. I think that for him this discovery was so strange. Some years later I saw in an anatomy book a photograph with a wax casting of the ear’s interior.
full of complicated organs and bound to rotten. in the very front of the screen. It was exactly like the intimate and painful sensation which I often felt during the endless teenage wanderings. In such a world. sadly wandering around. like the air bubbles in the water. Exactly under the screen the orchestra was playing. when all of a sudden I would wake up in the core of a terrible isolation. there was a free show even from the entrance. a full crowd of shop-boys and tramps were eating sun-flower seeds and commenting the movie aloud. sour and acid like in a public bath. When I sometimes managed to get rid of the boring. The impression of spectacular reality was always inside me. appeared on the screen the cock of
. with somnambular people and cotton carriages. an amazing screen in which the street appeared in a dream-like greenish light. the real life had to be played falsely and artificially. certain amazing performances were particularly drawing my attention. but pure voids. purposeless. uniform vision of a colorless world. The titles were syllabified by some dozens of mouths in the same time. at the beginning of the movie. a violin player and an old Jew. The floor was cemented and the chair’s creaks sounded like some short and desperate screams. Two of these incredible shows were the cinema and the panopticon. with its carnival sideshow. people would stop being only these fleshy and colored excrescences. moldy. before the one inside the cinema. the objects formed different settings. moving softly in its waters. Oh! The cinema hall. precipitately playing the contrabass. because their artificiality and insincerity and the actors who played in them seemed to have understood completely the world’s sense of mystification. In the hall itself the atmosphere was hot. emphatic and obsolete aspect appeared hideous in front of my eyes. as if all the people and the houses around me had pasted up in a compact and shapeless mucilage. They were the only ones to know that. floating. in a spectacular and decorative universe. in which I was just a simple void.shape. Seen as a whole. in which a part of the street was reflected: thus. its theatrical. He was screaming cock-a-doodle-doo when. through the humid and supple substance of the full universe.
Within the framework of this general show. and I had the feeling that everything evolves in the middle of a sad and fictional show. This old man also had the mission to utter different sounds according to the actions on the screen. long and dark like a sunken submarine! Its entrance doors were covered with crystal mirrors. like the texts for an adult school. composed of a woman piano player. in the first rows.
It sometimes happened that the film absorbed my attention to such an extent that all of a sudden I had the impression that I was walking in the parks on the screen. I would close my eyes and wait until de mechanical grind of the equipment announced me that the movie continued. There was something precarious and artificial in this atmosphere. through an excess of perfectionism. integrating myself into the action like a true character of the drama. as if they had to consume a certain quantity of energy in themselves. illuminated directly by the screen. with her face powdered like plaster. I remember. or that I am leaning on the balustrade of the Italian terraces on which Francisca Bertini was acting pathetically. but still not knowing how to use it. was screaming stridently looking straight into my eyes. that of its own fire. like an honest premonition that the cinema is burning down and. From everywhere burst screams and short shouts. for a few seconds. without making any step towards the exit. like a sort of calm and inoffensive batteries which explode when their capacity of recharging was violently exceeded. then I was finding again the hall submerged in darkness. he started to hit frenetically with the bow in his contrabass’ box. at the moment of the resurrection. resembling some revolver shots. the “tremendous fire” was extinguished. in order to imitate the celestial thunders. A young lady. but still they kept screaming. silent and obscured until then. A muscled pretzels-seller. when the life of Jesus was presented. Suddenly an ample and very sonorous boom was
. much more uncertain and ephemeral than the action on the screen. pale and transfigured like a gallery of marble statues. and all the persons around me. in a museum illuminated by the moon at midnight. The strip of celluloid had broken and took fire immediately. the cinema took fire. When light was turned on during the breaks. was raising one by one the wooden chairs and was throwing them towards the screen. the flames appeared on the screen. convinced of the usefulness of his physical power in this kind of situations.the cinematographic house. so that. had been gathering in themselves only howls and rumble. to present the last and the most thrilling information. and once. And anyway there is no clear difference between our real person and our different imaginary interior personages. In only few minutes and even before half of the watchers had been evacuated. with disheveled hair and arms agitating as through transparent veils. a sort of logical continuation of the function of the projector to present the “latest news” and whose mission thus made it. at the same time. I was living the episodes in the movie with an extraordinary intensity. the hall seemed like coming back from very far away. “Fire! Fire!”. Once. in only one second the hall was filled with so much noise that it seemed that the watchers.
Only one human being in the whole city could understand these things. This general and elementary impression of spectacular was becoming a real terror as soon as I entered a panopticon with wax figures. She was showing her sex to the passers-by. when it was almost dark. to be a fool! I was thinking. She alone in the midst of these rigid persons. having been employed with another purpose. and unfortunately I had to confess to myself. I think that if once the instinct of having a goal in life will flourish in me.heard: one of the chairs had hit the old musician’s contrabass. through its daily rigor. essential and irremediable in my true being. in a world subjected to the most theatrical effects and obliged every evening to perform a correct sunset. She wandered on the streets all ragged and dirty and toothless and crazily-raveled-red-haired. Therefore I could see that during my absence the world had experienced an immense and essential transformation. The light outside had changed. the ending day was dying slowly. infinitely sad. that I was separated by he extreme freedom of a lunatic’s existence by a whole chain of strong and stupid familiar habits and a strong and crushing rational education. In the summer I was entering at the matinee and getting out in the evening. for example towards the night. Oh. had kept intact her freedom to scream and to dance in the street whenever she felt like. all just a package of prejudices and conventions. I was entering then in the middle of a complete certitude which. with a gesture which. and I admired her without any boundaries: she was the town’s fool. what a sublime and splendid thing. In the somber light of the carbide lamps I was feeling like truly living my own destiny. pitiful for the seriousness with which they were consuming their modest lives and for the naivety of their occupations. holding close in her arms. I think that someone who never had this feeling is condemned to forever ignore the true amplitude of the surrounding world. unique and impossible to imitate. its diaphanous and spectacular flow on the way to the unknown. appeared to me of an endless melancholy. then my body should become a wax statue in a panopticon and my life. and if this impulse will be related to something really profound. an old little wooden coffer filled with dry bread and various objects gathered from the rubbish. while the people around me appeared like some poor beings. The cinema was always full of surprises. a sort of sad obligation to continue endlessly its regular flow. It was one of those fears intermingled with a drop of vague pleasure and somehow with that weird feeling that any one of us has that he already lived in a certain place. with a motherhood tenderness. could have been qualified as “stylish and elegant”. All of my daily actions could be mixed like a pack of
. a simple and endless contemplation of the exhibitions from the panorama.
and a blonde wig which had begun to peel off at the edge of the forehead. belonging. and he let me see it. My friend was standing in the doorway. undiscovered until then. and only there. The uniform holed by bullets and stained with blood of a certain Austrian archduke. was of an undeniable evidence. were staring at me. he kept a strip of black silk. with a yellow and sad figure. the clearer her true meaning appeared to me. I would stay like this. while his parents were sleeping. but which only lingered in me like a very distant rhythm. Another object which perturbed me immeasurably when I first saw it was a gipsy ring. In the panopticon. for example. the world’s diversity was swallowing them in the same shapeless monotony. the people’s irresponsibility towards their actions. the silk was moldy in some places. he would come back after some minutes. persisting somewhere deep inside me like a word which I would have wanted to remember. immobile. Just to let me see it he would ask me stamps and even money. in a crystal box was lying a woman dressed in black laces. bewildered of stupefaction and pleasure. take the strip from my hands and put it back into the mahogany box and say to me: “Your time is over. the ultramodern and ultra stylised tails of the birds of paradise. holding the delicate strip of silk. through their strange and artificial immobility. her face shiny and pale. with an incredibly red rose between her breast. to the world’s true matter. the oxidized
. The more I contemplated her. while on her nostrils the red color of the powder was still palpitating. After the payment he would introduce me in a small oldfashioned saloon. I have always been fascinated by women’s uncontrollable appetite for the artificial objects. and was attentive to see if someone was coming. It was definitely the most fantastic ring which a man could ever invent to adorn a woman’s hand. cheaply ornamented. A friend of mine was collecting the most diverse things he could find. It had been obviously torn from some old ball dress. It was out of the question for that woman not to have a deep. adorned with infinitely delicate lace on the borders and sewed with some shiny sequins. even the most conscientious ones. Her blue eyes. in a mahogany box. It didn’t matter that it was me or another person who was committing them. The birds’. flowers’ and animals’ extraordinary ornaments. troublesome significance. you must go now”.playing cards. I didn’t care for any of them. The wax characters were the only true thing in the whole universe. limpid as only glass can be. all having a very precise sexual role. they were the only ones to falsify the life in the purest and evident manner. was infinitely more tragic than any real death. just as Clara used to do sometimes in the cabin. there was no contradiction between what I was doing and what was going on.
The bronze of the rest of the statue gets then the tragic significance of a noble suffering. how the yellow beautiful feet of the young bride in the glass box curl in the air. The stained glass throws in the altar the last reflections of the red sunset. at the combats with the Turks or at the royal assassinations. elusive. attacking love in its most darkened regions. I am sure that the artist who made it had been inspired by the same visions in the panopticon. delicately surrounds the head with white gypsum jewels. form its deepest essence. Except for the panopticon. the hysterical lace of the petunias’ petals.feathers of the pea-cock. In time these statues lose their heads or some limb and their owner. and in this atmosphere filled with airy blood and odorizing faint. to witness. All these things emigrated in the real life from the panopticon. I have only one single supreme desire in life: to assist to the burning of a panopticon. All this microscopic landscape was surrounded by small Titian leaves and other mysterious signs. Hallucinating… Everything that is imitated makes a deep impression on me. which. looked exactly like the fights in the panoramas through which I was looking at the magnified sunk ships. forgotten in an eternity without echoes. especially the artificial flowers and the funeral garlands. in order to repair them. near the pornographic red of the women’s garters. grotesque and hideous article. forgotten and dusty in their oval glass boxes in the cemetery’s church. actually a simple piece of glass melted until it got to a lentil’s thickness. the August fair was every time bringing with it the same
. while the untouchable sex between them is consumed by a real. the livid pallor of the infuriated waves in the core of a macabre light. while the lilies at the Christ’s feet exhale at this exact hour of the day the plenitude of their heavy. gathered in the same place. surrounding with an obsolete delicateness anonymous old names. the improbable blue color of the monkeys’ intimate parts are only pale attempts towards sexual ornamentation comparing to the dazzling gipsy ring. at its very basement. a veritable sexual scream. especially these. In the fair’s panorama I can find the common place of all these nostalgias scattered in the world. The ring’s stone. I’m also impressed by the cut-out images with which the children play and the cheap statues in the fairs. a pale young man plays at the organ the last notes of a desperate melody. lugubrious perfume. In the ring I could see a bouquet of flowers chiseled in the cheap metal and painted with the aggressive colors of the panopticon: the violet of the corpses dead by asphyxiation. It was a superb. devouring flame. speechless. I also like the natural-sized statues of Jesus in the catholic churches. or the semi-obscurity of the glass sepulchers. made of cheap metal. to see the slow and scabrous melting of the wax statues.
which lasts until the heroic ending. The chilly night winds were wafting above the viewers’ heads and far away up there the cold stars were shining glassily. but not the chirp of a tinned spoon on a ceramic plate. In only a few days the fair was completely settled. not the jingle of an engine.sadness and exaltation. all of a sudden. with its dozens of necklaces of tinted lamps. which were coming long before everything else. thumps and fanfares. and the boulevard was becoming an enlightened corridor. it was the easily recognizable clatter of the “Wheel of Fortune”. a circle of colored flamboyances was suddenly inflamed. In the obscurity of the boulevard. followed by the immense silence of the deserted field. the façade bewildered with light of the circus and finally the obscure and humble barracks of the photographers. through which I would pass bewildered. inside. with few artists. with the director. at the beginning of a concert. on the
. who was incumbent to a submarine’s window. like a very primordial constellation. like foam. We were lost in a fair barrack. complete and definitive. others were following. the district composed of the panoramas of monstrousness. looking at the mysterious marine phosphorescence. Well established sectors sectioned it into regions of shadows and lights. soon after all the colors. In the multitude of the everyday noises one could suddenly hear a slight sharp sound. the performance had an improvised and clumsy aspect. a collective and reduced price for our numerous family. the area of the restaurants. floating in the deep ocean’s darkness. Its oversized performance was swelling like a real symphony. just like a young boy of my age whom I saw in an illustrated edition of a Jules Verne novel. and were indicating the general rhythm of the festival. The visitors were walking in circles. passing from the highest luminosity to the deepest darkness. It was enough for the first to be installed. Soon. all the glitters and the full smell of carbide of the complete fair had already filled the town. Firstly. which didn’t even have a roof. which was passing alternatively through different typographic spheres of white and black. the theme of the whole composition. like at the Judgment Day. The few panoramas which were coming earlier basically enclosed in themselves the whole fair. The halo of barracks was finally organized. We usually entered some small and badly illuminated panorama. where my father could bargain at the entrance. presenting it in its most minuscule detail. the very same every year. like the moon in my geography book. gone astray through the night’s chaos. nor the distant tinkling of a set of keys. like the secluded and prolonged sounds which announce. exploding of screams. starting from the prelude of the isolated panoramas. There. in the evening.
from time to time. whose chaos. he was murmuring quite aloud: “Well. young girls were twisting their fragile bodies and anemic and skeletal children. an artist promised in front of the public to offer a prize of five thousand lei to the person able to imitate the sensational and extremely easy number which he would perform. suddenly changed his place. getting closer with some benches to the stage. taking his hand from his collar. inhaled deeply and then. In that precise point of that planet. Some moments of terrible silence followed. dogs jumping through circles of fire and walking on two paws. it is all about expiring from the neck the smoke of a cigarette.infinitesimal point of a lonesome planet. decided to observe carefully the artist’s slightest gesture. which he probably got after some surgery. immediately after lunch. somewhere far. pale and skinny old men were swallowing in front of their public stones and soap. released a delicate trickle of blue smoke. high and strait. in the heated stuffiness. leaving aside the salty boiled corn they had eaten up until then. while a solitary barrel organ. the artist on the stage answered him: “Please. with their goggled eyes and their tanned crests. insisted in elapsing its asthmatic waltz. please. in one of these poor barracks. he said with a profoundly raucous voice. in order to reproduce it later and take the prize. A warm and familiar smell of food was coming from the barracks. sure.” He lit a cigarette.
. liberated from the mass of a pool of water. A very fat man. he became all red and. The artist got close to the footlights: “Gentlemen. bewildered by this unprecedented possibility to gain an enormous amount of money in that meager panorama. That fat man from the first rows remained for some seconds speechless and bewildered. men and dogs were acting on an offhand stage. Where exactly was all this happening? The immensity of the sky above us seemed even more immeasurable… Once. he has a devilish machine in his neck!” Imperturbable. acquired suddenly an unexplainable melancholy of paralyzed life. The immobility of the wooden horses. men throwing in the air different objects and then catching them again. I’m not surprised. were going up on the stage and were dancing with small bells tied to their trousers. come and try”. and maybe he was honestly willing to give a prize to this unknown fellow in suffering… In these barracks. was gushing a metallic whistling note. the fair’s desolation was limitless. During the day. of course he can do it. where he had kept it up until then. through the orifice of an artificial larynx. known in town to be of an extreme avarice. while going back to his initial place. in order to earn a living. far away. We were only few of us sitting on the low benches. like a sudden spout.
appeared to the boy in the photograph. without any effort and as a logical sequel of the simple fact that I was staying on my chair looking at the screen. unknown to me. My whole life. but. there. a statue. gone on a trip in the same picturesque place.
. from the center to the periphery.What I liked most of all was to sit for hours in front of the photographers’ barracks. I was imagining myself living in the intimacy of the scenes of the movie. indifferent and meaningless. all of a sudden. The fact that I was moving. I. on the outskirts of the fair. were they were taken into photograph one after the other. as if it was me and not another lying on the street and looking up to the surrounding world. and this sudden meeting with myself. which we cannot reconstruct again the next day. just as the living me found absurd the wanderings through unknown regions of the other me. because we see in its place. turned into stone and smiling. But anyway. the truly existing me. I was experiencing very often this reversal of the mental positions. in front of the unknown photographer’s barrack. Before getting back to my town. in front of the grey landscapes with cascades and distant mountains. All these people. In the same way. the life of the little person of flesh and blood and staying on the other side of the show case. I could suddenly see the whole scenery of the street accident from the point of view of the blessed person. in groups or alone. that I was alive. was just a simple coincidence. and formed by the same decorative elements. a naked woman or a landscape. was walking my own character in totally different places. contemplating through that dirty and dusty window ceaselessly new perspectives. For example. the nomadic image.even though everything had stayed intact. It was from this perspective that I saw myself. stopping near a street accident. a meaningless one. It would come stealthily and change all of a sudden my interior body. always looking at the world with different eyes and with the same eyes at different places. integrated to the same landscape. and never understanding a thing from what was going on. for a few minutes I was looking at the whole scene like any other observant near me. had on me a somehow depressing effect. all of a sudden. immobilized in a fix attitude. in the place of the motionless boy staring at me from the cardboard. For one second I had the feeling that the real me was the one in the photo. and I had the distinct feeling that the blood is flowing out from me. the whole perspective was changing and –exactly like in that game consisting in seeing in the walls’ painting some sort of a weird animal. looked like the members of the same family. in the most different occasions. contemplating the unknown persons. it had surely traveled in other places as well. Once I saw my own photo in the window one of these itinerant studios. In the same way in which the photograph representing me was rambling from place to place.
while outside the fanfare of the big circus. representing a splendid park with Italian terraces and marble columns. disheveled and dirty. with its hands crossed on his chest. seemed immersed in an ineffable state of bliss. borrowed for free from its director. The child’s parents and some other women were crying desperately around the coffin. the music was nothing but pure noise. just like. were lowering their foreheads from the beautiful settings and their nocturnal existence of acrobats.
. in full day light. in the intimacy of his profound peace and the limitless silence of that park with old and aristocratic plane trees. In those moments. the same eyes. where the artists and the monsters from the barracks. having the same pale face. the uncovered coffin was laying on two chairs. the saddest piece in the whole program. In that precise second. with bracelets of silver tinsel around his thin wrists. The doors of the panorama were wide open and inside. desolated and deserted. free and even luxurious in front of the barracks. just as if it was possible for me to exist on the other side of the window. the dead boy was surely extremely happy and tranquil. as if that reality was something completely different. I could also exist here. was transformed into an irrelevant and uninteresting familiarity. in this world. the entire world’s uselessness. in order to be taken to the cemetery. all of a sudden. as I removed my fingers for one second. In this dream-like scenery. when I was listening to a fanfare and suddenly covered my ears. I realized that death itself was borrowing from the fair’s implausible and nostalgic backgrounds. in the humid and cold grave destined to him. They were bewildering me. dressed in his best clothes. I was always receiving from the exterior different warnings which tried to immobilize and estrange me from the usual comprehension. behind them.because. I was wandering through the fair the whole day. and all these traces were composing in the mirror a rapid and weird figure. the little body. in front of the photographic background. gravely intoned a serenade from “Intermezzo”. stopping me and resuming. The background image was printed on cheap fabric. there. but even more on the surrounding fields. which actually became the one of the entire world. The park remained behind him. bodiless women and sirens. in the common paste and in the sad filth of their irremediable humanity. One day I participated in the funeral of the child of one of the strolling photographers. What looked admirable. the same colorless hair. everything appeared to me chaotic. But soon after he was wrested from that solemnity and put into a cart. gathered around the huge boiler with hot polenta. hardly understandable.
The other familiar advertisement was that of a transport company. Ozy Weber was coming as well to drink from the miraculous source. upholstered with old advertisements. In the darkness of a corner. and on a wall. spilling the healing liquid to the crippled crushed at her feet. or in that chamber with one infinite wall. The old Samuel Weber (agent & commissioner) together with his two sons. with his thin arms like flutes and the hunch of his chest visible under the clothes like the turkey’s swollen sternum. I am sure that in the mysterious hours of the deep night. It had a moldy smell. Some of these. and the dust and the heat were flowing in front of the old china-closets. spinning the iron wheel. through the office. invaded by the desolating aureoles. facing the street. When the old man was closing a register and gripping it in the pressing machine. a mirror was strangely reflecting a
. still served as an office. looking exactly like the mysterious and still very clear world in which I was transported by my childhood crises. were completely integrated in the family life. consumed in the dreary light of the panopticon. The beds had been moved to the first floor. which. having stayed on the walls for years. with its ship flowing over the elegant waves. Ozy was spending his life reading popular novels. dressed in diaphanous veils. completed the person of Samuel Weber with a mariner’s trait. The whole afternoons the rooms were sunny. was living downstairs. lost in surreal beauties and in the photographers’ unbelievable panoramas. with the living example of certain pale existences. filled with registers and big envelopes containing samples of cereals. where I would go quite often after the death of the old Etla Weber. stained by the flies. The pink cotton filling his ears was hanging in long plies and was surely a very wise measure of safety against the sea’s currents. looked like a real panopticon. filled with obsolescent things. he looked like manipulating a real ship’s rudder on the unknown seas. together with his captain’s cap and his glasses with thick lentils. Thus the fair was becoming for me a deserted island. thrown one on top of the other on the shelves. from the beginning of life itself till its end. Paul and Ozy. rising up the volume in order to place it in the thin light coming from the street. The first room. a metal spittoon in the form of a huge cat was shining monumentally. the advertisement of some mineral water was representing a tall and thin woman.destined to prove the infinite melancholy of the artificial ornaments. and the rooms were now uninhabited. Above the money safe. sunk into the depths of a leather armchair. In the second room.
The upper floor of the Weber family’s house.
some moments ago Matilda came (there was no Matilda) and gave me a massage. otherwise from where to spend so much with the dancers in the music hall?” First of all. I had the feeling that I just woke up from a very deep sleep. and doctor Caramfil (he existed for real) prescribed me some medicine. if the bird had truly appeared before our eyes. I was answering to him in the same manner. But the dream continued. in the same time. floating detached from us in the room’s heights. until the whole conversation was becoming of a sort of airy independence. without raising his yes from the book: “The head pill I took last night to make me sweat made me cough terribly. Didn’t they know that it is possible to speak seriously about anything?
. I would come to see Ozy. I told you that he is making false money…” “Well sure. When I was getting out in the street again. like a curious bird. I was mostly attracted by a sort of strange game. and not to reveal the inexistence of the things we were talking about.square of grey light. performed with the deepest seriousness. I told him (even though we were in plain July). but well. It’s a true pity that the doctor… you know. I was entering. more than by the fact that our words had nothing to do with ourselves. who was living nearby and about whom I knew with certainty to go to sleep every night at 9 o’clock. and Ozy was telling me with a terribly dry voice. Maybe I should have got out of the room immediately. The game consisted of an imaginary dialogue. and under what circumstances. just like the dogs which enter the unknown yards just because they see an open door and nobody chases them away. with a minuscule voluptuousness to descend at his lever of inferiority. a sort of ghostlike memory of the outside light.” The absurdity and the stupidity of the things told by Ozy were hitting my forehead like hammers. and I was looking in deep amazement at the people on the street. and we wouldn’t have been amazed by its exterior existence. but. I think this was the main secret of our game. We had to remain somber until the end. in these words I felt first of all the disgusting pleasure of surrounding myself in the dialogue’s mediocrity and. mingling the real things with the imaginary ones. “I have a cold as well. speaking with each other very solemnly. which I don’t even remember by whom it was invented. a vague impression of freedom. I added. We could speak about basically anything. he was arrested this morning…” Ozy raised his eyes from the book: “Well. Until the morning I tossed in my sheets. I could calumniate freely the poor doctor.
a curtain of pearls served as a door. I felt like living in a world which I had known for a long time. and in the lower part of the image. with big hands and bristling hair. which is being looked at through he thickest lentils of a pair of opera glasses. when for example the photographs corresponded to the people existing and moving in this world. under it being written porte visite or souvenir. In the evening. and he was going up to change his clothes. like the mortuary garlands. He had big. between all these there was an air of perfect understanding.Sometimes Ozy didn’t feel like talking and then he was taking me upstairs. Some letter was falling aside. I could also find old photographs with ladies dressed in crinolines and meditative gentlemen with one finger pressed to their foreheads. thick lips and a clown’s nose. different objects with unknown monograms. a scenery which remained the same one in all its components. Everything Paul was doing had. my body was strangely detached from this existence. as if they had their own independent life. written with discolored ink. in order to detach the stamps. but this was a life reduced to a smaller scale. a sort of tired conclusion of the passage of time since when it was written and a quiet sleep into the eternity. his wardrobe was upstairs. like in a theatre’s scenery. smiling anemically. There was something sad and resigned in it. that space had become a true menagerie of the most diverse and extraordinary things and inventions. Their glass was slightly trembling when I would walk on the old floors. but still is incredibly minuscule and distant.
. which were quickly trying to hide between the sheets. we often met Paul Weber on the stairs. two angels carrying a basket with fruits and flowers. I was coming from downstairs a little bit dizzy by the day’s heat. in the limit of the paper and of the photographs. in the first room. From the yellowish papers would fall aged dust and odd insects. when we were descending. I searched in the drawers especially for old letters. This feeling was more profound when I had to pass from one room to another. a hot sun was entering through the dusty windows without curtains. The complete wilderness of the room was troubling me. In those years since it had been deserted and because of old Weber’s habit to send there all the useless objects. to rummage between the old things. Between the photographs and the objects on the shelves –the elegant fruit dish of pink glass with beclouded margins. He was a reddish boy. in a narrowed space. In the rooms. and in his eyes shone an incredibly calm and resting candor. through the curtain of pearls. the velvet purses which did not contain anything else than the silk eaten by the moths. when the letters were written by real warm hands. but of which I had no memory. identical to the past one. between the rooms. opening and revealing an out-of-fashion and complicated calligraphy.
but not like a memory. There was in his debauchery a sort of fatality against which old Weber’s will was running without any power. and soon after he brought inside the element lacking from the whole picture. I loved him very much. the uselessness and the boredom which were consuming their lives. the young girls in the garden laughing stupidly. as if the world. didn’t allow me more than to verify its obsolete content in my deepest self. all these things were melting and then combining together in a general and trivial aspect. only Paul was outside them. All things were simple. more distant and ephemeral.
. Another time I heard that he bathed with a woman in champagne. and already having a definitive form. I was keeping deep inside me all his gestures and his most minuscule attitudes. another one. But what wasn’t rumored about him? I am incapable of defining my sympathy for Paul. completely inaccessible and obscured to my understanding. Paul was the most enigmatic and delicate wax figure. and this smile of his persisted even in the most serious conversations. a very detached and indifferent air.because of this innocent look. At the upper floor of the Weber house. as if our conversation had. Very often I tried to walk like him. until I thought I could reproduce it perfectly. having been waiting for too long inside me. but rather like a double existence. a pale woman with gestures and steps of silent mechanism… thus the upper floor completed the gallery in the panopticon. the merchants with cunning and immodest eyes. I mostly loved Paul for the secret life he was leading outside his daily occupations. I was studying intensely one of his gestures and I was repeating it in front of the mirror. starting with the old ship captain Samuel Weber and ending with the delicate and mangled and infantile phenomenon named Ozy Weber. Once the whole town rumored that Paul had unhorsed all the horses at the carriages in the central market place and had taken them inside the music hall. my father’s theatrical necessity to play his role of father. I liked the simplicity of his speech and the smile he had on his face. but secretly. and even when he was talking business with his old father. where he improvised a sort of circus. the awful tiredness of the beggars sleeping in the dirty corners. in the middle of a density of compact life. Paul was spending all his money with the artists of the music hall. and my heart was beating faster when I would meet him on the stairs. to which the most eminent drunkards of our town participated. and about which I only knew from the distant echoes whispered with stupefaction by the adults around me. and then. I could very well notice the mediocrity of the grown-ups around me. except for its basic meaning.
A long time these paintings intrigued me. opacities which suddenly become transparent and show us the profoundness of a room. the world’s surfaces suddenly got weird sheens and uncertain opacities like the curtains’. There were also certain frames made from juxtaposed small shells. Who had glued the shells? To whom belonged the hand which performed the tiny living gestures in order to unite them? In these kind of defunct and minor works of art I could suddenly perceive entire lives. only decipherable under the magnifying glass. But behind the objects which intrigued me no light had ever been turned on.I could also find old and melancholic things on another upper floor. everything was made of words describing the lives of the king and of the queen. which made me contemplate them for hours and hours. intermingled with the spite of not having observed before that essential secret as well as with a growing mistrust into my modest perceptions: if for so many years I had contemplated the drawing without even suspecting their true matter. the misunderstanding with which I had been looking at the drawings and the distrust in the anonymous artist’s mastery into a limitless admiration. even though sometimes their surface seemed to become thinner and almost translucent. when a light is being turned on behind them. worked with a fanatical attention for the detail. beautifully painted with yellow and crimson stripes. because their traits were very delicate and firm. grayish. with thick frames of golden wood or in thinner frames of red plush. its funnel overturned. But one day I made an amazing discovery: what I had thought to be a fainted color was actually an amass of minuscule letters. two of them representing the King Charles I and Queen Elisabeth. and on the table were different stamps. wasn’t it possible. lost in the shadows of time like the images in two parallel mirrors. all of a sudden. I honestly thought that the artist was very talented. but I could not understand why he used an ash-like painting. My stupefaction converted. just as clearly as the words composing the two images with the royal couple? Around me. In the whole drawing there was not even one single trait made with the pencil or the brush. the one in my grandfather’s house. and they remained forever hermetically enclosed in their volumes and sizes. hidden in the greenish depths of the dream. to misunderstand the meaning of all the things around me and their significance inscribed in their very tissue. Here the walls were covered with strange paintings. like an enormous portion of vanilla and rose ice-cream. discolored as if the paper had been kept for a long time in water. revealing to the deprived human understanding their true meaning. because of an equal short-sightedness.
. In a corner rested the noble gramophone.
fearless and without any particular fear of the void. every night before going to sleep. where the minuscule trains were crossing the brittle bridge like mechanic toys. He probably had his dream of the magic vehicle in the same place and in the same circumstances as me. In order to avoid up there the feeling of out-of-commonness. The intimacy of the cave combined with the pleasure of gazing at the street from a comfortable position had given me the idea of a vehicle similar in size and smoothness. which would have finally transformed me into a sort of man-bird. from whose walls pleasant images were flowing.The floor had many more other curiosities. and so I asked him if he used to hide in the windows’ caves. I wanted to lead my “normal” life on the roof and only there. and I would open the windows towards the street. I would have felt inside my body weights more elastic and more vaporous. I was convinced that only the care not to fall was the heaviest thing in me. and he answered that he had wanted deeply to have a miraculous vehicle. and sometimes even fell asleep there. while crossing the world. I was climbing through there to the roof. and the thought that I am at a big height was rowing over me like a pain which I would have liked to wrest from its deepest roots. I asked him which was in that epoch his most secret and burning desire. grey and amorphous. Once. I knew that in his childhood he was sleeping in the upper room. My secret wish was to reach a state of equilibrium equal with the one I had down there on the ground. for example. I was thinking that if I managed to do this. with tiny windows through which one could to look at the different cities and unknown landscapes. one of them opening through a little aperture towards the roof. besides the cursed spaces secreting vertigos and faints. with soft cushions on which to lie on. I understood then that in the world there were also. in which to lie on while crossing the whole world. belonging only to itself. the aspect of the street as seen through the front windows. to look down at the street. more benevolent places. all bewildered. that indeed. forming some sort of caves in which one could sit very comfortably. He answered. The whole town unfolded at my feet. he entered in one of those warm caverns and stayed there for hours and hours. The walls being very thick. while my father was recounting for me some of his childhood memories. till far away to the fields. I was entering one of them like I would a small glass chamber. to move in the subtle and sharp air of the heights. the windows entered deep in their flesh. I
. The walls of my cave were filtering the fragile reverie of a vehicle crossing the world and the person lying in that exact place was slowly impregnated by this idea like by a wobbly hashish smoke… The upper floor also had two attics.
I could only find other three or four. I was sliding every cherry in four and I was eating them one by one. he begun his work with a lot of zeal. After some days I saw him dead in the same chamber. like hollowed foam. while bringing from the pump in the yard the big buckets of water. to eat or to sleep. where he had made his old age’s refuge. with a shivering but emotionless voice. When this was done. Before he died I used to go and visit him in that chamber every day. after having dressed a new white shirt in order to make the payer sound more solemn. which he recited by himself. He died in the humid and petty little chamber built for him in the yard.always tried to do something precise and commonplace: to read. I would hurry there to see how many cherry stones had got into it. lying on a metal table for his last toilet. but their resemblance was striking: they had both the same round head as a small sphere. and there was no point in my trying to prolong it by remaining there longer. I was striving to throw its stone down on the street. alive and penetrating. When I was finishing one. The time was probably becoming more concentrated on the roof. the same looks in their eyes. which seemed around me so dense and still were so instable. always ready to leave aside their meaning and their temporary contour in order o appear under the form of their exact existence… The upper floor decomposed piece by piece and object by object after my grandfather’s death. on the clock’s green faience dial I could also see that only some minutes passed since I had gotten up there. and I assisted to the dead’ prayer. he brought it in the chamber
. on the earth. of indefinite. This uncle requested from my family to wash the dead and. That meant that I had eaten only few cherries. I was taking the cherries and the slices of bread given by my grandfather and I was going up on the roof. around it. covered with shiny white hairs. in a big bucket placed in front of a shop. He was shaking from head to toes. and out of where he didn’t want to go but for his last walk. so that this “normal” occupation of mine would last as long as possible. Back down I always had to face the fact that less time had passed than I thought. There were always only three or four. and the same rare beard. while I had had the impression of having spent up there on the roof hours and hours… In my grandfather’s room. to warm it in the kitchen. but what mostly disappointed me was that. of unfinished… time down here was more sparse than in reality. although old and crippled. This somehow strengthened my weird feeling. on the eve of his death I was there as well. When I was going down. My grandfather had a younger brother. it contained less matter than on the heights and was thus participating to the fragility of all things.
What else could people do in such a day other than burry their dead? In the heat and the torpor of the air. I finished. netting nervously and mischievously from his fingers. as seen through a magnifying glass. wresting the wisp of straws from the old uncle’s hand. in all directions. and he probably sunk happily in it…The
. their gestures were the same as hundreds of years ago. in the vapors of the heat. turned upside down. sobbing bitterly: “Look what I’ve become… look where my black days brought me… you’re dead now and I’m washing you… poor me… why did I have to live so long… until this miserable moment…” With his coat’s sleeve he was wiping his cheeks. and always. The body was on the table. You really think you finished? You think this is how a dead man should be buried? In this state of filth?” The poor old man remained bewildered in the middle of the room. amazingly similar. After about one hour my grandfather’s brother finished. said the little man again. While rubbing. The two old men. Now let’s dress him…” “Aha! You think you finished. when people and things seem a little bit bigger. and his beard wet with tears and then washed the body even more zealously. “Did you finish?” asked someone from the group.and begun to wash the body with soap for linen and wisps of straws. The workers in the cemetery. who was taking away their job. They were talking between them in whispers. looking at every one of us and begging us with his eyes to defend him. The wet grave aspired the dead man in its coolness and its darkness. one dead and the other one washing him. introduced it with a rapid move in the dead body’s anus and got out on it a bit piece of excrement… “You see you have no idea how a dead body should be washed? said he. and knew that he didn’t deserve any insult. “Yes. were forming a quite hallucinating image. He knew how carefully he had washed the body. with a wisp of straws in his hand. he was crying and –as if my grandfather heard what he was sayingwas talking to him in whispers. continued impudently the little man and. were sitting in a corner. “Now I will learn you to mind your own business”. then and now. went to the table. who were usually doing this job. receiving for this tips from the whole family. a little man with a reddish goatee. answered the dead man’s brother. smoking and spitting on the floor. ironically. You wanted to bury him with this dirt inside him?” My grandfather’s brother was shaken by a violent shiver and burst into heavy tears… The funeral took place during a very hot summer day: nothing sadder and more impressive than a funeral in full warmth and sunshine. looking with rancor at this intruder.
but he had his usual smile. on a platform. while around me some hens were pecking grains in the grass. The few trees in the yard became dark like Japanese silhouettes. until it dissolved into the unique metallic wire of the lonely flute. as on a clown. mingled with the fresh smell of the wet hay in the stable: there I saw Paul doing something extraordinary. its rhythm was swallowing and growing and seemed to cheer up. white. there were the hotel’s stables and a mound from where I was looking towards far away. from the yard came the breeze of the sad waltz.clods fell heavy on the wooden boards. more and more. tilting her head towards him when she wanted to whisper him something. at the beginning of a sort of devotion. Finally. kept leading on the surface of the earth their imperious lives. Some wedding cakes were brought on the table. the bride was waiting on her large armchair. There was an especially monumental
. all the town’s beggars and vagabonds were gathered in front of the gate. a sad. This was the wedding. and I saw Edda for the first time… The tables for the guests were arranged one near the other. In the badly-illuminated hall. He was a little tired during the wedding. from time to time. At the back of the yard nobody was coming. I was the small clown. night came. It was a horribly long day. I was containing its most secret and most intimate ridiculousness. his red and hairless neck was moving strangely. on a single line. opened in the front. the pale young misses in dresses of blue and pink silk were offering small silver candies to everyone. the tails of his dress coat were hanging grotesquely. who knows. forced smile. Under the rigid collar. the sky had an indefinite color of yellow clay. maybe a joke. Paul had concentrated in his person the whole grave ridiculousness of the ceremony. near Paul. leaving her soft arm between his fingers and thus caressing him on the full length of his white glove. his trousers seemed longer and narrower than usual. unnoticed and insignificant. At the back of the dark saloon. Her face was covered with white veils and only when she came back from under the canopy did she raise them. while the people in dusty clothes. but then the tempo was becoming frail again. The musicians were creaking an old.
Paul Weber got married some days after the funeral. he was talking with Ozy and it was obvious he was saying something funny. sweaty and tired. because the cripple begun to laugh and he became violet. almost suffocating under the curved front of his starched shirt. the bride was sitting always on the platform. a whole day is too much for a wedding. sad waltz. hollowing in the obscurity a mysterious and invisible park. in the yard.
The petals of the sugar flowers covering it had a frosted and oily shine. tall and splendid like dead princesses. which made her bow her head and close her eyes. the wind was putting his wintry cheek on mine. with uncovered pine boards. A tiny noise was echoing in my ears. was something happening. They were carrying in their arms halves of cows. growing in the room’ pale light and ramifying in thousands of crenels. richly ornamented. The room in which I woke up smelled like morose smoke. as if reproaching me to be dressed up so early in the morning. red and dark blue. the thin smoke was flowing in multiple layers.the room was immaterially filled with all kinds of volutes. my sight grew blurred. I met on my way a gentleman in long floss-silk night shirt. through which I had to squeeze to the door. I was cold and still sleepy. I met nobody else. Old ladies were walking majestically in their remarkable velvet dresses. covered with pillows. Slowly. advancing slowly and solemnly. with a petrified castle. gradually growing. I felt my head still tingling. like inside a shell. When I got in the market place. When I was closing my eyes. Which house on my way was about to explode? Which street lamp would contort like a rubber stick. The knife was thrust deep in its core and a rose creaked with a soft sound under the cut. in the corridor the white light washed my cheeks and I woke up completely. The dawns were gloomy and cold. exploding like glass in dozens of pieces. like a square of blue velvet. wet with blood. Down in the yard were still the tables for the guests. the window was reflecting the morning light. with crenels and thousands of miniature buttresses of pink cream.one. some of them filled my hands and others were moving away from the bed. The town’s streets had lost all their meaning. over my eyelids I could feel it like a mask inside which it was shady and cold like inside a real metal mask. everything in front of my eyes were growingly vague and absurd… I fell asleep while looking at my red and hot hands. in the air floated a warm smell of
. in the room.no more . in a mirror in front of me. holes and laced mildew. some men were discharging fresh meat for the butcher’s booths. he coldness entered under my coat. slowly. and under no circumstance. the wax woman had inside a strange mechanism. I tried to wake up and my hand got into the bed’s wooden sculptures. with innumerable jewels on their chests and fingers. I was lying on a rummaged bed. How did the bride keep her head? How did she bow it on Paul’s shoulder? In some panopticons. laughing at me? Nowhere in the world. like small itinerant church altars. who looked at me with very upset eyes. in only few seconds . The wind had scattered all around the yard the candies’ colored tinfoil wraps. and all the air’s caverns kept repeating this murmur.
the wedding was over. I passed through the back of the Weber house. their globular and black eyes turned towards the floor. It was early in the morning. the freezing morning was singing with an organ’s profound echo. elastic and warm objects of flesh and blood. The sun appeared again. I was shivering of cold and sleeplessness. dressed in a blue gown. Edda was coming and going to the terrace. everything was sad and forsaken. wild and shimmering. Every morning I would be up on the terrace. just like certain clearings in the deep forests become further lighted by a green brightness filtered by the leaves. people were discharging meat. the butchers were hanging all beasts with their heads down. The harnessed horses were looking at people with their eyes always in tears. like through some open doors along a deserted corridor. the sky was mirroring itself. but on the narrow streets with tall houses it was still dark. and then throwing them one by one in the garbage bin. huge and red. black and bottomless. partly foamy. They were aligned now in front of the white porcelain walls like red sculptures cut in the most various and delicate matter. wind was entering under my clothes. putting them on the table: round. at the margins of the roofs. a mare released on the pavement a hot stream of urine. I was cleaning them conscientiously. in what kind of world was I living? I began to run like crazy on the streets.unblemished flesh and urine. The upper floor of the Weber house was illuminated by Edda’s arrival with shadows and coolness. in which all the deserted echoes of the upper floor lost their voice. First. partly clear. having the watery and rainbow-hued reflection of the oriental silk and the milky and turbid limpidity of the gelatin. The fresh meat was shining smoothly like the petals of some monstrous and hypertrophied roses. wearing a pair of high-heeled slippers. which were banging at every step. The butchers were wedging their large hands inside that rippled crimson velvet and were then getting out the precious entrails. Everything became distant and desolated. Edda covered the windows with curtains and put on the floors soft carpets. inventorying the multitude of contorted and artificial objects from the dusty shelves of the china-closets. in the newly-formed puddle. the heavy shutters at the first floor were closed. Sometimes I remained for a long time
. at the edge of their opened bellies hanged the muscles’ lace and the heavy necklaces of the pearls of animal lard. Together with Ozy. broad. The downs were now blue like the vinegar. and only at the crossroads light was bursting.
He was sitting cross-legged.leaned on the banister. Every Saturday afternoon we were gathering in the front room transformed into saloon. She kept the curtain of pearls between the two rooms. eaten mainly by the old Samuel Weber. tried to take notice of Edda’s slightest word and gesture and meet them one second before. I was armed to meet Edda with all the grieves. which constituted a resting position out of his business with cereals. The world’s perfection was about to emerge from somewhere like a flower bud which still needs to pierce its last peel in order to get to the light. he was turning around to unite the two halves. and. where the gramophone was playing oriental arias from “Kismet. out of my power of understanding. all the humiliations and all the ridicule necessary in a new adventure. During the summer mornings. His hunch grew even more. and this made his Adam’s apple dance like an elastic doll. on the upper floor’s terrace. and my whole body struggled to understand what. like a word endlessly repeated. so that his passage would be inaudible. Edda became another object in my personal menagerie. too. who was chewing them rarely and firmly. In a fruit bowl there were peanuts. and Edda was serving us sweet/bitter cookies baked with honey and almonds.
. The upper floor got an ineffable perfume which changed its content like a heavy essence combined with alcohol. something was going on. half closing the eyelids and looking through the narrow opening at the pearly sky. a simple object whose existence was torturing and annoying me. and the Weber house changed completely. looking like an artist on the theater stage. she adorned the china-closets with white cloths with big bows of colored ribbons. He was afraid to touch any object and while passing through the curtain of pearls. Ozy was waiting all the time gasping with thrill for Edda to call him upstairs and I was staying on the terrace staring into vacancy. All of Ozy’s deformities sharpened and curved in a position of intense concentration. he was shooting out his lips in order to hide his gold teeth. as if it. Around Edda began a pantomimic ballet with four participants: Paul became grave and faithful. isolated in their contour from any possible past. which becomes increasingly obscure as its understanding becomes more and more necessary. Thus all events destined to appear in my life gradually and all of a sudden. while he was speaking. old Weber bought a new cap and gold framed glasses.
. I pushed my head into the plush. I couldn’t stop thinking that I was the incarnated allegory of the front cover of a very fashionable novel. and something inside me needed in that precise instant to satisfy a simple and keen pain. looking at myself in the mirror. All of a sudden Edda remained still with a gramophone record in her hand. which was burned like by a flame. I descended the stairs dizzily. In only one second grew in me. the greedy streets received me again in their dust and monotony. In one of those afternoons. Around me grew an embarrassing silence. like in a madman’s drawing. I was utterly ridiculous. I saw myself in a mirror. fleshy vegetation. He had full gestures. the trees and the air. which presented the Russian tsar bleeding and covering his jaw with one hand. Edda dipped a handkerchief in alcohol and wiped my cheek. we were finally all of us three happy that he does it better than any of us. my hands were always red and heavy. I have no idea what was happening those days. I begun to push even more strongly my head into the plush and as my pain grew more and more violent. Maybe inside us there are hidden a hunger and thirst other than the organic ones. All her burning and abundant breath had exploded monstrously in an abundant. being tortured by a suffering which was rending me inside. luxurios. ridiculous and splendid. More than the pain in my cheek. an imperative desire to be heroic. looking at me in deep stupefaction. The small pricks entered my cheek’s skin. without any particular reason. I was pushing my head deeper and deeper in the sharp pricks.
The summer had swollen chaotically the park. As for me. With eyes wide open and bleeding cheek. which ended by incarnating an episode from “The Court of Petrograd”. being comfortably engrossed in an armchair. my will to endure it became increasingly tenacious. which made me feel a quite vivid pain. the stones were burning.Paul was the only one stepping on the carpets calm and sure of himself. after an attempt to his life. it was one of those numerous absurd thoughts which can only be produced on a Saturday afternoon. to which there was nothing to add. I felt a vivid pain on my skin. On my cheek I had a violet spot oozing with drops of blood from place to place. on the boring music of a gramophone. and when he was hugging Edda. The park had overflown like lava. I was tortured now by the miserable destiny of my heroism. “What happened to him?” asked Edda.
A strange idea came suddenly to me… In the middle of the garden was a round of flowers. crushed. almost like a joy. turned to stone in the middle of the round of flowers. all I could do was to carry Edda’s image inside me. one near the other under the summer’s heat. and my position got an interior shell of limitless calm and immobility. identical and obsessive. propagated in all I could see or feel. I opened the small gate and sneaked inside the yard. in thousands of Eddas. desperate. in hundreds. The evening was vibrating. the corner of a handkerchief was going out of it. in only one second I was in its middle. and I was remaining in front of their doors. like a terrible and fantastic inner leprosy. and I remained alone on the alley. Simultaneously with my straightforward and undemanding life. statuary. for the courage to have taken this decision. after the woman. I decided to remain completely motionless even though nobody would have chased me and I should have remained like this until the following morning. Also. In the dark I felt better the night breeze and my isolation. my hands and my feet became rigid. The house had a small garden in front. There was in all this a cruel and lucid despair. For how long did I stay like this? All of a sudden I heard voices inside the house and the light in the garden was turned off. and in the first seconds I felt enormously grateful towards myself. I was composing the details of the imaginary scenes with the most punctilious accuracy. I kneeled and. and their delicate shadow was impregnating on her tranquil face. while she entered her house without noticing me. sometimes multiplied in tens of copies. warm. other intimacies were growing apace in me. warm. immobile. I could see myself in sordid hotel rooms. with my hand to the heart. and now I had the possibility to fulfill it. spontaneously. With a swift impetuousness. beloved and secret.In that soft and warm wilderness. while the light of the crepuscule was coming into the room through the thick curtains. I had been tormented for a long time by this desire to commit an absurd act in a totally unknown place. One evening I walked a woman until the gateway of her dwelling. illuminated by an electric light. in the garden of some
. walking on their steps until they got at their homes. without any effort. around me. with Edda sleeping near me. slowly. took a position of prayer. unsuspected in me. Slowly. the big wardrobe with mirror doors in which was reflected half of the bed and the painting with flowers on the walls… Quite a bitter taste lingered after these thoughts… I was following unknown women in the garden. bare-headed. I wanted to stay like this as long as possible. I could see the model of the carpet on which were thrown her shoes and her bag opened on the table.
he will leave by himself. tenderly: “Come on… it’s over now”. I got up and wiped off the dust on my knee. A pig was scratching of a fence and I was stopping for whole minutes to look at it. in the middle of the chubby wooden stripes which were falling from the scraper and filling the room with their rigid foam. “Don’t your feet ache? She asked.
. more pale. the wood piece was becoming more delicate. She looked deep into my eyes and didn’t say a word for a time. Under the scraper. We both kept silent. Somebody inside the house was turning it on and off in order to see what effect it had on me.unknown house. Inside the studio were thousands of white. when coming back from the streets in the “centre” of the town. I continued to stay immobile. more silky. I was disarmed by this sudden understanding. All my despairs were painfully screaming again in me. I could find in it something immensely satisfying and an appeasing assurance that the world still exists… On a street on the town’s outskirts there was a studio of folk sculpture. pale boy. The simple and elementary facts of life were evaluating around me according to their own laws. I could hardly find at their bottom my handkerchief. I kept my hand on my heart and my knee on the ground. as if she wanted to make me understand that she had understood my gesture and had kept silent for a while just to make it become accomplished in its own way. My too long hands were hanging out of the sleeves like animals freshly skinned. decided to face experiences more serious than this game with the light.” The woman I had followed came near me. and her small veins appeared clear and well written. while a deep voice inside shouted: “ Leave him alone.
I was a tall. but I only managed to murmur a poor “Good night” and left in a rush. slim. where I was also spending a lot of time. and her hair was disheveled. and she finally put her hand on my shoulder and said. I could have not remained immobile for so long…” I wanted to say something. Some minutes later the light was turned on and then again turned off. to wipe off the dust on my shoes. The door opened and somebody got out in the garden. just let me. smooth things. Nothing was more perfect than the squeak of the harsh hairs on the wood. smelling like resin. with a thin neck getting out boldly from the large tunic collar. like under a woman’s skin. My pockets were exploding with papers and different objects. She was now wearing a dressing gown and slippers.
hairy and solid pine. here in front of wooden balls and sculptures. sliding my fingers on its surface and touching my cheek with it. I was holding one object after another and I was amazed by their diversity. the board was showing me the intimate lines of its age. with a sleek. closing me in itself. in vain. came out from the matter’s flesh. like a faint. Maybe that. entered the wood and produced the cataclysm. starting with the clothes I was wearing and ending with the springs in the forests passing through walls. on the street in the form of trees. and a whole wall covered with flowers and angels. Maybe that the world was stopping its motion in those moments and nobody knew how munch time had elapsed. Of course. ineffable weight. then spread in the air. blue.Near by. peacock feathers and human ears. I was rotating it and then letting it roll… in vain. the calm and heavy balls which filled my hand on all the skin’s surface. I was filled with a deep sleep. During the winter they grew from the cold ice fringes in the delimited forms of the heavy water. immense and futile. shells and ferns. there was nothing understandable in its mere existence. and extraordinary powers were growing like tentacles from my hands. houses. through trees. was extracting from the wood smoke wreaths and Indian arrows. just like the lines of fate in an opened palm. his glasses missing a lentil. and all of a sudden the scraper’s scratch was leaving behind an elusive and slippery trace. During the whole year the sculptor. I was holding in my hands the shaggy. through glass…
. the moment when I was beginning to caress the wooden board. In vain was I attentive to his slow wok in order to intercept the exact moment when the ragged and wet piece of wood was expired in a stoned rose. the wooden balls were lying. When I was waking up. stones. it sorrounded me from every possible direction. and the master had sculptured all the lilies on the walls and all the violins with spirals in a very deep sleep. through rocks. with red. In vain did I try to accomplish the miracle as well. smelling like fresh varnish. on a table. in vain was I using the file. orange petals of blaze. And then. Delirious eczemas with tatting suppurations. painted or sculptured. the chess men. the tough and immobile matter surrounded me from all parts. and during the summer the numerous flowers sprang in small explosions. Around me.
in the form of houses with windows. bound to be their slave forever. heated by the sun that entered through all the windows facing the yard. all the vertigos were quiet. and I didn’t find her words that innocent anymore: maybe it was hidden in them the announcement of the fatality of my struggles and the washerwoman was just trying to show me that the places of my adventures were established in advance. and the canal’s aperture sucked up every drop of water. All the doors were open. more for herself: “Oh… you finally came!”. I finally dared to enter. probably taking me for someone she already knew. The corridor was balmy and deserted. then followed some stairs.In the tiniest corner. But sometimes I could find some isolated place where my head could rest for a while. that not even myself could have imagined that it might turn up to be such a lonely and admirable burrow. a faucet was dripping unceasingly. small curved volumes in the space. maddened by the things I had seen. …One day. shiny afternoon. said my destiny’s voice. of trees with tall branches stinging the void. The corridor smelled like lye. in a corner. “Oh. anyhow and anywhere. the matter’s lava had gone out of the earth. unable to climb further. when passing in front of the town’s music hall. Long time after this unbelievable voyage I remembered this apparently inconsequential detail. had pushed me towards this new exploit. as if it were sipping too cold a liquid. I crossed a dirty yard with many closed doors. softly and colorfully. of churches with domes growing higher and higher and stopping at the thin cross on the very top. Once I found refuge in one of the strangest and most unsuspected places in town. It was a calm. I believe that only that burning desire to fill the void of my days. where the matter had stopped its flowing into the heights. you came because you had to come. of flowers which were filling. no noise could be heard. I got up the stairs. It had infested the air everywhere. I found one open at the back. because you couldn’t possibly escape…” I got to a long corridor. then. when I got at the middle of the stairs. In the vestibule a woman was doing laundry. and I was feeling better. you finally came. where clothes
. with the wounded hollows of the old trees… I was wandering around. for an instant. she turned her head towards me and murmured. There. that I was bound to fall in them like in well-disguised fox-traps. transfixing in the empty air. It was indeed so outlandish. filling it with the closed abscesses of the rocks. irrupting into it. At the end of the corridor there was a door opening towards an attic. the woman didn’t tell me anything at first.
and on the other side. There were thick layers of dust everywhere. I crossed the attic and got to a small hall with clean little rooms. In the first few seconds I couldn’t distinguish anything. in front of the deserted auditorium. abandoned objects: the place of all my dreams incarnated in that very spot. On one side. Around me there were broken chairs. a staircase was going down towards the theater’s stage. The corridor seemed enflamed by the sunset’s blaze. The canal’s aperture kept sucking up the water with tiny. as a proof of the distant and admirable intimacy which I had left under that stage. I didn’t meet anyone this time neither. freshly painted. But my trousers were covered with dust.were drying on ropes. I put my arms on the golden ones of the throne and let myself be jiggled by the most pleasant feeling of solitude. I descended it and all of a sudden I found myself on the empty stage. a table and some chairs with broken legs. then gradually I began to see the under stage. following back the same itinerary. a piece of Rococo furniture.
. All chairs and tables were arranged correctly. hidden in a shady and secret cell. Back on the street. which had surely served for some sort of a fairy play. resembling a royal throne. I was finally in a neutral space. regular sips. On the one side there was a pile of golden pasteboard stars and crowns. these were probably the cabinets of the music hall artists. and in the middle. Very cautiously I got into the cage and descended down there. through the double windows. but I was petrified by that deep silence. dirty and dusty. quiet. where nobody knew about my presence. I let myself fall into it. I remained like this for some hours. Finally I left my hideout. in the middle of the theatrical scenery of a forest. feeling that I should say something out loud. My steps had an outlandish sonority. dusty boards. Then I saw the blower’s cage. in every one of them there was only one chest and one mirror. old and moldy. I felt a calm joy knowing myself there. I was far from the world. Who could have guessed where I was? It was the most unexpected place in the whole town. I was alone on the stage. Strangely enough. a solemn and huge armchair. in perfect ecstasy. crushed. as for a show. full with broken chairs and old property objects. I had for one moment the impression that none of these things had really happened. The darkness around me dissolved a little bit as the daylight begun to enter. and I let them like this. I wanted to open my mouth. under the surface of the earth. from its hot and exasperating streets. in front of them. The silence was flowing in the air. I bowed and looked inside.
The following day, at about the same afternoon hour, I was suddenly invaded by the nostalgia of the isolated basement. I was absolutely certain that this time I would meet someone, on the corridor or in the hall. For a while I tried to ignore the temptation to return there, but I was too tired and too heated by the day’s warmth, and no possible risk could frighten me. I had to go back there no matter what. I entered through the same door in the yard and I ascended the same staircase. The corridor was equally deserted and nobody was in the attic or under the stage. In only few minutes I was back at my place, in the theatrical throne, surrounded by my delicious loneliness. My heart was beating fast, I was extremely thrilled by the astonishing triumph of my exploit. I began to caress in yawning elation the throne’s golden arms. I would have wanted to be infiltrated as deeply as possible by this heavenly situation, to be burdened and touched by it in the most invisible cell, so that I could feel it real. I stayed there for a long time, and didn’t meet anyone… I began to come back there regularly, every afternoon. The corridors were always empty. I was falling in my throne, crushed by bliss. Through the dirty windows, the same blue and breezy cavern light would enter. The atmosphere there was impregnated by a complete and secret solitude, and I couldn’t possibly have enough of it. These daily expeditions in the music hall’s basement ended one afternoon as strangely as they started. When I got out on the corridor, at dusk, a woman was taking water from the faucet. I passed quietly near her, facing the risk to be asked what I was doing there. But she continued her occupation, with that indifferent and defensive air which women display when they suspect that a stranger wants to talk to them. I stopped at the bottom of the staircase, willing to talk to her. My hesitation was facing her scowling certitude that I would talk to her. The water’s gurgle from the faucet was splitting the cold silence in two very well delimited and distinct domains. I turned back and got close to her. I asked her if she didn’t know some person who could be my model for some drawings. I pronounced the word “person” with a perfectly natural voice, so that it wouldn’t let guess the trivial desire to see a naked woman, but only the purely artistic and abstract preoccupation to draw a human body. Some days before, a student, in order to impress me of course, had told me that in the capital, where he was studying, he would bring home with him young girls with the pretext of
drawing them, and then sleep with them. I was sure that not a word was true, because I could feel in his narration the obvious clumsiness of the appropriating and the re-telling of a story he had heard before. Still, it had inlayed deep into my memory, and now it was a good occasion to use it. This occurrence of an unknown stranger, after it had passed through the infertile ground of some other narrator, was now mature enough to fall again into reality. The woman did not seem to understand, or she simply pretended not to understand, even though I had tried to be as clear as possible. While I was talking a door opened and another woman came. They begun to whisper, and then one of them said: “Let’s take him to Elvira then, she has nothing to do anyway”. They walked me into a low, dark chamber, which I had never noticed, near the attic. Inside, instead of a window, there was a hole in the wall, through which a cold air current entered. It was the cinematographic cabin, from which movies were projected in the summer, in the garden of the music hall. On the ground were still visible the traces of the pedestal on which the projector had been placed. In a corner, a woman was lying on a bed, completely covered with a blanket, chattering her teeth. The other women left and let me alone in the middle of the room. I got close to the bed. The sick woman got a hand out from the blanket and pushed it towards me. It was a long, delicate, icy hand, I told her in few words that it had been a confusion, that I was brought to her by mistake. I tried to apologize, telling her vaguely what was all about: some drawing for an artistic competition. From everything I said she only retained the word “competition”, and answered with extinct voice: “Sure… sure… I will let you compete… when I’ll be healthy again… now I have nothing… nothing…” She probably understood that I needed some sort of a financial help, and for some seconds I felt bewildered and embarrassed, not knowing how to escape from there. During this time she begun to lament with a very natural voice, as if she wanted to apologize for not giving me anything: “You see, I have ice on my belly… I’m hot… I’m sick…” I left sad, very sad, and never came back there.
Autumn came, with its red sun and steamy mornings. The little houses in the slums, clustered in the light, smelled like fresh lime. The days were dull and colorless and the sky cloudy like a dirty canvas. The rain was pelting infinitely in the solitary park. The heavy curtains of water were agitated by the wind on the alleys, like in an immense empty hall. I
would walk in the wet grass, and the water poured on my hands and hair. On the dirty lanes at the outskirts of the town, when the rain stopped, the doors were opened and the houses inhaled the fresh air into their humble interiors filled with wooden cupboards, bouquets of artificial roses carefully arranged on the drawers, their small statues of bronzed plaster and their photographs from America. Lives totally unknown to me, lost in the slightly moldy rooms with low ceilings, sublime in their resigned indifference. I would have liked to live in one of those houses, to become impregnated by their intimacy, letting all my dreams and all my sorrows dissolve in them like in a strong acid. I would have given anything just to be allowed to enter certain rooms, stepping with familiarity and letting myself fall on the old sofa, between the feminine pillows covered with flourished fabric. To gain there a new interior intimacy, to breathe another air and to become another person… Lying on my sofa, I could contemplate the street on which I was walking just now, from inside the house and through the curtains (and I very honestly tried to imagine the street’s aspect seen from the sofa, through the opened door), to be able to find in me, all of a sudden, memories of things I had never experienced, memories foreign to the life I was always carrying in myself, over and over again, memories belonging to the intimacy of the bronzed statue and to the old lamp globe, with blue and violet butterflies. I would have felt so protected at the limit of that cheap and indifferent background, which completely ignored my existence… In front of me, the dirty street was stretching its muddy paste. The houses were displayed like an oriental fan, some white like huge blocks of sugar, others undersized, with roofs covering their eyes, and clenching their teeth like immobile boxers. I would meet in my way ordinary wagons with hay, or, all of a sudden, extraordinary things: a man walking in the rain, carrying on his back a chandelier with crystal ornaments, a magnificent glass work sounding like bells on the man’s shoulders, while heavy drops of water were breaking on the multiple shiny facets… What was the secret of the world’s magnitude, and where was it hiding? The rain washed in the garden the withered flowers and plants. The autumn was lighting in them scarlet, ruby and purplish-blue fires, like small blazes shining more powerfully in the seconds before burning out. In the market place, the water and the mud were flowing disheveled from the enormous piles of vegetables. In the beetroots’ cut could be seen, all of a sudden, the earth’s dark red blood; at one side lingered the kind-hearted, mild potatoes, near the heaps of the decapitated heads of engorged cabbages; somewhere else was the pile of exasperating beauty of the swollen and hideous pumpkins, their stretched rinds
Their color was the sufficient proof. but in one second they were sunk in an opaque obscurity. What else could have filled my heart with such and unbearable joy. through which the wind was passing wildly. on the contrary. now soaked by the rain and transformed into an immense mud slop. Sometime I would have liked to be a dog. I entered the mud first with one leg. All people and things had sprung from this very dung and urine in which I was dishing a pair of very concrete boots. to walk closer to the earth. and I liked the changed color of the wet wood and the rusty lattice surrounding the domestic and wise little gardens. implacable. I’m not referring to that dull legend “from earth you came unto earth you’ll return”. grown from the earth’s crust. than this clean and sublime mass of filth? I hesitated for some seconds. in vain… the mud was hidden inside them. in front of me the warm. Now I was sure that trees also were nothing but curdled mud. too abstract. then with the other. The dung was exhaling an acid smell of animal urine. much more beautiful than the devastating void floating all the time above the town. or. In the middle of the sky the clouds were grouping and then scattering around. in an embellishment of ragged gold and purple. like the immense mane of a fantastic horse. mingled with streams of water. in vain. immense empty spaces. inside me were fighting. tender mud was stretching to the horizons. leaving between them rare spaces.exploding from the plenitude of the light they drank the whole summer. and dressed in stylish suits. or the people? Especially the people. The sun was setting above. to look at that wet world from the animals’ oblique perspective. sticky leaven. Of course. from down up and slightly inclining my head. Rain was falling from afar. this was a too vague thing. from a distant and limitless sky. with forces of moribund gladiator. authoritative and
. the last traces of education. like narrow corridors lost in the infinity. But only the trees? What about the houses. In vain had the people covered themselves in silky white skin. on the waste ground… On that day I had walked purposelessly till the town’s margins. with my eyes fixed on its surface covered with livid mud… This odd desire hidden deep inside me slithered frenetically into the reality on an autumn day. too inconsistent in front of that field of mud. in the field of the cattle market. and I knew nothing of myself. My boots slithered pleasantly in the elastic. as if I had spouted from it. Now I was grown from the mud and a part of it. All the people.
and far away. it was a long time since I had last been so happy.elementary. Some apparent and purely accidental features. they became wild again and regained their ancient freedom. like. I wanted to scream: Why not? Why not? That paste was warm and tender. shiny slices. the few gestures I was capable of doing. I began to rub with my dirty hands my cheeks. no severe consequence followed my actions. Poor birds destined to fly only at the length of some stupid gestures of good education. making them fly again. to flutter them in the air. Slowly. I was then closing my eyes and it continued to boil in abstruse mutterings… Around me the muddy field was stretching. no terrific earthquake… I touched my cheeks with my dirty hands. till its very flesh. Its elastic humidity and its unripe smell were receiving me in their depths. and my dark glassy eyes were separating me from its immemorial serenity and dirt. slowly. Now they were rolling their head in the dug. What had my hands done until then? Where had they lost their time and energy? I was moving them hither and thither. Suddenly I bowed and I thrust my hands in the dung. this was my real body. stripped by its clothes. were spreading their wings in complete happiness… I began. It was not enough in front of the immense majesty of the mud… I walked around. were prattling like a dove. Heavy drops of mud were falling on my face and on my clothes. What had they been until then but poor prisoner birds. my delicate hair. and I was overwhelmed by an immense joy. a missionary sent by it in this world. fat. When I would clench my fists. warm and lethargic… Another evidence was the stupidity with which they were filling their boring lives. at their will’s sake. the sun was setting behind the curtain of bloody and purulent clouds. I was a special creation of the mud as well.
. my neck. my hands were wandering through it easily. my hair. the mud would get out through my fingers in beautiful black. because I had belonged to them since forever. delighted. no trembling of the skies. its skin and its muscles. Why should have I cleaned myself? Why? This was only the beginning. tied with a terrible chain to the skin and to the muscles and to the shoulders. when my essential mud was uselessly remounting to the surface. in all possible directions. learned by heart and repeated religiously. I could very well feel in those moments how its memory comes back to me and I remembered my past long nights of struggle and hot darkness. It was raining slowly. My feet sunk in the mud to my ankles. for example.
from which the cattle had eaten. I ran to it and hid under its eaves. thus I pricked it with my teeth and found inside it a soft. I was looking at the stem and the silence in me was smiling calmly. farewell…” My heart was broken by its sudden departure. Near me walked a woman dressed in black mourning veils. I leaned my head on some old gunnies and. I was so happy that I did not know what absurd action to perform first: to analyze the corn stem. The canals and the holes in the stem filled me with real enthusiasm. Much was to be seen in a dry corn stem. The veils were very well arranged in the place where her head should have been. I’m sure that the darkness inside them would be infinitely easier to live with. I took one corn stem in my hands and began to open it carefully. “Farewell. I lied down. the town was fuming like a mound of garbage.All of a sudden. as if inside me someone was continuously making soapsuds. Far away there was a shack with thatch roof. in the fog. a very unexpected and wonderful lining for a plant. The ground near the wall was completely dry. It was raining in the sun’s light. really glad. The sun was still illuminating the field. sweet fluff. to stretch my bones or to look at the distant town… A little bit further from my feet soles. The waste ground was deserted. The roof was so low that the top of my head was hitting it. after a long gazing at the locust beams above me. It was raining but sunny. “Farewell. first she came close to me but then changed its mind and headed towards the fields. like an immense lamp from the back of a room of ashy marble. and when I finished. I was shivering from the cold and my hands were dirty of mud. Here and there ware piles of well-seasoned corn. I cried after it. and far away. an empty
. where the mud’s territory was starting. my little frog. I closed my eyes and a deep sleep entered deep into my bone marrow. …I dreamed that I was wandering on the streets of a dusty town. I threw towards it the disintegrated stem. the rain became thicker and sharper. Some roofs and church towers were shining weirdly in that humid crepuscule. my beauty…” I began to improvise a long hymn for the little frog. a small frog suddenly began to jump. strangely. if people’s arteries were also sheathed with mellow ruffle. maybe an oriental town. with white houses shining under a heavy sun. but I was absorbed with the unwrapping of the corn leaves. but instead of it was an open hole. I was glad in this mundane occupation of mine. I could now continue my meticulous examination of the stem. a golden rain smelling like clean laundry. she didn’t have a head. cross-legged. to hit the ungrateful… Finally.
He then went up in his coach again. to stay at warmth. holding in their hands small baskets full with cherries and pretzel. with a decoration at his tab. a pub turned its lights on. I fumbled in my pockets for money but I couldn’t find any. to drink something. he was wearing monocle and white leather shoes. and the nurses were bustling in great agitation on the platform. surrounded by people and by the alcohol fetidness. and soon we arrived at a railway station and descended some stairs to a basement vaguely illuminated by an electric bulb. then the other. with a silver monogram. I could very well feel their heat under the scab of curdled mud.sphere… We were both in a hurry. for example. They were completely numb and I had to unfold them very carefully. At its very margin. the rain was falling merrily. his eyes were like two agates floating on oil. I had to decide something. fist one. anything. I didn’t want to give
. and. For a few seconds he walked around. instead of a window. Now it was raining really hard. a few seconds after I could see how he put the dog on the table near the window and began to give feed to it. it was the flower seller. A convoy of wounded had just arrived. the small house only had a hole in its wooden wall. In front of the pub. searching for something. From a first class coach descended a fat man. to go home. through a curtain of smoke and steams egressing from inside. in the direction where I had come from. The sky was now black and I could no longer see the town. I understood that it was during the war. one by one. I was cold and still my cheeks were burning. The wind was cluttering the rain and I could not stay away from it. dirty as I was. in which lied the dead body of the woman’s husband. well dressed. which the animal would swallow with an obvious pleasure… I was awoken by an awful quiver. I wanted to rise but an electric drift fulminated in my legs. He finally found it. His baldness was hidden under some silver hairs. taking his money from an elegant wallet. in his arms he was holding a small white Pekinese dog. My socks were cold and wet. He chose from her basket some small bouquets of red carnations and paid for them. very soon after the field was dark. In only one second I was there. I would have liked to enter. It was almost evening. I thought about searching refuge in that miserable kennel. which they were offering to the wounded in the train. but how? It was impossible to do it. the huge drops were pelting near me and I had to draw myself near the wall. at the same time. but its door was closed and. the red carnations. following a cart with a sanitary cross on it.
The last ones couldn’t slither down my neck. I needed a lot of time to finish them all. I began to search all the drawers for some violent poison. in which it was raining softly… I entered the house on the back door. I put my hand under my skirt. and I was filling more and more feathery in it. What was I leaving behind? Just a humid. I found all sorts of objects which couldn’t have served me for anything: buttons. This is what the world contained in its most tragic moments: buttons. massive and excruciating. All things were desperately trying not be to drawn in the deep obscurity. I would drink some water with every pill. my whole mouth was filled with a vaguely salty and fade taste. It was a duty like any other one. The yard became a sort of saloon. I began to run in the streets. All of a sudden I realized I was sweating terribly. jumping over slops and sometimes sinking to my knees in them. little prayer books… At the bottom of a drawer I found a box with white pills. twine. in that exact moment and place. but I was filling good in the rest of my body. and the rain was now my intimate friend. one by one. I was all wet. like when one realizes that in front of him there is nothing but emptiness and purposelessness. There were many tablets in the little box. My mouth became dry. I knew what I had to do: because I couldn’t go any further. in a big quantity. they could have been a poison or just an inoffensive medicine. It was completely dark in the yard. I put one on my tongue. In my stomach began a terrifying boiling. None of these useless things could help a man die. in the dark. avoiding looking in the mirrors. little prayer books with a weighty smell of naphthalene. but then it writhed in a tranquil. and made me feel an urgent need to scream and to hit my head on the trees and on the walls. tender thought. I was searching for something efficacious and quick which could have thrown in the dark everything I was feeling and seeing. I sat on a step and I waited. more than thirty. which felt like swollen. understanding my state and surrounding me with its care. and nothing left to live and nothing left to achieve. colored thread. I crushed it between my teeth and its dust absorbed all my saliva. I went to the faucet in the yard and I begun to swallow them. steadily and patiently. but I thought that anyway. twine. colored thread. devoid of any thought except for the one that all this must finish as soon as possible. just as a wagon of rocks when one discards its bottom plank. all I had to do was to finish with everything. My soul was enveloped in a thick sadness. ugly world.up my filth. Around me the
. I sneaked through the rooms. they should certainly be poisoning. Despair grew in me.
and I was overwhelmed by a deep vertigo. completely wet. All of its surface was printed with small blue drawings. the traces of embroidery had mingled with soil. and two excavated triangles under every cheekbone. dirty strips. the head begun to move. When I took it out. charged with leaves. All of a sudden. with all its normal human sets: dished eyes.void was growing vertiginously. and had kept entirely its traces. I entered the house and fell on a bed. horrible face. First I could only see its nape. and so tight. very prominent chin. When the wind was blowing through the leaves. From afar they looked like a delicate writing on an ivory paper. when the pedestal was moving. I knew that in some seconds would appear.
It was a beautiful head. it was enough to dish my finger a little in its flesh: it would enter without any resistance. like in a thin person. extraordinarily beautiful. all sorts of filigrees repeated geometrically. Once. and the minuscule lines looked like the hachured shadows of some copper engraving. and from place to place. soft paste. like my own head. it was incredibly beautiful. like on a carpet. with the cheeks holed in depth.
. spinning slowly on a brass axis which was sweeping it from the top. In the same way was quivering the head. the spangles were returning to their original position. so that the head seemed made out of humid pasteboard.. spinning on its axis. they looked like enormous heads stuck in trunks. like the brownish foils on the back of the mushrooms. Sometimes. The silk bodice had disentangled in long. Maybe three times bigger than a human head. that. the frightening. in my childhood. if you were looking at that head by closing the eyelids for a bit. There were so many foils. I was present during the exhumation and inhumation of the body of a girl who had died very young. one near the other. with tusk glitters. like in a humid. and no trace was left behind. nothing seemed abnormal. Out of what was it built? It had a pale shine of old faience. through the neck. Its color was dark-blue. In order to discover that the head was made out of spangles.. It was a well-formed face. during the summer. this face would undulate like a field of wheat. in front of the skull. and had been buried dressed in a white wedding dress. But its skin was fantastic: formed out of delicate spangles of delicate flesh. Only her face looked intact. looking far away at the chestnut trees.
more and more powerless. replacing them all. except for the ivory head. matured fruit. heavy. the flag was fluttering evermore. which had replaced the skin’s depth and forms. The head. I wondered with some sort of fear if this head would not become in my future life the centre of all my preoccupations. What other things could be found there? I’d open my eyes wide open and I scrutinize in vain the obscurity but. Why against the air? In my room the air was in continuous movement. viscous. raising her shoe a little. his hand was cold. one by one. like a continuous boil under my skull. from where only an inaudible buzz would arrive to me. true light. nothing else came. at tea time. I would try to explain to him the useless fight between the head and the air. The head was my rest and my felicity. upstairs. I knew he would put his hand on my forehead. Sometimes near it appeared my father. Only one moment of full happiness could have petrified the world forever. Against the power of the head fought continuously. someone passed his hand over the dead girl’s face. in the Weber family. so that at he end I would only remain with it and with the darkness. Maybe if it had belonged to the whole world. in the dark? I began to love the head passionately. But how was it possible to laugh in the middle of the night. It was my most precious and intimate possession. My head was exactly like this. Life appeared at that moment in a precise. sticky. and we all had a terrible surprise: what we had thought to be a very well preserved cheek was only a two-fingers thick layer of moldiness. and around it began to grow gradually a void. In this air appeared the head for the first time. uniquely my possession. began to scratch
. flowing from everywhere and trying to curdle in ugly. and Edda. from the bed. It was impossible to stop it. although hideous. vague and indirect. was a secure refuge against the air. For a very short instant. Underneath this illusion was the empty skull. a terrible catastrophe would have taken place. like a mass of whitish steams. it had grown in the air like a complete. I was so happy and pleased with its apparition that I felt like laughing. It had come to me from the mysterious world of darkness. Paul had let his hand hang down the chair. Around the head would begin a troublesome movement. like a flag’s flutter. but I could traverse them to the bones with my finger. but instead of moldiness it was covered with layers of flesh. like an aureole. black stalactites.When the coffin was taken out. while he was unbuttoning my shirt and sliding under the thermometer my armpit. I remembered the day when. the air’s dirty flow. like a thin glass lizard.
I tried to get down from the bed. leaving me prey to the storm growing inside me. as a joke. in the room in which I was sleeping. under the window on the roof. hanging on my body like blotting paper. around me the light was relegating the things’ exactitude as if it were washing them thoroughly. and then devour me… I screamed in great pain and despair. and. the shoe was scratching Paul’s palm with an incredible virulence. a wide void remained in my chest. When I thought about about it. I sat on a chair. in that obscurity. and the next moment they were running wildly. now they were walking very slowly. and then the whole body… In the same way began the movement of the flag.his palm. and than a deep hole in his flesh. I got out into the street. like the disappearance of an important quantity of myself. Everything was just as I suspected: the too inconsistent air could not sustain me. with difficulty. grey and loose. my clothes were lighter than usual. like having surpassed the fever of a serious disease. The street itself looked thin and fresh. in a corner of the room. The things’ clearness was lighter now. had abnormal movements. “How much?” asked a voice in the shadow. The carriage horses. it was entering through the window on the roof. “39”. during the fever. answered my father. and the room’s volume diminished gradually its density. My leg was searching the bed’s metal and the metal was stabbing it with a cold knife. In time. no matter how deeply I would breathe. The show never stopped its annoying mechanism: it was continually holing the wounded hand. and smelling as lye after having been ironed. her gesture reached an unusual virulence. How did I manage. The convalescence announced itself one morning as an extreme fragility of the world. to distinguish. It could have destroyed everything. as if I was trying to cross a vaporous and warm river. all sweaty. until it produced a small wound. The long corridor of houses was slightly rocking under the wind’s blow. In the warm sheets. the crumbs of bread were sliding from under my legs. and then the whole arm. Immense stains of yellow and greenish brilliancies were partly covering the houses and the passers-by. every grain of lime? I began to get dressed. was dipped in darkness. From afar
. in order to deprive them of their glitter. Flowing in gradually rare waters. The bed. breathing powerfully on their nostrils so that they would not fall too weak on the asphalt. I was instantly stunned by the sun. I was walking through it abruptly and without any coordination.
filled with crystals. I coughed suggestively and asked him. Something deep inside me was painfully petrified. The chestnut trees had already lost their yellow leaves. which was falling down on earth in lovely beams. while capsized on that bench. from time to time he would pass his hand through his hair. books and inks! Bang! Bang! Bang! What a beautiful autumn day!. I stood like this for some time. balls. in red and blue outfit. Slowly. the clown’s movements slowed down. my eyes were filled with tears. it was so clean and so shady in that window corner! Indeed. He scratched his head for a few seconds with all his ten fingers. so that the wind would not turn them over. to understand better. eyes lost in the heights.came the strong smell of autumn. in the intimate autumn light. “A beautiful autumn day”. staring at the sky. and he muttered aloud. where one could pat appeased his cymbals. The sun was sending through the branches a divided light. I let myself fall on one of them. strong neck. and began to read. there in the window. with the sleeves of his shirt tucked up. then his arms remained numb in the air. “A splendid autumn day!”… I was walking very slowly near the dusty houses. I don’t know what form it had but all of a sudden I found myself almost lying on my back. with red. First. My heart was touched by its purity. A beautiful moment lost in the heavens… I left quickly from that window and headed towards a small public garden in the centre of the town. dressed in beautiful colored clothes. how I would have liked to replace the small. I realized with great terror that the clown had stopped his playing. and he was patting his cymbals thoughtless and happy. dirty hands. the cymbals didn’t touch anymore. unbearably weak. in his Window.. balls and inkwells. blue. stealthily. He was very comfortably closed in this kingdom of his. All of a sudden. surrounded by books. an ideal place in this world. in the middle of all those books and balls and clean objects. clear thing. I could perceive a simple. weak. He held tight in his palms the pages. with big. a stalwart boy stood next to me. Oh. there.. I said to myself. correctly arranged on a blue paper. happy clown.
. It was a small clown. and in a bookshop’s window I saw an agitated clock-work toy. The old wooden restaurant was closed and in front of it was an upside-down pile of broken benches. eyes lost in the tree’s branches: “What are you reading?” The boy put the book in my hands as if I were blind. and then took out from his trousers’ pocket a book. green. which was patting with two minuscule copper cymbals. slowly. Bang! Bang! Bang! How it’s good to be in this window! Bang! Bang! Bang! Red. After so much fever. stealthily.
a spirited. One morning. We all admired the precision with which he was escalating the dangerous construction. in verses. its very axis. Beautiful and calm as the clown patting cymbals in a bookshop’s window. the frenzy to have managed to defeated the first obstacles intoxicated that amateur with a sort of irresponsible and unwise wisdom of the equilibrium. I had become the main center of the world. A weak fluid of perfection. which was bloating with every second. courageously. I assisted a scene which came to my mind all of a sudden. string young boys. “And… your head doesn’t hurt when you read?” I asked him while giving him his book back. my chest was always either too full or too empty. a dirty book with oily pages: it was obvious it had passed through many hands. stuffed by darkness and weakness and faint. ample current was flowing. what kept me from being strong and careless? To feel circulating in me a vigorous. about adventurous brigands. to continue his reading. in daylight. like an old gramophone record. on the pyramid of chairs and tables from which had descended a moment before the circus’ main acrobat. After all. it doesn’t hurt at all!” he replied.
I stretched my feet on the bench and.It was a long story. “Why would it hurt? No. while the artists were rehearsing. who never suffer of headache… Around me. to remain vertical and irrational under the sunlight. sure of himself. began to stream in my veins. I was cursed to remain forever at its margins. I found a very comfortable position. with sleeves tucked up and a bare neck. leaning against the tree. mechanical. well-defined life. which made him know exactly where to put his hand or his foot and what was the minimum weight he had to assume in order to conquer a new
. and stood back on the bench. Thus there is a certain category of things in this world to which I would never belong. careless clowns. climbed. its nucleus. A volunteer from the public. like the one flowing through the thousands of branches and leaves of the tree. in a circus. powerful. He didn’t seem to understand what I meant. After some minutes I felt better. straight. he rised to his feet and stood in front of me. fresh pith. It was vital now not to lose my brittle equilibrium. carrying along vigorous life and untouched purity. hearty and unsullied. through the trees. The street noises reminded me that somewhere far away the town was spinning around me. sober. a simple bystander without any training. leading a secure. unhastily. While I was inspecting it. closed under my skin like in a trap… For this I had to try first of all to breathe deeper and more rarely: I was breathing badly.
For a moment my knees bent.step. I stood up. my fellow tree!”… The more I was looking at the infinitely spread wreath of branches. which made me feel alone in a deserted house. My position now in the garden was similar to the one on the top of the fragile pyramid. but then I stopped to correct myself. The audacious amateur descended with infinite prudence. Bewildered by the perfection of his gestures. I was bewildered by its immobility. This time. All my thoughts disappeared. With large steps I headed towards Edda’s house. I pushed the door handle. disorientated by the senseless idea he just had and angry with himself. silent and superb as a tree. the more I felt my flesh dividing itself and air circulating alive through its gaps. blissful air. as well as of his extraordinary bravery. Why were my steps so soft?
. at the edge of the world. foamy of the simple life’s bubbling. I greeted warmly the branches above me. the normal. comprehensive and unflinching. strong ones don’t feel courage or cowardice. had a strange tinkling. once in my life. I could feel in me the circulation of the strong pith. for a ladder. The heavy wooden door facing the terrace was closed. I hadn’t visited her in a long time… I wanted to appear in front of someone. Why courage? Only shy people need courage in order to achieve something. calm. he got in only few seconds to the top. step by step. “Courage!” I said to myself. but I had to make efforts not to fall from the height of my admirable certitudes. and recommended many times to the others to hold it tight and not to move it. so I filled my chest with air and. that this was the state in which I should meet Edda. Yes. I caressed the trunk as if it were an old friend. as if it had waited for me for long. There was something rough and simple in that tree. organically and wonderfully related to my new forces. But there something strange happened: all of a sudden he became aware of the fragility of his position. all sweaty and frightened. She answered with a frightened voice to come in. sure of myself. “My friend. Trembling and sweating with fear. he asked. lying comfortably on my back. they just open doors… The fresh darkness of the first room received me with a calm. A thought passed through my head. when uniting after me. My blood was flowing in me majestically and rich. illuminated. as if they wanted to compare in a single hesitation all my force and all my feebleness. a tree. Was this the sensation of extreme equilibrium in the top of the pyramid of chairs? I knocked violently at Edda’s door. with a low voice. the curtain of pearls.
I saw myself stepping forward natural and sure of myself and taking a seat at Edda’s feet. “How beautiful are those flowers. I wondered if my sight was always clear. In order to verify their sudden apparition I looked for a second somewhere else and then glanced back at them. maybe in my body there were still some traces of impotence and darkness. the tick-tock was growing and decreasing like the sea’s ebb and high tide. Edda snuggled on the bed. this short conversation took place entirely inside me. real. “Edda. with a great perfection and sobriety of my gestures. This saved me. I would have given anything for her to look anywhere else.“Did I step softly?” I felt that the presence of a person like me or. covering my sight when mingling with my eyes’ fluids. swollen and violent… “Edda. no fever. on the bed where she was lying. do you know what I am?” “What?” “A tree. advancing in waves towards Edda. a tree…” Of course. gripping her knees and covering them with the blanket. allow me to tell you something very simple…” She did not answer. not the slightest emotion. must have been felt from afar. no word had been uttered. I told her. But no wonder awakened in the room. big. annoying seconds. until I could hardly hear it. How come that I hadn’t seen them before? I kept looking in that direction since I had entered there. immobile… How come that I hadn’t seen them? I began to doubt my certitude of being a tree. at a large distance from her. Edda asked to sit down and I sat on a chair. Edda…” “What flowers?” “Those on the shelf…”
. They were there. An object appeared in the room. and then coming back to me. just like the clouds cover the sun and sink in darkness a part of the landscape. out of nothing. Edda. But my real person remained somewhere behind all these beautiful projects. Strangely. interrupting our silence. Then she put her hands under her head and looked at me attentively. like a villain and broken trailer. which were circulating through my new luminosity like clouds on a shiny sky. The clock was ticking between us its very sonorous. For some seconds my thought preceded me in an ideal manner. All of a sudden I saw on a shelf a big bunch of flowers in a vase. better said. red. of a tree.
I wrested from my immobility with difficulty. populated with monsters of shyness. but also the invisible ones. infinitesimal and permeable. between genius equilibrium and pure dilettantism. fastening me with tiny audible nails. On a pile of books there was a red scarf. with blue-violet eyes and an imperceptible smile at the corner of her delicate mouth. How could I possibly do this? I got close to the bed and leaned upon the wooden elbow rest. looking at me with the same calm wonder. any initiative was ineffectual. but something was still hesitating in me. Like the very big speed of a motor’s propeller. troubles and vertigos of flesh and blood.“What flowers?” “Those rod. or even unattainable. In a world so accurate. Heavy hesitations. in order to confuse me. to my highest point… Now all I could do was to go back and sit on the chair. and the moment I touched it I understood it was really a scarf. And what was driving me crazy was the fact that Edda couldn’t have been different from this woman with perfect hairdo. through the air. like the wavering of the amateur acrobat’s courage on the top of the pyramid. of fantastic projects and sudden gestures… If all these would had
. superb and enormous. elongated silences. In my hands irradiated a sort of certitude. uniform words. What could I do against such a bitter exactitude? How could I make her understand that I was a tree? This could only be transmitted through immaterial. untouchable and apparently inconsistent. I had the impression that a mean and perfidious power was making things glitter in their most common aspect. I had got to my limit. the core of my uneasiness. like a wreath of branches and leaves. in which had accumulated all my forces unable to achieve anything. as if in them descended. all these things could enter that miserable space without the appearance of the black color and the sticky matter containing them. This is what was implacably fighting against me: the common aspect of all things. big dahlias…” “What dahlias?” “What do you mean? Those dahlias…” I got up and ran to the shelf. and in the world the distances were not just those which could be covered with the eyes. just as I felt it growing inside me. which makes it look immobile. The tick-tock was stronger with every second. my profoundly desperate hesitation imposed on me a statue’s noble rigidity. Edda was in the same position on the bed. all of a sudden. And now? Between me and Edda was still lingering that petrified transparent air. What could I do or say next? For some moments I was so bewildered by this problem that I was incapable of doing the slightest movement.
but this phrase had no value at all. so I took quickly my hat. Now I had the certitude that the world was stoned in its common aspect and that I had fallen in it by pure mistake. only seeing you makes me feel healthy again… does this upset you?” “No. pale and faded. like in those American sensational movies in which one character is condemned to remain in an hermetically-closed room in which water is gradually raising. and throw it towards Edda. it was so niggardly closed in its exactitude that it could not allow itself to see scarves instead of flowers. the materialization of my thought could have resulted in that simple gesture screaming in my head: to take the press-paper from the table (I was looking at it with the corner of my eye. but I… I wanted to add “I am a tree”. then my knees and then. until I would have felt my feet lapping in the clammy. filling gradually the room. and then begun to laugh. in a terribly painful captivity…
. in an astonishing chaos of atrocious misfortunes and ecstatic beatitudes. and that I would never become a tree. nothing else but accurate. “Look. it is something very simple. and I wondered that it had once been so important… I tried to speak again. but I am always healed by your presence. “Are you hungry?” Edda asked me. vigorous like the steam flowing from a broken faucet. and in only one second I was downstairs. they would have transformed the world’s aspect in a horrifying cataclysm. I said out of the blue. Now I was definitely ready to commit something absurd and bloody. For the first time in my life I felt my head powerfully enclosed in my head’s skeleton. I would never kill anyone. uttered “I must leave now”. at the bottom of my soul. maybe too simple… I’m sorry to tell it to you. she answered.coagulated all of a sudden in the matter towards which they were heading to be composed of. looking at Edda. In that moment. and then be the witness of its immediate result. Edda. when in reality on that shelf was only a red scarf… the world didn’t have the power to change. a formidable spring of blood from her chest. pleasant taste… I begun to move my lips and swallow my saliva. warm liquid. in vain would I see dahlias in a vase. and then to be drowned in its salty. to feel the blood touching my lips. it was a noble medieval treasury pressing the papers). “Edda. I felt sick. not at all”. I felt weak and lost. since I had that desire to drink blood. and was loitering. All objects and all people were closed in their sad obligation to remain accurate. and the blood would never spring in waves.
tell them to give up the rest…” But everything was too well set to finish on the stairs… While the doctor entered Edda’s room. his gaze impersonal and vague. In the office downstairs it was now dark like in a cave. and now it was a wonderful occasion to start again. Ozy. Paul and the old man could have also participated … Once in his lifetime. inexistent play. It was like an explosion in her kidneys. he said. he raised and got
. Very rarely does this disease manifest itself so brutally. It would have been so good to be able to speak about Edda’s disease. the old Weber. An explosion in her kidneys. the unfortunate hunchback could have conducted an imaginary. all my aimless wanderings. speaking with Ozy. the silence became even deeper. the doctor said. I was going after them. It was maybe the first time in his life when old Weber tried to choke back an unbearable pain. he was looking somewhere outside. and. We hadn’t played in a long time our imaginary game. his head sunk in a register. old Weber. as the big actors who bring to perfection their role with an astonishing detail. and shows different symptoms long before it gets serious. At the first floor. as if between the words he wanted to allow the heavy pain inside him to swarm and to mature. I asked the doctor yesterday what he thinks and he told me the whole truth. all my tiresome and painful questions gathered themselves in the pain and the trouble of a single week. was gathering the three Webers. in some wardrobe. with quiet steps. but with long interruptions. and in the end. it’s over. “She suffered all night. to which the doctor. please. the more urgent was in me the desire to yell: “It’s enough now. an explosion in her kidneys… Paul was talking quickly. Usually it appears slowly. which he knotted around his neck like a rope. Paul’s mask was really impressive. Paul found. it was obvious that old Weber was in big pain. His skin was now dark-blue. you all played magnificently. I was thinking of the extraordinary possibility to belong to a game coordinated by Ozy. it’s over.That autumn. but now it’s enough. an old topcoat and a stale tie. gave the impression of being busy… Every morning the doctor was coming. With his head leaned on the armchair. All the previous days. as if nothing ever happened! Climbing the stairs. The more we climbed. like in those liquids where the mixture of more substances condenses suddenly the violence of a deadly poison. yes. Ozy and me. like covered with the delicate gloomy veil the sleepless nights envelop the cheeks in. and so swiftly. as if he didn’t know and didn’t expect anything. an explosion. we remained in the room. Edda got sick and died.
her death was also my death. for the first time in my life. and. cold and obscure. which form an entire episode the moment one hears a gun’s shot. mistook its effect: while he was standing and watching the painting. but had to close her eyelids. and. resonating with another profoundness and another form of existence. turns into a ridiculous scream provoking heavy laughers in the audience. as an evident truth received from outside… I realized that Edda’s head was exactly like the ivory head appearing in my feverish nights. in her presence. as for Edda.” On the bed with white sheets was lying Edda. In the room the things were whitely decomposing in the too powerful light. and in everything I did ever since and in everything I lived. or the trees. come back to me in enigmatic and troubling echoes. in what she was now and in my delirious nights. like the houses. as I had seen on Edda’s face. Who was Edda? What was Edda? I could see myself for the first time from the exterior. trying to play his role too calmly. inconsistent. or simply someone else’s existence. ephemeral and material like any other object. Her hair was rummaged on the pillows. This evidence was so overwhelming that I almost thought that I had invented in that exact moment the exact form of the old faience head. The persons around me were just as decorative.
. with the dreams’ surprising speed of composition. was projected the immobility of my future death. during none of my wanderings and none of my meetings had I thought seriously of someone else except for myself. thickened to its limit in order to sustain a tragic monologue. these questions were the true meaning of my life. her head turned towards the window. to see it better. only in front of Edda. it was impossible for me to imagine a foreign interior pain. I was now sure that something violent and bad will happen to Edda soon. his irritated fingers were rapping into a chair… Paul took my hand: “Edda wants to see you. In the moment of her death did she shake me most profoundly and most authentically. Suddenly she turned her head towards me. as a result of her disease’s subtlety and refinement. But just as a big actor whose voice. old Weber. I was again hermetically closed in Edda’s presence. blonder and frailer as usual.closer to a painting on the wall. I don’t distinguish now what was the true her. did I feel that my question can evade. come with me. tired. and Edda’s face was melting in it. clear and surprising. Her hair was distinguishing her yellow forehead like a wax block. It was true… That moment something happened in me. She tried to look deep in my eyes. something indistinct. Maybe later I imagined this as well.
heavy. hanging heavily and bowing his back. in a very normal way. mud entered the rooms.At that day’s dawn I woke up heavy and rigid. dirty. I understood what that meant. a protoplasmic prolongation modeled in words and reasons. The wooden floor appeared downstairs. in the room where candles were burning. discovered during the whole operation of cleaning the office. sticky. and which was thrown away: long lines of dirt appeared. the mud was dirtier and more aggressive than ever. triumphant and insinuating. “Wash your hands. which pricked my heart. All night a window was lit upstairs in the Weber house. What I thought to be pain in me was only its weak boiling. going up on the people and on the stairs and trying to climb the coffin. “My funeral will be a string of objects”. something useless… My identity had become true long time before and now. it was only verifying itself: in the world nothing exists except the mud. like the black lines deepened in Samuel Weber’s old face. the coffin passed near Samuel Weber’s boat. and it kept raining for three whole days. In Paul drops were falling like in a bottomless recipient. like water on the windows. balancing on the people’s shoulders. it was the floor and nothing else. in the office. Edda has died.” Outside it was raining softly. slowly but tenaciously. candles and nothing else. Slowly. dirty and elongated. penetrating his skin and going up to his heart. stretching on the walls. Edda once told me… Something in me was struggling somewhere far away. When I opened my eyes. said my father. In old Weber’s office everything was put aside to let the coffin pass. Around his shoes ascended the mud. The day of the funeral. like a hydra with numerous protoplasmic prolongations. disturbed by a foreign presence on my bed. It was mud and nothing else. Clothes were flowing on him and on his hands. With a painful convulsion. something different from it. His tears were flowing down his cheeks. near the old registers and the dozens of little bottles of ink and medicines. the wind was blowing in waves of water in the roof and in the windows. who had waited in silence for me to wake up. he made some steps in the room and brought me a white wash-bowl and a cup of water for me to rinse my hands. from under the oil cloth covering it. as if wanting to prove to me the existence of a truth superior to all this mud. I could very well see it. It was my father. because her funeral was just a long line of objects…
which shadows all his others pinches.fluid.that all my other troublesome and niggardly memories are unique. contributing towards one single exactitude. or in Paul Weber’s bowed shoulders. thus liberating him). filled with bodies soft as jelly. once more. a strange smell. but then it disappears and it becomes the real place I’m in. like a convict who realizes in just one second that death is approaching (and would like his struggle to be different from all the other struggles in the world. for a second no more. from all these adventures. when my hand tried to describe this weird and mysterious simplicity. It was the last and the most insignificant detail before descending in the cemetery’s warm. unalterable from its own precision. asking in another sense (and questions can grow chaotically in thousands of different directions. purulent… From time to time I am thinking of these things. which could sound in me clear and unique as a name. then I feel. beyond life itself: in the cemetery. and they had their exact place in my linear life. when the body was taken out from the coffin. which transforms by itself. -like a sick person’s violent pain. the most fantastic and most unexpected contortions of a bizarre drawing) this memory and not another comes into my mind? With every misunderstood and exact memory. a new and authentic event will appear. Why does the memory of Edda’s last days come back to me. rooms.
. when the events and the people open and close inside me like fans. in the corridor of an anonymous hotel. and not another. warm and intimate. that is. its true understanding… For this purpose. for example. for example. like the profoundly enigmatic odor of the mould. making use of. old Weber’s office becomes suddenly the room in which I feel the smell of old registers and mould. or in the excessively precise detail of the water faucet. and I am again put in front of the same painful question. ramified like a fern and inconsistent like a smoke. like. moldy basement.Some other details happened. on these could be seen a large stain of blood. trying to combine them into something I could call my true person. a name never heard before. there still persists in me that intimate -and so hostile in the same time. and feeling that inside them grows a strange body. and I hope that. coated in white sheets. I must realize. the true meaning of my life. in the poorest sense of this term. how do people spend their lives. yellow. so clear? Why. in Edda’s vision. like in that childhood game when I was folding a paper stained with ink and I was pressing it so that the ink to effuse as much as possible. when I was unfurling the paper. so close but still so rebellious in its catching. or the bitterness of the last medicine. revealing. the bad position of the pillows. when I remember them.
Memories and present pains will weigh heavy in me. I am awake. awaken to another life. to my real life. but it is enveloped in some sordid air of authenticity. I can feel the position in which I am. I don’t want to fall into their sleep. I beg to be awaken. What I see now around me differs very little from what I was seeing a second before. Sometimes during the night I wake up from a horrible nightmare. to a place from where I will never be able to come back. at the hour when I was struggling in my nightmare. my most simple and most frightening dream. but my sleep weighs heavy on my eyelids and on my hands. that I move my hands. and I’m dreaming of me being awake. for example. which wakes me up in my real room. I am begging for someone to help me. I want to be awaken. in this inimitable and arid world. it holds me even more ferociously. the most powerful. she says. and I begin to scream. and carries me after it. If. flowing through objects and through my being. I am afraid that my sleep will sink me deeper and deeper. from where I will never come back… Now I struggle in this reality. like a delicate skin. in the position in which I was dreaming myself to be. over my real position and over my sleep. it places me with exactitude in the darkness of that hour. like a sudden coldness in the winter. I am dreaming about my sleep in that precise moment. I scream. and after a second of struggle. I want to resist the sleep. I want somebody to slap my face violently. identical to that in the dream. can the melancholy of being unique and limited be found. but I’m dreaming. and I want to resist. so one might say that I am in a way awake: well. I dream that I am sleeping in the same bed where I lied in the evening. which enlarges all sonorities… What is the real sense of my reality? Around me grew the life I will lead until the next dream. I want to wake up. but something is
. Suddenly I feel that my sleep becomes deeper and heavier. but to extract from itself the aspect of an exact commonplace. my nightmare begins in the middle of the night. and in this phrase can be felt the immense nostalgia of a world closed in its hermetical lights and colors. I dream that I am stirring. It’s clear it’s daylight. I want to be shaken… Then comes my last scream. but my sleep is more powerful than me. I know where I am and what I live. and I can also see. in which nothing is permitted to any individual destiny.“Your life was like this and not different”. Here. Around me is the same room and it’s exactly the same time of the night which should be. I know exactly in what room and in what bed am I sleeping. my dream fits closely.
like in my terrible nightmare. I scream. One of the ambassadors of the European surrealist in the Romanian literature. senseless death of a young. mysterious young woman. of the provincial town somewhere at the margins of the reality and of the civilization.
. Adventures in the Immediate Unreality is an exceptional novel. the one of the shtetl. The small. Max Blecher belongs to the so-called golden generation of this country’s culture. Born in 1909 into a Jewish family in Botosani. a young man with spinal tuberculosis and confined to a sanatorium outside Paris. Compared with Brunos Schulz or Franz Kafka. and Scarred Hearts (1939). painful death. always. Adventures in the Immediate Unreality (1936). to which Eugene Ionesco refers to as being a masterpiece. Tristan Tzara or Benjamin Fundoianu. I struggle. nightmares. The houses live their own lives. and which is now translated for the first time into English. universal. Mircea Eliade. the exact reality carries me down. Before his death at 29 he wrote two novels. The discovery of the sexuality has in itself the power of the primitive initiations. but also by esthetical ecstasies and intellectual crisis. miraculous. Max Blecher. trying to describe the coherence of a fantastic and yet prosaic world. who populate a world far away from the natural rules of the universe. administered by fear. The laws of friendship rely on the capacity of the two parts to built around them a world without meaning or history. is a unique phenomenon in the Romanian literature. brings with it a deep understanding of life as a long series of sufferings and illuminations. The final. Who will wake me up? It has always been like this. suffer. which narrates the life of Emmanuel. The nature is overwhelming. Romania. always…
Translated by Alina Savin
Long time ignored by the literary critique because of his minority status and his unconventional prose. together with Eugene Ionescu. insignificant town is the scenery of incredible encounters with different characters. being true bodies that breathe. in the same time. beautiful. trying to sink me forever. pain. describing the fall into maturity of a young man with exacerbated sensibility. Who will wake me up? All around me. functioning on its own masochist rules and under the continuous terror of a brutal. the Romanian Jewish writer Max Blecher (1909–1938) was recently discovered by a new generation of enthusiastic readers and researchers. Max Blecher contracted tuberculosis of the spine at the age of 19 and spent the rest of his life in hospitals and sanatoria. troublesome. but also the perversity of the surrealist paintings. where he and his fellow patients attempt to live life to the fullest as their bodies slowly atrophy and die.missing from all this scenery. I fret. transform. always. highly personal and.