Some time after you were diagnosed, I took a photo of you. Your gaunt face was like an omen, or a beacon: I couldn’t decide. When they took you in for good – the end game you called it – I kept it with me. The more I looked at it, the less it gave me. One day a gust of wind blew it out of my hands; as I bent down to pick it up it blew away. I sat for hours looking at you propped up in that stiff alien gown, a glass of stale water on your bedside table. You’d look at me with a remote smile. Your skin was yellow and gave off a chemical odour. I thought, It’s spinning its cocoon around you, you’re shrivelling; or maybe falling through the veil at last, breathing yourself out and away. When the end game had been played out, I stole the glass and brought it home. I watched it grow grimy and studied the fading marks of your fingers and lips. Until it became just another object, it was saturated with your presence, the last link.
Everyone carries a room about inside him. This fact can even be proved by means of the sense of hearing. If someone walks fast and one pricks up one's ears and listens, say in the night, when everything round about is quiet, one hears, for instance, the rattling of a mirror not quite firmly fastened to the wall.
Notes for a fragmentary novel entitled The Moment, linked at the top of the page.
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