X tells me he sees his life as a number, perhaps an infinite number, of circles within circles. He’s somewhere inside the inner circle, he says, and reality is somewhere inside the outer circle. The intermediate circles, perhaps an infinite number of them, buffer him, distance him or keep him on the brink of reality, perhaps all at the same time, since the spaces between them may be vanishingly small or infinitely large, he doesn’t know. All his words and movements have to pass through these circles, he says, so that by the time they reach the outer circle there’s been a kind of lapse, a reverberation, the way the sound of a shout is buffeted across a windy street or the way an echo travels. That’s why when he moves his hand out to shake someone else’s he sometimes feels dizzy; he finds himself shaking hands and isn’t sure how long it’s been since he first started reaching out; it’s why he walks around in a kind of haze, he says, why people think he’s slow: he’s on a listing boat while others seem to walk on land.
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.
- Follow Notes from a Room on WordPress.com