Thursday, February 18, 2010

REPOST: "the unintelligible terms of an incomprehensible damnation"

2/18/2010: Why another repost? Well, it seems high time to move the previous post out of its position of primacy. Oddly enough, this repost also contains the early ruminations about cyberstalkers -- comedically known as inveterate "yes, but"-ers! So why *really* is this being reposted? Because as I watch the Olympic skiers, I remember my darling Bill.

Oh, unclench your orifice! It is a good thing this time. I am getting better at this.

I loved him. He loved skiing. So why in the world should I cringe and cry before the evidence of all that joy? I am twisting and turning, laughing and shaking off the real snow flakes on the shoulders of my imaginary faux-fur lined parka. I see him in every face.

And if, now and then, his voice sounds, trailing away in little boy tones on that long-ago telephone? It was gut-wrenching then, and still sometimes now... but at least I can recognize what an honor it was, just to be there, hanging on to that land line like it was the tether to the whole goddamn ball of wax.

It was what it was and I am getting better at remembering with honesty. They're a special breed, these alpinistes!


(ORIGINALLY POSTED 11/2009)I have rarely been afraid to write here, or anywhere. Certainly, grad school and trepidation went well together, but like labor pain, that pain has faded so that I almost don't remember the minor agonies that birthed my degrees. Unfortunately, the life of those degrees is not the extension of self that a child might be.

I am afraid to write to you, but will conquer that fear with this post. (Don't flee before my MollyBloomEsque monologues, as they matter to the story!)

After my love-and-hate relationship with the sciences, and inspired by working 40-hour weekends in a CCU so that my scholarship money might actually cover tuition and books, I decided on a BA in French. So as not to fall prey to the frustrations of teaching forever in some backward schoolhouse in the boondocks, I decided to shoot for [my concept of] the Upper Room of Literary Criticism and go for a Master's at UC-Berkeley.

As part of my plot, er... plan, to get the hell out of Dodge and into the Cradle of My Civilization in the sanfranciscobayarea, I decided to compete for a scholarship to "do" linguistics at the Université de Montréal. I saw it as a way to simultaneously beef up my education and also legitimately respond to a growing personal interest.

So the two years leading up to the exodus to California were, obviously, frenetic and academically challenging. I managed to cram three years of study into two, do two minors, the aforementioned 40-hour weekends, and pursue a pretty active social life, as well. Indeed, during some of that period, I was head-over-heels in love.

But what you cannot deduce without more information is that these years were also the absolute worst of my life. I actively work at not remembering, and am talented at that particular waste of The Life Force -- until someone does something, or something happens, that calls it up. Then? Then I relive it as if it has never stopped happening. Not to sound too SamuelBeckett but it feels as if the events of that time are always and forever on the verge of happening.

It was an insightful prof who lead me by the hand to Beckett's continually becoming body of work. My friends, colleagues, patients, and loves all traveled together, rocking to the sound of his gravelly voice. I drank and drugged, coffee'd and smoked, and knew only that because I could not speak, I had to speak.

Beckett taught me how to live the story of my life without a plot, how to speak my pure monologues in order to stay alive, how to live detached, how to sit, peacefully,separately, in the middle of an unnamable, disjointed, haunted mess -- always, always, speaking, telling, voicing, in order to exist, in the hope of existence.

I return to L'innomable the way some turn to The Bible -- it is my floating driftwood when vessels flounder. It is something entirely different from a "favorite novel," because we all know that would be Lynne Sharon Schwartz's Disturbances in the Field. Or Anouilh's Becket ou l'honneur de Dieu. It's a tough call.

Sometimes, I think it is the relative ease of moving from French to English, English to French, that ramps up the usefulness of S. Beckett, because the language never leaves the author's intent; We have the author's best in either.

And so from L'innomable, this phrase bent over my shoulder and offered itself up as The Expression of That Mean Time.

the unintelligible terms of an incomprehensible damnation: “Where now? Who now? When now? Unquestioning. I, say I. Unbelieving. Questions, hypotheses, call them that. Keep going, going on, call that going, call that on.”

Yes, I could keep going and you might think me rambling, but it isn't but I must say it, I simply must, or I will never write again the possibility, the possibility of writing.

Between my freshman year at an elite, private college and the richer aggregate of time at a large, mediocre, public university, I took what is known as "a break." You are likely familiar with the concept! [If you took "a break" at some point in your life, stop a moment, and remember, smiling.]

The first experience was a snooty education geared to the production of doctors, lawyers, and presbyterian ministers. Emblematic of my issues there? I was clearly destined to be pre-med but most enjoyed calculus and p-chem when seen more as competing philosophies. I adored biology but enjoyed training as an EMT better. Because I am tall, I was appointed to stand under the basket when my dormitory hall participated in mandatory intramural athletics - often of a Sunday afternoon, after a Sunday morning in mandatory Chapel. Yet every weekday that I was able, I ran to the empty tennis courts to play Wall Ball. I wasn't good enough to even make the tennis team, despite having an undefeated high school record (we stacked a good deck!).

I wouldn't have minded being pulled in multiple directions, if my honest interests were represented, but it quickly became clear that they weren't.

On a purely emotional plane, the pushme-pullyou nature of things continued. One of the reasons I chose this snotty school was that my biological mother, stepfather, and two half-siblings had come from Turkey and settled nearby. She wanted to reconnect. I thought with me, but that was an interpretive error. She yearned for the three young kids she'd abandoned 14 years earlier, not the three young adults that actually existed. Of the three, I was the only one to make any move to meet her, there where she had decided to make her stand.

It's unfortunate that I did not know of her obsession with Brother-Unit Tumbleweed, whose photography serves as windows from this blog. His decades of picturing the canyon can be found at one of his blogs, American Idyll. Anyway, Tumbleweed had long been gone from my life when I started college -- he ran, he ran, he ran away just a few years after she left us high and dry in a foreign land. It was heartbreaking that no one told her, and I confess to thoughts of fleeing, myself, when the second thing she said to me upon our reunion was "How is myfirstchild?" I developed a stammer that lasted the whole evening.

"He's... gone. He left. Didn't you know?"

I accented every final syllable. Her eyes became, and stayed, a wasteland. [And now she, too, is dying.]

We had two brief meetings, carefully brokered by lawyers, while I was in high school, but now, as a pseudo-adult, I wanted to use some of my college time getting to know her and her family.

Much as with the ivy-leaved bricks, there was a wall; I just couldn't do it. We were all so fundamentally different one from another and the word love flew off of loose lips at a rate that I found both alarming and insulting.

I still do not trust anyone who blathers on and blithers about the meaning of friendship, and lovelovelove. "Show me," I beg, silent.

So... that's why I took a break.

I worked in a hospital, in the post-intensive neuro ward, and took courses (like World Civilization and Death as Metaphor, plus several creative writing workshops) in a catch-as-catch-can sort of way. I lived with some incredible and mind-boggling people -- a respiratory-therapist-turned-waitress who took at least three new men to bed per week, was on probation for selling drugs, and who racked up several DUIs during my stay... and a woman who was just plain looney-tunes.

I'm just sayin'.

Lastly, I lived with Bill, the real and true love of my life.

By the time Bill had to move home to Ohio because he suffered a recurrence of an aggressive brain cancer, I was ready to leave the mountains, head back east, and throw myself into forgetfulness.

And so I did.

I am not crying as I write this. I hold the picture-snap memories at a cold distance while I share with you the bare minimum of moments.

It's not as if I have the words to say the feel of the weight of him on top of me, his long black hair in my mouth, as I hold on to dear life.

Bill's parents did not like me much. I was the Harlot that had spirited away their talented son. It must be the brain tumor that chose the Harlot, they said. Otherwise, he would be doing as they expected him to do, which involved a born again Christian woman from a family already in their sainted circle.

And so at first it was a rocky relationship, the bizarre telephone routine that developed between me and Bill's Mom. Bill felt the décalage, the disconnect, between his physical decline and his image of what he was able to do, and he did not deal well with it. Then, after he did make his peace with his loss of coordination and stamina, with the terrible head aches and fog, he had no weapon against his loss of recent memory. He had to learn and relearn hard, painful lessons.

His mind apparently would go back to our time living together, and he decided, somehow, that every order he did not like coming from (primarily) his mother merited a phone call to me. I would have to support her demands, explain them over and over, while walking to and fro in the sunny living room I now shared with my best friend The Radical Iranian Lesbian.

The hardest thing was The Nap. They were trying to help him cope by entreating him to nap every afternoon -- it also coincided with the timing of some important medications. It mattered, is what I am trying to say.

At least, it mattered until the day it just didn't anymore.

Shit. I am crying. Excuse me, I'm gonna go cook something. I'm thinking a One Pot Wonder, starting with onions, garlic, sea salt, cumin, turmeric, and so on. A grain, some protein in the form of lentils and peanuts. I need to finish off some veggies, too.

Okay, I'm back and does it smell good in here! Yum... It turned out to be a marathon due to the comingling of foodstuffs requiring very different cooking times.

So... the last phone tag game Bill's Mom and I played, indeed, the last time we "spoke," was a conversation that went around and around the topic of The Nap.

We would hammer out the Why of The Nap, he would murmur assent, and then within 30 seconds, he would say, "But Retired Educator! I don't want to take a nap!" Yes, he sounded sweetly sleepy and all of two years old.

He told me he wanted to go for a ride in the car but that they wouldn't (of course) give him the keys.

He told me he didn't like the medicine.
He told me he was tired.
He told me he didn't know who I was.
He told me he loved me.
He told me he hated me because he didn't want to take a nap and he hated his medicine and why wouldn't his mother just leave him alone, and how much he loved his mother, and his dad.

And I was worn out, my floor was being worn out with the pacing, I needed to throw up or smoke a joint.

And his Mom got back on and I told her, "I cannot do this anymore..." And she answered, not missing a beat, and I didn't even know we had a cadence, and she said, "I don't think you'll have to."

A neat story would finish: And he died in his sleep the very next day.

But he didn't. He hung on for months. We spoke but less and less, as there was nothing to say.

Then he died. I have no idea if he died peacefully, or well. (I have an unfortunate belief that dying well is very important, as so I did not ask, as I could not bear knowing.)

The last six months of Bill's life, I began to date Brian. I met Brian before Bill, actually, and found him interesting, but mostly just found him... available.

We were very compatible sexually, liked much of the same music, and that was about it.

Not being someone who was able to see a sort of morbid leitmotif running through my romantic life, it didn't matter much to me that he was a hemophiliac, that we made a couple of runs a month to the Emergency Room so that he could receive Factor 8. He had a tendency to bleed into his knees and hips.

I thought he had a great attitude about it, and admired his determination to try and live a normal life, especially his insistence on fun, fun, fun. We had sex and went to concerts, and enjoyed food shopping and experimental cook offs. He was handsome and smart. I close the lids of my eyes today -- I see him. Full-lips, wheat hair, a baritone voice.

These days, I cannot sleep because of pain, and now I understand why Brian could not sleep. I was an insomniac because of the constant thoughts of what was happening to Bill, my 40-hour weekends, and my obsessive perfectionism in my schoolwork.

Sleep would have provided an unwelcome opportunity for dreams.

We did drugs, we drank, we smoked. All of that aside? It was a pretty healthy life. {coughcoughcough}

After Bill died at the ripe old age of 24, I thought I'd be relieved, thought that after grief came release. But -- possibly because I was slightly repressive with my emotions {coughcoughcough} -- that's not what happened.

NOTHING happened. The world didn't stop, or even pause, in its turning. I could not understand why all of nature did not weep.

I had set so much in motion academically that it was easy to just stay in kind of a latent, milky, sexy, depressive denial. The harder a task, the better. And there was always Brian.

At some point, Brian began to feel threatened by Bill, and his death did not diminish his feelings. I must confess that, even now, I don't understand how or why it came to bother him so. It began to be apparent to my co-workers and friends that while I was not serious, Brian was. Terribly.

So I began the breaking-up process, that ugly dance. I became less available. I shared less. I talked about my academic plans, the moves that were coming up, my plans to do some preliminary great work in Québec, then Paris, all before Berkeley. I got breathless just laying out the itinerary.

Did I pause to notice that Brian's life was set in stone, that no matter whom he dated, his struggle with hemophilia and a sadly dysfunctional family would always define his existence, and chokes his dreams? Yes and no, both. Of four sons with hemophilia, only two were still living. Brian lived with his mother; And his mother lived in a time warp, in a place in her head where her children had been born well, and happy, not cursed by blood-borne disease.

I actually wrote down a heartless plan for the final week of our romance -- I thought I could organize and execute the rupture with cold precision. The day I had indicated as the last day? He came over unexpectedly that morning; We had plans to meet for dinner. He put a big grocery bag on the kitchen counter, full of the makings for a cheese souffle. It was only about 9:30 in the morning, and I was honestly distracted by some last minute reading for a seminar, and so was surprised when I got up to find him in the bath, candles lit, music soft.

It was one of his favorite things to do -- in part, I surmise now, due to the comfort of warm water on his joints. At the time, it just screamed "sex" to me! And on that particular day? Break-up Day? Well, I came close to screaming, and the words coming out of my mouth weren't related to sexual pleasure. No, I think I unleashed my grief at him, my sense of drowning came rushing out, water swirled round and round, clockwise because we were North of the equator.

I didn't know much about mental health. If I had, I might've realized that Brian was no longer functioning in reality. He was suffering psychotic breaks. He made numerous suicide attempts.

By the time he stormed out of my place that day? Brian was my stalker.

That word wasn't much used, then. Guidelines were not in place, authorities were blissfully unconcerned, even in my university town. How do I know? Because I ended by seeking help everywhere I could and there was none to be had. Except for counseling! I went into counseling! Actually, the counselor was a good egg, a wonderful friend by the end.

Brian knew my schedule backward and forward. He knew when I turned on the radio, and would dedicate songs to me. He waited for me in the library stacks. He followed me in the hospital, until he decided, via incomplete suicidal gestures, to become a patient in the very unit I worked. I was sent home several times because he had become a patient in the CCU. Once, he overdosed on aspirin, the hemophiliac's inside joke.

The unit had 16 beds, 8 per hourglass side. We tried having me work the other end, ducking as I went room to room! But he would see me and begin to wail, "Retired Educator, Retired Educator, I did it because of yoouuuuu!"

This went on for about 3 months, I think, steadily escalating.

I came to value friendship, and understand it, as never before. My friends organized themselves as lookouts, and as the situation got more and more dangerous, went themselves to the cops and Brian's new psychiatrist.

An aside: I cannot remember her last name, but Anne was possibly the worst psychiatrist in the entire world. If she had listened to us -- and I believe I was but one of five people who barged into her office -- Brian might still be alive. I might be a happier camper, who knows?

I did not know that stress could reach the heights my stress accomplished. I developed gastrointestinal bleeding, lost over 20 pounds.

Threatening suicide over and over -- it is a very mean and hurtful form of intensely personal attack. Just when it would seem every effort to ignore Brian should be made, I was emotionally blackmailed by an onslaught of suicidal threats. I glared, uncomprehending, at my counselor and at my co-workers when they suggested that I not respond.

How do you just not respond when someone contacts you to say that they want to end their very existence, when this is someone you have talked to through long nights, shared with, slept with? To this day, though I am now schooled in what might be called a Tougher Love, to this day... I don't know, I don't know.

I do, however, have a very healthy and robust anger that springs forth when anyone so cruelly hurts another.

Brian attacked me physically four or five times. He proved adept at breaking into, and stealing, my car.

The two times he attacked me inside my own home, though, are episodes I am able to relive in minute detail. I envy people who are able to subsume their memories into neat containers, labelled things like "scared to death." I would have to be one who, instead, can actually see and feel the hands going around my neck, squeezing, as the back of my head is slammed into the white plaster wall.

I would have to really see the weird offerings he'd leave on my front seat, particularly the last gifts: his beloved boots, The Beatles' Love Songs, sheaths of rambling writing, a red rose.

The last weekend, my friends were even on duty while I was at work. We had found it easier to track Brian constantly, and then react as needed, rather than passively wait for him to show up and do God-knows-what.

I don't think I put in more than 3 hours that Friday before I looked up to see my counselor peeking in the unit door. Brian had made another suicide attempt and one of my friends had managed to get an ambulance sent to him in time. He was combative, and was making threats.

The police consistently maintained that they could do nothing to help me (or Brian) unless I called them while actually under physical attack. They wanted to characterize his terrifying verbiage as some sort of passing love sickness.

My counselor begged me to leave work and go stay with his family for the night. Really, I wish, right now, that I could hug that man and thank him, yet again. I think he probably saved my life.

They released Brian around midnight. Yes, you read that right. They just let him go.

The Brian-Monitoring Gang was, like me, exhausted. I imagine that night as the first night in a long while when we all got a decent sleep.

They found Brian early the next morning, in his car, parked in a wildlife reserve. He ran a hose from the exhaust into the driver's side window.

He left notes everywhere. In the car. In my home. In his Mom's kitchen. And he made sure to mail a bunch of stuff as well, from different places, that I began receiving on Tuesday. [That's a detail that eats at me for some reason. Why did he travel such far distances in order to mail different pieces of hateful correspondance?] [And why do I persist in wanting anything he did to make sense? He was delusional; He was psychotic.]

I could go on and on, but I am sure you want this post to end, and I KNOW that this has been a huge and tremendous drain (and simultaneous boon) on my mental reserves.

Brian was consistent in his final messages. He wrote, in as many permutations as possible, that "I am dead because Retired Educator refused to love me back."

So they buried Brian next to his brothers. I met his surviving brother, a novelist and playwright. When I moved, years and years later, guess who was living three blocks away from me? No shit!

I was barred from the funeral. Brian's admonition that he was dead because I would not love him back? It took on a life of its own after he died, blue and stiff, and cold. Words are lively, and tenacious.

I did not miss a beat. Back to the rigor of school and work, getting ready to go to Montréal to work on the linguistics of joual.

Oh yes, I forgot. I made what might be called the "finals" of the scholarship competition. The last task was to write a long devoir in a five hour period -- the questions only unveiled the day I sat for it.

Two of the five hours were spent trying to escape Brian and his patented grab-her-by-the-neck-slam-her-into-the-grey-cinderblocks technique. I had been consigned to a large, mostly empty classroom building adjacent to the Foreign Language Department. I might also have died that day had not my sponsor decided to drop in to see how my work was going. Instead, she found me huddled in the corner of the room with a bruised neck and face, flecks of blood in my hair.

I remember my shock at her shock. Somehow, I thought everyone knew what was going on. I saw her at least a dozen times a week, for class, for chats. How could she not know about Brian? About Bill? Had I really remained mute through it all?

Back in September of this year, a friend to whom I had been serving as a kind of mentor got herself caught up in some kind of feud with another person, online. I had "known" her for over 2 years. I knew she had a lot of problems but I also believed her when she said she was working on them, overcoming them. I believed her when it seemed that, overnight, the whole world was against her.

It's a long and boring story, and sadly, it doesn't seem to end.

She has become my cyber-stalker. I know, in my head, that she won't come and bash my head into the thick walls of Marlinspike Hall, at least, I hope she won't.

Cause I hate when that happens!

I did not know that all the feelings from that sexy, heavy, wet, slow, warm and cold, thick, dead, frenetic time could be revived -- by a woman known to me only through words on a screen, and pictures.

Once again, my stomach bleeds, my intestines churn, I cannot eat, I cannot sleep, I am drowning in it all again, and it isn't easier for water having passed under the mossy mossy bridge.

the unintelligible terms of
an incomprehensible damnation

the unintelligible terms of an incomprehensible damnation
the unintelligible terms of an incomprehensible damnation the unintelligible terms of
an incomprehensible damnation

I want to leave you with the only words I feel like I have ever really known.

Please approach the translation below as if it were a holy space, because it is. This is called the last sentence of Beckett's The Unnamable -- "Parsed and Punctuated by Colin Greenlaw."

If you wish to ignore it, move your hand slowly to your mouse and cursor; Create some distraction to draw my eyes away, make a scene.

"Look, Retired Educator, a brontosaurus!"

Where? Where?
If you are open to the experience, pour yourself a stiff one, or brew some largely unknown form of tea, and dive in. Don't forget to tell someone where you have gone, in the event of an emergency.
I don't hear everything, that must be it, the important things escape me: it's not my turn. (The topographical and anatomical information in particular is lost on me.) No, I hear everything (what difference does it make?), the moment it's not my turn: my turn to understand, my turn to live, my turn of the life-screw (it calls that living!), the space of the way from here to the door. It's all there, in what I hear, somewhere - if all has been said, all this long time. All must have been said. But it's not my turn to know what: to know what I am, where I am, and what I should do to stop being it, to stop being there (that's coherent), so as to be another (no? the same? I don't know), depart into life, travel the road, find the door, find the axe (perhaps it's a cord) for the neck, for the throat, for the cords. (Or fingers: I'll have eyes, I'll see fingers.) It will be the silence. (Perhaps it's a drop: find the door, open the door, drop. Into the silence.)

It won't be I. I'll stay here - or there (more likely there). It will never be I, that's all I know. It's been done already, said and said again: the departure, the body that rises, the way (in colour), the arrival, the door that opens, closes again. It was never I. I've never stirred, I've listened.

I must have spoken?

Why deny it? Why not admit it, after all? (I deny nothing, I admit nothing.) I say what I hear? I hear what I say? I don't know. One or the other. Or both. (That makes three possibilities: pick your fancy.)

All these stories about travellers, these stories about paralytics: all are mine. I must be extremely old (or it's memory playing tricks). If only I knew if I've lived, if I live, if I'll live - that would simplify everything! Impossible to find out, that's where you're buggered. I haven't stirred, that's all I know. (No, I know something else: it's not I - I always forget that.) I resume (you must resume): never stirred from here, never stopped telling stories, to myself (hardly hearing them, hearing something else, listening for something else), wondering now and then where I got them from. Was I in the land of the living? Were they in mine? And where? Where do I store them? (In my head? I don't feel a head on me.) And what do I tell them with? With my mouth? (Same remark.) And what do I hear them with?

And so on, the old rigmarole. It can't be I. Or it's because I pay no heed: it's such an old habit, I do it without heeding. Or as if I were somewhere else.

There I am far again, there I am absentee again: it's his turn now, he who neither speaks nor listens, who has neither body nor soul. It's something else he has: he must have something, he must be somewhere. He is made of silence (there's a pretty analysis), he's in the silence. He's the one to be sought, the one to be, the one to be spoken of, the one to speak. But he can't speak: then I could stop, I'd be he, I'd be the silence, I'd be back in the silence, we'd be reunited, his story the story to be told.

But he has no story, he hasn't been in story? It's not certain: he's in his own story, unimaginable, unspeakable. That doesn't matter: the attempt must be made, in the old stories incomprehensibly mine, to find his. It must be there somewhere. It must have been mine, before being his. I'll recognize it, in the end I'll recognize it: the story of the silence that he never left, that I should never have left, that I may never find again, that I may find again. Then it will be he, it will be I, it will be the place: the silence, the end, the beginning, the beginning again - how can I say it? That's all words, they're all I have - and not many of them: the words fail, the voice fails. So be it. I know that well. It will be the silence, full of murmurs, distant cries. The usual silence, spent listening, spent waiting, waiting for the voice.

The cries abate, like all cries. (That is to say they stop.) The murmurs cease, they give up. The voice begins again (it begins trying again). Quick now before there is none left, no voice left, nothing left but the core of murmurs, distant cries: quick now and try again, with the words that remain. Try what? (I don't know, I've forgotten, it doesn't matter, I never knew.) To have them carry me into my story, the words that remain? (My old story, which I've forgotten, far from here.) Through the noise, through the door. Perhaps I'm at the door! (That would surprise me.) Perhaps it's I! Perhaps somewhere or other it was I! I can depart! All this time I've journeyed without knowing it: it's I now at the door. (What door? What's a door doing here?)

It's the last words, the true last. Or it's the murmurs: the murmurs are coming, I know that well. No, not even that. You talk of murmurs, distant cries, as long as you can talk. You talk of them before and you talk of them after. More lies: it will be the silence (the one that doesn't last) spent listening, spent waiting (for it to be broken, for the voice to break it). Perhaps there's no other, I don't know. It's not worth having, that's all I know. (It's not I, that's all I know.) It's not mine. It's the only one I ever had? That's a lie: I must have had the other, the one that lasts - but it didn't last. (I don't understand.) That is to say it did: it still lasts. I'm still in it. I left myself behind in it. I'm waiting for me there. (No, there you don't wait, you don't listen.)

I don't know: perhaps it's a dream, all a dream. (That would surprise me.) I'll wake, in the silence, and never sleep again. (It will be I?) Or dream (dream again), dream of a silence, a dream silence, full of murmurs (I don't know, that's all words), never wake (all words, there's nothing else).

You must go on, that's all I know.

They're going to stop, I know that well: I can feel it. They're going to abandon me. It will be the silence, for a moment (a good few moments). Or it will be mine? The lasting one, that didn't last, that still lasts? It will be I?

You must go on.

I can't go on.

You must go on.

I'll go on. You must say words, as long as there are any - until they find me, until they say me. (Strange pain, strange sin!) You must go on. Perhaps it's done already. Perhaps they have said me already. Perhaps they have carried me to the threshold of my story, before the door that opens on my story. (That would surprise me, if it opens.)

It will be I? It will be the silence, where I am? I don't know, I'll never know: in the silence you don't know.

You must go on.

I can't go on.

I'll go on.

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