“The locks of her case would click open, as if of their own accord. Opening a gateway beyond the dark curtain…” – SEMMANT
Or else: I turned from an idler into a patient at a home med-check. Lidia would arrive all in white, with a medic’s case in her hands. She exuded cold, ice – exuded inaccessibility, minty freshness. One immediately wanted to know: what was it she had in that case?
“Hello,” she would say. “I’m a nurse from the hospital one street over. You called about a procedure? My name is Adele. What’s yours? Let me see if I remember: you’re Defiort, right?”
“Yes,” I would answer, smiling. “They call me that sometimes.”
“They were called ‘observers’ or else ‘outsiders.’ They were alone in a world used to monotony, and they accepted loneliness with heads held high, conscious of its implacable nature…” – A SIMPLE SOUL
It is senseless to again aspire to what, of its own accord, had long ago ceased to make sense, he told himself, accepting as a postulate that free flight was unavoidable. He needed only to carefully calculate a trajectory – to move not in a straight line further and further and further, but rather in a more intricate way: sliding away and returning, waltzing and spinning, gliding on one skate and tracing out figure-eights. He would have to be clever and maneuver among the human masses without being carried away like a comet but allowing for only those interactions which he needed himself.
Thus the romance was changed to drama. And then to tragedy – in a few weeks…
Many years ago, in Buenos Aires, I made friends with Jorge, a journalist with one of the city’s newspapers. He specialized in articles about cars and was creative – he submitted his reviews as the impressions of a made-up character, twenty-year-old Laura, a tango dancer from Almagro. To the soulless cars she imparted bright and precise characteristics, telling about her trips in the automobiles of her lovers and friends – along with stories of her life full of men, tango, and adventures.
A week prior to my departure, Jorge acquainted me with his girlfriend, Agustina, a beauty from a rich family. “She only loves me for my articles,” he joked as he presented us to each other. “No,” Agustina smiled. “I only love you for Laura.” We laughed a bit at that joke.
“Utterly desirable – the kind of girl you couldn’t resist, ever…” – SEMMANT
My new plan wasn’t perfect, but, all the same, it was doomed to success. It included the most important element that leads to success: an idea. And this idea even had a name.
I also knew to get Lidia back I had to do something beautiful. And my idea – it was beautiful, no doubt.
Having the name as a starting point, I began to move further. I was assisted by its fabric, the tender poetics of its sounds. I imagined a girl who had never been, the greatest courtesan in the world. Or, if not the greatest, then at least one close to me in spirit. Close to Lidia and Little Sonya, to the twins from Siberia and the circus teen with the endlessly kind heart. She was tall, blue-eyed, and delicately blonde. She had graceful legs. Her name was Adele.
“The burden of the indifference of others is unbearable at all times. Unbearable, but you carry it…” – SEMMANT
Rene Magritte: Homesickness
Here’s what happened: I wrote a poem. Twenty lines without rhyme, a spasmodic shout into emptiness and obscurity.
It was Saturday. Rain drizzled; the month of December was beginning. The countess from yesterday, I thought, didn’t I dream of her? I felt a pang in my chest – love of others sprang up before my eyes, as if only to dismay my heart.
On the screen was Magritte’s familiar painting. My friend in black stood, wings unfurled, behind a powerful lion. The embankment was reminiscent of something – for a moment, at half strength, only teasing. The lion had known me once but made no attempt to recall it. The weight of his solitude was immeasurable.
“The idea was to create a special breed, a regiment of obedient geniuses…” – SEMMANT
They brought us from everywhere, and, to their credit, put a lot of effort into us. The project was massive and not intended to be done half way. The director of the facility met each child personally at the main entrance. I can still recall his narrow face and his troubled, ailing look. And I remember something else: everyone always called him simply the Director. Proper names were just not fitting, for him or for the School.
“Hello,” he said to me quietly. “We will try to make you happy.”
“The players’ money, of course, never reached actual trading desks – they just placed bad bets, and Lucco pocketed their losses…” – SEMMANT
The industry of ensnaring naïve souls, so trusting in their Lilliputian avarice, blossomed into a magnificent flower. So many of them landed in the net – from everywhere, from all over the world. Our computer files were checkered with the flags of different nations, which Lucco, just for fun, used to mark the names of new victims. Almost all of them ended up the same – regardless of their cleverness or determination – and roughly in the same amount of time. I knew some were losing the last money they had, but I didn’t pity them one bit; this was their personal choice.