For me, 1976 was the year I moved in with my girlfriend. It was something we had talked about for some time but it hadn’t seemed like the right time until suddenly it was. I hadn’t seen B in about six months, and oddly it was talking about him that finally made us decide that what we really needed to do in order to move on with our lives was to excise a lot of the demons of our youth, move in with one another, and start doing responsible things like having a savings account, waking up early, eating fruit. But it didn’t really work out like that.
I was working as a translator, worrying my way through some really dreadful detective novels from English into Spanish. I never quite figured out why, but the Spanish have an insatiable appetite for these kinds of books, and the French, too. It keeps me occupied and employed, but it’s disheartening for me to fill up the language I love so dearly with so many mealy-mouthed phrases of dubious quality. Agatha Christie has a lot to answer for, but really I was thankful for the work.
But art pervades all that we do, and soon enough I was convinced that B’s disappearance, and the accompanying note which I found pinned to my door (an incoherent note that was impossible to understand. He wrote of starships and tiny molemen who grubbed around underneath the earth, undermining virtuous activities via some kind of telepathy), was the beginning of some tightly wound plot, the details of which would be up to me to unravel.
My girlfriend usually went to bed at 8:30 or 9:00pm, and then after that I would read, or translate, or just sit out on the tiny balcony and watch the lights of cars driving by and listen to the footsteps of people walking just below me. But then after B’s note I began leaving the house after she had fallen asleep, and I would wander in no fixed direction, simply walking. I knew it was ridiculous to be in search of clues, and yet there I was, night after night, scrounging around for – what? I didn’t even know myself.
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The above piece of writing comprises part of my fragments project, some of which are available on this website. I intend to add new fragments piecemeal, not in any particular order, and as the occasion take me.