Nagasaki

Nagasaki by Emily Boyce Éric Faye Read Free Book Online

Book: Nagasaki by Emily Boyce Éric Faye Read Free Book Online
Authors: Emily Boyce Éric Faye
anything; it had stopped.
    Dismantling the camera was child’s play. Deciding what to do with it afterwards, less so. Get rid of it? I could just as easily put it away in the bottom of a drawer; it wouldn’t do anyone any further harm. When I had it in my hand, I found myself squeezing it tightly as if trying to crush it. Someone was behind bars thanks to this contraption! Realising I was trying to put theblame on an inanimate object, I gradually turned on myself, shouting out loud and not pulling my punches: What the hell do you want with that now? Going to put out more bait in the middle of the table and wait for another mouse to walk into the trap? Want to film the moment of capture, do you? Play it back afterwards? Do you think your kitchen’s a casting room? How many lost souls do you want paraded in front of you until the right one comes along, your fairytale princess? You never managed to find her in the outside world the way everyone else does, but you think she’s going to turn up here? Come on, get real, you’ve never even managed to hold down a relationship …
    Of course you feel better after vomiting. In what you throw up are the words that form in your brain but you never express. Rubbish along with heavy beer. I thought a shower would calm me down afterwards and I’d be overcome with tiredness. I was wrong. I lay down and waited, but it wouldn’t come. Sleep? No, the ability to forget. Not that poor woman, who meant nothing to me, but my own entire existence, whose barren aridity had suddenly been revealed for all to see.No ambition had grown from it in years, no hope either. I cursed that woman. It was because of her that the fog had lifted.
    After two hours mulling over the same disappointments, I got out of bed again. I committed a crime that night: I started smoking again. Standing in the living room, with the window open to let the air in. Before long, I had had enough. I threw away the ash, angry with myself at having gone back to the filthy habit, and then I left the room. Back in the corridor, as unthinkingly as I had turned to cigarettes, I turned to the spare room.
    I wanted to know what it was like. What you could hear from in there. What she might have heard of me. With some difficulty, I heaved myself up onto the top shelf. Had she once been an acrobat? A dancer? She was certainly agile. I stretched out there, in the place she had spent so many nights. My body barely fitted, my head and toes touching either end of the airless tomb. Yet I stayed there a while. These were appallingly cramped quarters, like those capsule hotel rooms, or a space capsule. How had she done it for somany nights? I lay for a long time listening to the sounds of my house and trying desperately, yes, desperately to sniff out the scent trail she might have left behind; I wanted the mattress to be steeped in the smell of her. To have taken her shape.

 
     
    Outside, the past has begun to yellow. Humankind is becoming dry and brittle. When I say the past, what I mean is the time of her arrest back at the height of summer, and the evening I found myself home alone again – on my own as if a lover had dumped me. That was three months ago; it already seems so distant. I think I did my best to forget about it, and I must say the arrival of autumn has gone a long way towards making that happen. For this autumn has seeped into the soul. It has poured into us. Brought silence where there was none. At times, those walking past the dockyards do not hear the usual hammering. Gone are the echoes, clashes and cries. In the harbour, the cranes are barely loading or unloading. Elsewhere in the city where major works were in progress,the bulldozers are frozen. These dinosaurs of the industrial age have been struck down with a mysterious malady. They have spoken of it again and again on the TV, they call it the Crisis and the cure has yet to be found. The banks have stopped lending money. Some of them have no money left themselves.

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