²⁶ Over the phone
I ring a life that is frail :
… It’s so good to hear your voice
— Yes … here too, it’s very good
…it’s been a long time …
…How are you
How have you been ?
— How have I been ? How … I… I will have to…ask the maid
How have I been …
… I will have to … I will have to ask about the … people that were here, about the things that happened …
— But you, Grandma, how are you ?
…? I am. … I am …you know … I am as I’ve been
How to say it
We have been here
We have been here for over 60 years. Many books line the shelves, their confusing words in disarray.
Words that gather dust.
Where she had been throned, from the sofa to the chairs, the carpet and the trinkets; the cigarette case on the table even though nobody smoked, the cabinet of drinks and the family portraits.
Earlier, dreams still fell upon her sleep, bizarre associations and history — as if emerging, in gusts, in belches; the all-knowing smile of decades past, streams of consciousnesses vying for a few instants of attention.
Writers fallen asleep among their works; the friends and the beloved; cousins from the provinces and the faces lost to revolution and war — there should be many ghosts here.
Maybe it is for them that I am waiting: we are waiting for ghosts.
Suspension points riddle conversations: a hazy, name-lost love groping the silence. Cavities have deepened, between the familiar faces, the memories, between one word and the next, between the two syllables that were intended to form words. I tell myself : even her ghosts have lost their way, they fell into crevices or went mad at the crossroads. As if their presence would be able to solidify this body, bring back, keep.
… much love …
I hear the uneasy footsteps shuffle back, alone, towards the living room, the sofa, the padded blue armchairs.