²² A daguerreotype
An old man — a local — is seated on the decaying old walls. He doesn’t appear to be doing anything else. A nod, he answers :
How’s it doing, brother ?
Something bothers me in this tone, or is it the generic smile or the eyes. The urge to respond hastily, with a gush of violence has seized me. Perhaps it is this fraternisation that I had previously liked and perhaps even felt vaguely honoured by that has appeared as an unbearable intrusion when he spoke: sick words, dragging me — a citizen — towards some incestuous depths. I’m neither your brother nor your sister (I bark). Nor your uncle or cousin. Do not invite me to your foreign kingdom, among your Dead and your Wounded. I do not share the habits that your folk have taken up in this tongue. Tomorrow, if I wish, I’ll take the first boat and leave.
I wish I could have uttered…But I don’t speak the locals’ language well and only mumble a feeble greeting as I pass on.
His eyes follow me, as if saying - brother, no boat ever leaves from here.
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