L'Amour - excerpt
She opens her eyes. She sees him, looks at him.
He comes closer to her. He stops. He has reached her.
–What are you doing here, night is falling.
She replies, very clearly:
She gestures before her, the sea, the beach, the blue town, the white roofs be--yond the beach, everything.
He turns: the man who walks along the shore has disappeared.
He takes another step, leans against the wall.
He is there, next to her.
The intensity of the light changes, is changing.
It grows white, changes, is changing. He says:
–The light is changing.
She turns slightly toward him, she speaks. Her voice is clear, so gentle and mild, nearly frightening.
–You heard someone cry out.
Her tone does not invite response. He responds:
She turns back to the sea.
–You arrived this morning.
The pattern of her thought is clear. She gestures around her, the space, she ex--plains:
–This—this is S. Thala, all the way to the river.
She is silent.
The light changes again.
He raises his head, looks in the direction of her gesture: he sees that from the far end of S. Thala, toward the south, the man who walks is returning, making his way through the seagulls, he is returning.
His pace is even.
Like the changing of the light.
Again the light: the light. Changes, then suddenly does not change anymore. Brightens, freezes, even, shining. The traveler says:
The man who walks has reached the point in his walk where he had stopped a moment earlier. He stops. He turns, he sees, he too looks, he waits, he looks again, he starts again, he comes.
His footsteps cannot be heard at all.
He arrives. He stops opposite the one who leans against the wall, the traveler. His eyes are blue, piercing, transparent. The emptiness in his gaze is absolute. He speaks with a firm voice, gesturing around him, everywhere. He says:
–What’s happening here?
–The light has frozen.
His tone expresses violent hope.
Light frozen, shining.
They look all around them at the flood of light, shining. The traveler speaks first:
–It will shift again.
–I think so.
She is silent.
He approaches the traveler leaning against the wall. His eyes fix on him, blue, engulf him. The man gestures with his hand, points beyond the sea wall.
–You’re staying at the hotel over there?
–Yes. I arrived this morning.
She is silent, still watching the frozen light. He takes his eyes off the traveler, notices the stillness of the light.
–Something is bound to happen. This is impossible.
Silence: with the light, sound also has ceased, the sound of the sea.
His blue gaze comes back to focus upon the traveler:
–This isn’t the first time you have come to S. Thala.
The traveler tries to answer, several times he opens his mouth to respond.
–Well—you see—he stops.
His voice has no echo. The stillness in the air equals the stillness of the light.
He tries to answer.
They don’t expect a response.
Unable to respond, the traveler raises his hand and gestures at the space around him. Finally, he manages to come closer to an answer:
–Well—he stops—I remember, yes, I remember–
Her luminous voice rises up to him with dazzling clarity, she asks:
An uncontrollable shudder, from within, overwhelming, leaves him breathless. He whispers:
–All of it. Everything.
He has answered:
–the movement of the light resumes, the sounds of the sea resume, the blue gaze of the man who walks recedes.
The man who walks gestures at everything, the sea, the beach, the blue town, the white capital, he says:
–Here, this is S. Thala, until the river.
His movement stops. Then his movement resumes, he gestures again, but more precisely, it seems, at all of it, the sea, the beach, the blue town, the white town, towns beyond, others still: all the same. He adds:
–And after the river, that’s S. Thala as well.
She gets up. She follows him. Her first steps are unsteady, very slow. Then they even out.
She walks. She follows him.
They move away.
They skirt S. Thala, it seems; they do not enter its depths.