Section 0022

     The gods are gone.

     “I have a surprise for you,” she said. His mother’s face, young and dying and afflicted, shone sharply before him and he squeezed his dry eyes shut for a moment.     
     The house does not forgive you. Hatch pulls, flap gates, rivets that The New York Times compared to decorative molding, and large-letter stenciling are still visible beyond the green and yellow colors used to paint them. [A]nd by the way steepness.
     Three-card Monte, chuck-a-luck boards and other gambling devices were operated on the street corners, and liquor was sold openly in violation of the law. Every second, ten stars set behind the black water in the west.
     I was like a soldier, who is not allowed, by the constant presence of an enemy, to throw off his armor, and lay down his weapons for a single moment.

     This is how all our trips began, the words that followed me every time I left the house. What are the promises being whispered to us here?

     Silence descends, one hears the wind outside, autumn leaves rustle and take flight, the cat sleeps in a warm pool of light. Again, certain sounds may be associated in my experience with certain colours and with a certain shape.

     You recognize me by my familiar voice and this hand is mine, you can do nothing about it, you laugh, old toucher of worlds; but I have seized the pearl and there you are, down below, dethroned. If the world had existed from eternity, it would follow that it is possible to add to the infinite.

     Clumps of dirt still dangled from the roots. The little lip lifts again with that miniature fierceness, as if this tells the whole delightful story.

     It was a rustling sound that woke me up. It seems to me that I did not see his face until dawn; I seem to recall the momentary glow of the cigarette.