XIII — You must listen intently to the sound in your ears. It’s a carrier signal.
You must listen intently to the sound in your ears. It’s a carrier signal. The message is layered into it. You have to separate the two. Turn the message into the signal. The message tells you. Follow what the message says. It’s easiest to separate the message when you are lying-down. Go and lie down.
So I do. I go and lie down, for a while, on the dust-red sofa, grip the grimed up arm. The dirty yellow lamp across the way, throwing out a feeble glow casts as some ante room to the timeless void. Who do you love? Just me. That’s all she says. I move onto my left elbow and look across at the woman. Who do you love? Just me. She says again. The yellow light frames her like a dark space. Listen. I say to her after a while: listen to that. What’s your point, she asks? I just want to know if you hear that. Yes I hear it. What do you want to know? I lay back on my back. There’s something wrong with me I think? Thick air pushes down the dust. And the red sofa is slowly fading away even as I lay on it. There is nothing wrong. This is the way it is. You mean in some kind of predestined type thing. No. No no not like that. Not at all. It isn’t like that, she says. I turn again to look at her as a dark space in the yellow. Do you have dark hair? She replies: maybe. Can’t you see it? Can’t you see the colour of the dress I’m wearing? I wait for the haze to clear for a moment, the haze that flows in and out and around us. I wait for a moment. A pause. A gap. A lucid gap into which I can make something. I feel a compulsion to get up and get into the light. Get a sense of her. But the compulsion isn’t strong enough. It doesn’t matter that much. The moment passes along with the rest. The yellow lamp becomes relatively brighter. So I lay back on my back and try to define what she looks like in my mind’s eye. The outline of her face swims and blurs and freezes and fades in, out, squares of overlapping colours transform in a way that resists bringing in the resolution. I stop it. This is the best way, I conclude. It’s the best way because it means I don’t care enough and that in itself is success. It’s the best way because I avoid imposing yet another fiction on the world. So I let her go completely and then, when I ask again if she can hear it, there comes no reply.
She never was of consequence, after all. Just part of the contingency of being. I lean back on my elbow and there is only space and the signal; that now I have to respond to. The telephone is ringing and I have to go and answer it. How does the telephone sound? It sounds like this:
[Space]. How does the telephone look? It looks like this: [space]. The yellow light is filling the room with an intensity pushing out all the shadows and lifts up the dust that covers the furniture; the sofa, the chair, the table. The dust converges into a dense point, absolutely in centre of this room. It converges to a point and then that point disappears into itself. A small space is left and the yellow light has to bend around it and I have to move my head just to one side as I pass to the telephone. I pick up the phone. Put the set to my ear and listen. As soon as I pick it up, the carrier signal gives way and I get ready for the message. Here it is: […]