and, sometimes, it never stops
Sometimes I feel so bad, so bad
O. died yesterday. Last time I saw him was in 2013 after a long hiatus in our conversations on art and music and books. We met at a conference on photography and it was like our conversation had never really gone mute.
If you look into someone’s face long enough, eventually you’re going to feel that you’re looking at yourself
We promised to reconnect and go out for coffee, rekindle our platonic passion for Auster and New York and let our words wander to beautiful spaces. We never did. We exchanged texts wishing each other a happy new year and thought we would have time to keep our promises.
Every life is inexplicable, I kept telling myself. No matter how many facts are told, no matter how many details are given, the essential thing resists telling. To say that so and so was born here and went there, that he did this and did that, that he married this woman and had these children, that he lived, that he died, that he left behind these books or this battle or that bridge – none of that tells us very much.
Even if we know it’s a part of life, death is inexplicable as well. O. died yesterday. His heart just stopped on the same day of his birthday. The day he had given up celebrating a long time ago. Mr. Vertigo left the same day he arrived. Like a time traveller.
The emptiness inside your body grows lighter than the air around you. Little by little, you begin to weigh less than nothing. You shut your eyes; you spread your arms; you let yourself evaporate. And then, little by little, you lift yourself off the ground.
Paul Auster, Mr. Vertigo
Paul Auster, The New York Trilogy
Photo: Central Park CC0 Public Domain