Forlag W.W. Norton & Co.
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At the end, all that's left of you are your possessions. Perhaps that's why I've never been able to throw anything away. Perhaps that's why I hoarded the world: with the hope that when I died, the sum total of my things would suggest a life larger than the one I lived.
The pain of forgetting: the spine. The pain of remembering: the spine. All the times I have suddenly realized that my parents are dead, even now, it still surprises me, to exist in the world while that which made me has ceased to exist; my knees, it takes half a tube of Ben-Gay and a big production just to bend them. To everything a season, to every time I’ve woken only to make the mistake of believing for a moment someone was sleeping beside me: a hemorrhoid. Loneliness: there is no organ that can take it all.
Every year, the memories I have of my father become more faint, unclear and distant. Once they were vivid and true, then they became like photographs, and now they are more like photographs of photographs. But sometimes, at rare moments, a memory of him will return to me with such suddenness and clarity that all the feeling I've pushed down for years springs out like a jack-in-the-box. At these moments, I wonder if this is the way it feels to be my mother.
The man was standing under the doorway. Of course he hasn't expected me in a limousine, and out I'd popped like Mr. Locksmith to the Stars. I was humiliated, I wanted to explain, Believe me, I'd never mistake myself for anyone special.
Clapping, pointing, giving the thumbs-up: all artifacts of ancient gestures. Holding hands, for example, is a way to remember how it feels to say nothing together. And at night, when it's too dark to see, we find it necessary to gesture on each other's bodies to make ourselves understood.
He died in a tree from which he wouldn't come down. "Come down!" they cried to him. "Come down! Come down!" Silence filled the night, and the night filled the silence, while they waited for Kafka to speak. "I can't," he finally said, with a note of wistfulness. "Why?" they cried. Stars spilled across the black sky. "Because then you'll stop asking for me."
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