For Raymond Federman

Nobody ever waits. Waiting is the hardest. And you decided to die on me just like that. Well, you have been dying for some time now, just like a few people I know. Mother was dying before she actually did it, some 20 years before. The same with Beckett. By the way, say hello to both. Perhaps you can instruct mother to start reading some Beckett while there, wherever it is that you’ve all gone. She was a Beckettian to the bone, only she had no idea. I’ve also been dying since the day I was born, so we have that in common. I came into this world two months before my time. Mother was sure I was going to die. Me too. And then with all the operations, it’s a miracle anyone survives. Three times I’ve had to spread my legs for the gynaecologist and anaesthesiologist. And then the energy thing. The ablation, they call it. Pumping up the heart to 400 beats so that they could guess where the current was, and burn its many passages. Six places they’ve burned it, chasing it in the dark. Which is why the current comes back, I can feel it. I’m ergodic proof of what instability means. And now I also want to get rid of my big tits. I have plastic reasons for it. I’m into the arts now. I want to seduce only myself, not others. And I fancy a splash of imitation. Beckett, whom we both love - that’s right, I want to look just like him. I wonder what you’d say of that, that I may die, finally, with my chest cut open. Who’s to say, indeed? We all die anyway. But meanwhile on your death, I’ve no idea why that obscene song sung by Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot comes to my mind. "Moi non plus,” he says. "Je t’aime,” she says. But he insists. “Moi non plus.” Ah, well, people come, people go. You were never sentimental about that. And yet you made me soft in my knees. Your texts still vibrate through me. The words. I’m doing a painting for you now. I use mostly the color called viridian. Can you believe such a name? You would like it, particularly because I got the inspiration from my favourite perfume, YSL Rive Gauche. Total viridium. So, who will read at your funeral? I’m busy writing, and feeling sorry for myself, so I'll absent myself. Goddamned it, Raymond. You could have waited for me. You make me say, “moi non plus.” You exit, but I promise, I’ll take care of the X.



Bent said…
In an e-mail Ray wrote to me commenting on this Beckett anecdote: "When asked by an interviewer if he was English, Samuel Beckett is supposed to have replied, ‘Au contraire!’" that he - Ray, that is - was often tempted to say the same when asked by people if he was French. Now I realize that what M. Fed. would have said, really, was, of course: "Moi, non plus!"

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