For E.L.H

Roskilde University

—So, you're a PhD student?
—I was one 10 years ago.
—Me too.
—Any children?
—Then you'd better hurry.
—I can't have any.
—You can adopt.
—They'd have to be special.
—I was 8 when my father died, some 55 years ago.
—I was also 8 when mine died, some 35 years ago.
—And your mother? A feminist?
—No, a Marxist.
—Marxism is artificial.
—But useful.
—I've seen my mother doing things that were not artificial.
—You mean, like hammering?
—Yes. What do you hammer on?
—I'm interested in death.
—But you're not old.
—Didn't you just tell me to hurry?
—... Wait until you're old.
—Old age has nothing good in it.
—Sure it has.
—Like what?
—Well, er, wisdom, I guess.
—Isn't wisdom a myth?
—Then, you have it?
—I suppose.
—How do you pass it on?
—Well, through my writing and teaching.
—About physics?
—What else?
—Well, I don't know. You'd better ask my son.
—But I'm not asking your son. I'm asking you. What else?
—I need some air. Will you excuse me?
—Sure. Are you all right?
—No. Er, yes. I think so.
—You think so?
—I think so.

Tromsø University

—So, you're a writer.
—Not really.
—But you write.
—I analyze.
—Like that?
—Like what?
—Like Beckett.
—I like Beckett.
—You look great.
—I mean, for a Beckett scholar.
—I'm not a Beckett scholar.
—You're not?
—You're really smart.
—I can recite a poem for you.
—You can?
—About what?
—What's it called?
—Death, Death.
—Go ahead.
Døden, døden...
—Arhhhh, you know, I could... you're... I would...
—I know.
—You'd also?
—You can have anything. I'll give you everything. My whole life is on this phone. You can have it. Take it. Take me. Steal all my texts from it. My publishers...
—If I didn't already, have everything.
—Then you would?
—I would, for all the 15 years between us.
—Live and die.
—Your poems are so young...—
—Love and die.
—...and beautiful.
—Love and love me.
—You'll have a good death.
—You think so?

Dublin University

—So, you're going for professor now?
—Your hair turned white.
—But, your body.
—Yes. I look better now than at 16.
—You bet. What's the philosophy?
—In your old age, the only good thing going for you is your light weight. Be ethereal.
—Like Beckett?
—His stomach curved inwards.
—So it did.
—What about Gertrude?
—She didn't believe in weight.
—She must have believed in something.
—Gertrude said: “I rarely believe anything, because at the time of believing I am not really there to believe.”
—Do you believe?
—In what?
—In love.
—What kind?
—The total kind. The all the way kind. The interminable kind.
—I like infinity. My own.
—My girlfriend... you're a psychoanalyst, right?
—My girlfriend, she wants commitment.
—Sure she does. Don't they all?
—Yes, so you understand?
—Sure I do.
—Then, why doesn't she?
—Because she's not so smart.
—She is.
—Then what are you afraid of?
—Do you want them?
—Well, yes.
—Then go for it.
—You think so?
—Sure I do.
—Do you believe in life or guarantee?
—Then, as I said, go for it.

Helsinki University

—So, you're still doing mathematics?
—No. Never have.
—Sure you have, at all our gatherings.
—I'm more of a priest now.
—You are? What doctrine?
—The loving kind. Love thy neighbor kind.
—Whoa, Norway messed you up again?
—You're cool.
—No, really, if anything, it's arithmetics.
—Whoa, such passion.
—You think?
—Yeah, a priest with a cool head and passion for counting. Churches need that. And that body of yours!
—Yes, they allow whores in the temple now.
—I've heard.
—Isn't that neat?
—“Shall we go all wild boys,
Waiting for the end?”
—Just a smack at Auden.
—With a smack of leaf and eagle, girl.
—Professor, to you. I qualified in the Arctic.
—“Waiting for the end, boys, waiting for the end.
What is there to be or do?
What’s become of me or you?
Are we kind or are we true?
Sitting two and two, boys, waiting for the end.”
—What end?


Andrew Gordon said…
Atmopsheric. A slinky and mysterious woman in black, with shades. . . .
Søren said…
and a pink balloon hovering way above her head.
Are you sure we've never met another time? When I read your blog, I have the same feeling as reading M. Eliade - something deep, something I like, but ... out of time (read as a compliment!!!!!)
Camelia said…
Andrew, Søren, Madalina, what a great wavelength we ride. Out of time it is. I always did like the idea of hovering. And of course, if you insist on being the captain of the balloon fleet, you're bound to be a little mysterious - as a woman. Helping yourself be above it all, wearing shades. Yes, Eliade was on to something, sanctioning ritualizing acts which have surprising outcomes. Being out of time often involves a certain orbiting around getting to know what you don't know that you know. Hence the familiarity. Hence the mystery.

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