from roberto bolaño’s 2666

Roberto Bolaño’s massive novel 2666 might be better understood as a series of five novels, each of which chronicles a journey into corruption. Part two, entitled The Part About Amalfitano, takes a character introduced in part one, Professor Amalfitano, a Chilean academic at the University of Santa Teresa who specializes in the obscure German author Benno von Archimboldi (the pen name of Hans Reiter, an elusive figure through out 2666). Amalfitano’s wife, Lola, disappears, and the professorand his daughter Rosa attempt to cope with her absence. The Part About Amalfitano could be called A Book about Madness and Forgetting. There’s something reminiscent of Malcolm Lowry’s never-completed cycle of novels involving Lowry’s fictional novelist-character Sigbjørn Wilderness. The opening of The Part About Amalfitano:  

 
2  THE PART ABOUT AMALFITANO

I don’t know what I’m doing in Santa Teresa, Amalfitano said to himself after he’d been living in the city for a week. Don’t you? Don’t you really? he asked himself. Really I don’t, he said to himself, and that was as eloquent as he could be.

He had a little single-story house, three bedrooms, a full bathroom and a half bathroom, a combined kitchen—living room—dining room with windows that faced west, a small brick porch where there was a wooden bench worn by the wind that came down from the mountains and the sea, the wind from the north, the wind through the gaps, the wind that smelled like smoke and came from the south. He had books he’d kept for more than twenty-five years. Not many. All of them old. He had books he’d bought in the last ten years, books he didn’t mind lending, books that could’ve been lost or stolen for all he cared. He had books that he sometimes received neatly packaged and with unfamiliar return addresses, books he didn’t even open anymore. He had a yard perfect for growing grass and planting flowers, but he didn’t know what flowers would do best there—flowers, as opposed to cacti or succulents. There would be time (so he thought) for gardening. He had a wooden gate that needed a coat of paint. He had a monthly salary.

He had a daughter named Rosa who had always lived with him. Hard to believe, but true.

 

Sometimes, at night, he remembered Rosa’s mother and sometimes he laughed and other times he felt like crying. He thought of her while he was shut in his office with Rosa asleep in her room. The living room was empty and quiet, and the lights were off. Anyone listening carefully on the porch would have heard the whine of a few mosquitoes. But no one was listening. The houses next door were silent and dark.

Rosa was seventeen and she was Spanish. Amalfitano was fifty and Chilean. Rosa had had a passport since she was ten. On some of their trips, remembered Amalfitano, they had found themselves in strange situations, because Rosa went through customs by the gate for EU citizens and Amalfitano went by the gate for non-EU citizens. The first time, Rosa threw a tantrum and started to cry and refused to be separated from her father. Another time, since the lines were moving at different speeds, the EU citizens’ line quickly and the noncitizens’ line more slowly and laboriously, Rosa got lost and it took Amalfitano half an hour to find her. Sometimes the customs officers would see Rosa, so little, and ask whether she was traveling alone or whether someone was waiting for her outside. Rosa would answer that she was traveling with her father, who was South American, and she was supposed to wait for him right there. Once Rosa’s suitcase was searched because they suspected her father of smuggling drugs or arms under cover of his daughter’s innocence and nationality. But Amalfitano had never trafficked in drugs, or for that matter arms.

It was Lola, Rosa’s mother, who always traveled with a weapon, never going anywhere without her stainless-steel spring-loaded switchblade, Amalfitano remembered as he smoked a Mexican cigarette, sitting in his office or standing on the dark porch. Once they were stopped in an airport, before Rosa was born, and Lola was asked what she was doing with the knife. It’s for peeling fruit, she said. Oranges, apples, pears, kiwis, all kinds of fruit. The officer gave her a long look and let her go. A year and a few months after that, Rosa was born. Two years later, Lola left, still carrying the knife.

Lola’s pretext was a plan to visit her favorite poet, who lived in the insane asylum in Mondragon, near San Sebastian. Amalfitano listened to her explanations for a whole night as she packed her bag and promised she’d come home soon to him and Rosa. Lola, especially toward the end, used to claim that she knew the poet, that she’d met him at a party in Barcelona before Amalfitano became a part of her life. At this party, which Lola described as a wild party, a long overdue party that suddenly sprang to life in the middle of the summer heat and a traffic jam of cars with red lights on, she had slept with him and they’d made love all night, although Amalfitano knew it wasn’t true, not just because the poet was gay, but because Lola had first heard of the poet’s existence from him, when he’d given her one of his books. Then Lola took it upon herself to buy everything else the poet had written and to choose friends who thought the poet was a genius, an alien, God’s messenger, friends who had themselves just been released from the Sant Boi asylum or had flipped out after repeated stints in rehab. The truth was, Amalfitano knew that sooner or later she would make her way to San Sebastian, so he chose not to argue but offered her part of his savings, begged her to come back in a few months, and promised to take good care of Rosa. Lola seemed not to hear a thing. When she had finished, she went into the kitchen, made coffee, and sat in silence, waiting for dawn, although Amalfitano tried to come up with subjects of conversation that might interest her or at least help pass the time. At six-thirty the doorbell rang and Lola jumped. They’ve come for me, she said, and since she didn’t move, Amalfitano had to get up and ask over the intercom who it was. He heard a weak voice saying it’s me. Who is it? asked Amalfitano. Let me in, it’s me, said the voice. Who? asked Amalfitano. The voice, while still barely audible, seemed indignant at the interrogation. Me me me me, it said. Amalfitano closed his eyes and buzzed the door open. He heard the sound of the elevator cables and he went back to the kitchen. Lola was still sitting there, sipping the last of her coffee. I think it’s for you, said Amalfitano. Lola gave no sign of having heard him. Are you going to say goodbye to Rosa? asked Amalfitano. Lola looked up and said it was better not to wake her. There were dark circles under her blue eyes. Then the doorbell rang twice and Amalfitano went to open the door. A small woman, no more than five feet tall, gave him a brief glance and murmured an unintelligible greeting, then brushed past him and went straight to the kitchen, as if she knew Lola’s habits better than Amalfitano did. When he returned to the kitchen he noticed the woman’s knapsack, which she had left on the floor by the refrigerator, smaller than Lola’s, almost a miniature. The woman’s name was Inmaculada, but Lola called her Imma. Amalfitano had encountered her a few times in the apartment when he came home from work, and then the woman had told him her name and what she liked to be called. Imma was short for Immaculada, in Catalan, but Lola’s friend wasn’t Catalan and her name wasn’t Immaculada with a double m, either, it was Inmaculada, and Amalfitano, for phonetic reasons, preferred to call her Inma, although each time he did his wife scolded him, until he decided not to call her anything. He watched them from the kitchen door. He felt much calmer than he had expected. Lola and her friend had their eyes fixed on the Formica table, although Amalfitano couldn’t help noticing that both looked up now and then and stared at each other with an intensity unfamiliar to him. Lola asked whether anyone wanted more coffee. She means me, thought Amalfitano. Inmaculada shook her head and said there was no time, they should get moving, since before long there would be no way out of Barcelona. She talks as if Barcelona were a medieval city, thought Amalfitano. Lola and her friend stood up. Amalfitano stepped forward and opened the refrigerator door to get a beer, driven by a sudden thirst. To do so, he had to move Imma’s backpack. It was so light it might’ve held just two shirts and another pair of black pants. It’s like a fetus, was what Amalfitano thought, and he dropped it to one side. Then Lola kissed him on both cheeks and she and her friend were gone.

 

A week later Amalfitano got a letter from Lola, postmarked Pamplona. In the letter she told him that their trip so far had been full of pleasant and unpleasant experiences. Mostly pleasant. And although the unpleasant experiences could certainly be called unpleasant, experiences might not be the right word. Nothing unpleasant that happens to us can take us by surprise, said Lola, because Imma has lived through all of this already. For two days, said Lola, we were working at a roadside restaurant in Lerida, for a man who also owned an apple orchard. It was a big orchard and there were already green apples on the trees. In a little while the apple harvest would begin, and the owner had asked them to stay till then. Imma had gone to talk to him while Lola read a book by the Mondragon poet (she had all the books he’d published so far in her backpack), sitting by the Canadian tent where the two of them slept. The tent was pitched in the shade of a poplar, the only poplar she’d seen in the orchard, next to a garage that no one used anymore. A little while later, Imma came back, and she didn’t want to explain the deal the restaurant owner had offered her. The next day they headed back out to the highway to hitchhike, without telling anyone goodbye.  In Zaragoza they stayed with an old friend of Imma’s from university. Lola was very tired and she went to bed early and in her dreams she heard laughter and loud voices and scolding, almost all Imma’s but some her friend’s, too. They talked about the old days, about the struggle against Franco, about the women’s prison in Zaragoza. They talked about a pit, a very deep hole from which oil or coal could be extracted, about an underground jungle, about a commando team of female suicide bombers. Then Lola’s letter took an abrupt turn. I’m not a lesbian, she said, I don’t know why I’m telling you this, I don’t know why I’m treating you like a child by saying it. Homosexuality is a lie, it’s an act of violence committed against us in our adolescence, she said. Imma knows this. She knows it, she knows it, she’s too clearsighted not to, but all she can do is help. Imma is a lesbian, every day hundreds of thousands of cows are sacrificed, every day a herd of herbivores or several herds cross the valley, from north to south, so slowly but so fast it makes me sick, right now, now, now, do you understand, Oscar? No, thought Amalfitano, I don’t, as he held the letter in his two hands like a life raft of reeds and grasses, and with his foot he steadily rocked his daughter in her seat.

Then Lola described again the night when she’d made love with the poet, who lay in majestic and semisecret repose in the Mondragon asylum.  

  

 He was still free back then, he hadn’t yet been committed to any institution. He lived in Barcelona, with a gay philosopher, and they threw parties together once a week or once every two weeks. This was before I knew you. I don’t know whether you’d come to Spain yet or whether you were in Italy or France or some filthy Latin American hole. Ihe gay philosopher’s parties were famous in Barcelona. People said the poet and the philosopher were lovers, but it never looked that way. One had an apartment and ideas and money, and the other had his legend and his poetry and the fervor of the true believer, a doglike fervor, the fervor of the whipped dog that’s spent the night or all its youth in the rain, Spain’s endless storm of dandruff, and has finally found a place to lay its head, no matter if it’s a bucket of putrid water, a vaguely familiar bucket of water. One day fortune smiled on me and I attended one of these parties. To say I met the philosopher would be an exaggeration. I saw him. In a corner of the room, talking to another poet and another philosopher.  He  appeared  to  be  giving a  lecture.  Then  everything seemed slightly off. The guests were waiting for the poet to make his entrance. They were waiting for him to pick a fight. Or to defecate in the middle of the living room, on a Turkish carpet like the threadbare carpet from the Thousand and One Nights, a battered carpet that sometimes functioned as a mirror, reflecting all of us from below. I mean: it turned into a mirror at the command of our spasms. Neurochemical spasms. When the poet showed up, though, nothing happened. At first all eyes turned to him, to see what could be had. Then everybody went back to what they’d been doing and the poet said hello to certain writer friends and joined the group around the gay philosopher. I had been dancing with myself and I kept dancing with myself. At five in the morning I went into one of the bedrooms. The poet was leading me by the hand. Without getting undressed, I began to make love with him. I came three times, feeling the poet’s breath on my neck. It took him quite a while longer. In the semidarkness I made out three shadowy figures in a corner of the room. One of them was smoking. Another one never stopped whispering. The third was the philosopher and I realized that the bed was his and the room was the room where, the gossip was, he and the poet made love. But now I was the one making love and the poet was gentle with me and the only thing I didn’t understand was why the other three were watching, although I didn’t much care, in those days, if you remember, nothing really mattered. When the poet finally came, crying out and turning his head to look at his three friends, I was sorry it wasn’t the right time of month, because I would’ve loved to have his baby. Then he got up and went over to the shadowy figures. One of them put a hand on his shoulder. Another one gave him something. I got up and went to the bathroom without even looking at them. The last party guests were in the living room. In the bathroom, a girl was asleep in the tub. I washed my face and hands. I combed my hair. When I came out the philosopher was kicking everyone out who could still walk. He didn’t look the least bit drunk or high. He looked fresh, as if he’d just got up and drunk a big glass of orange juice. I left with a couple of people I’d met at the party. At that hour only the Drugstore on Las Ramblas was open and we headed there without a word. At the Drugstore I ran into a girl I’d known a few years before who was a reporter for Ajoblanco, although it disgusted her to work there. She started to talk to me about moving to Madrid. She asked if I felt like I needed a change. I shrugged my shoulders. All cities are more or less the same, I said. What I was really thinking about was the poet and what he and I had just done. A gay man doesn’t do that. Everyone said he was gay, but I knew it wasn’t true. Then I thought about the confusion of the senses and I understood everything. I knew the poet had lost his way, he was a lost child and I could save him, give him back a small part of all he’d given me. For almost a month I kept watch outside the philosopher’s building hoping one day I’d see the poet and he’d ask me to make love with him again. I didn’t see him, but one night I saw the philosopher. I noticed that something was wrong with his face. When he got closer (he didn’t recognize me) I could see he had a black eye and was covered in bruises. No sign of the poet. Sometimes I tried to guess, by the lights, what floor the apartment was on.  Sometimes  I  saw shadows behind the curtains. Sometimes someone, an older woman, a man in a tie, a long-faced adolescent, would open a window and look out at the grid of Barcelona at dusk. One night I discovered I wasn’t the only one there, spying on the poet or waiting for him to appear. A kid, maybe eighteen, maybe younger, was quietly keeping watch from the opposite sidewalk. He hadn’t noticed me because clearly he was the heedless type, a dreamer. He would sit at a bar, at an outside table, and he always ordered a can of Coca-Cola, sipping it slowly as he wrote in a school notebook or read books that I recognized at a glance. One night, before he could get up from the table and dash away, I went over and sat down next to him. I told him I knew what he was doing. Who are you? he asked me, terrified. I smiled and said I was someone like him. He looked at me the way you look at a crazy person. Don’t get the wrong idea, I said, I’m not crazy, I’m in full Possession of my faculties. He laughed. You look crazy, he said, even if you aren’t. Then he motioned for the check and he was about to get up when I confessed that I was looking for the poet, too. He sat down again abruptly, as if I’d clapped a gun to his head. I ordered a chamomile tea and told him my story. He told me that he wrote poetry, too, and he wanted the poet to read his poems. There was no need to ask to know that he was gay and very lonely. Let me see them, I said, and I pulled the notebook out of his hands. His poems weren’t bad. His only problem was that he wrote just like the poet. These things can’t have happened to you, I said, you’re too young to have suffered this much. He made a gesture as if to say that he didn’t care whether I believed him or not. What matters is that it’s well written, he said. No, I told him, you know that isn’t what matters. Wrong, wrong, wrong, I said, and finally he had to cede the point. His name was Jordi and today he may be teaching at the university or writing reviews for La Vanguardia or El Periodico.

 

Amalfitano received the next letter from San Sebastian. In it, Lola told him that she’d gone with Imma to the asylum at Mondragon to visit the poet, who lived there, raving and demented, and that the guards, priests disguised as security guards, wouldn’t let them in. In San Sebastian they had plans to stay with a friend of Imma’s, a Basque girl named Edurne, who had been an ETA commando and had given up the armed struggle when democracy came, and who didn’t want them in her house for more than one night, saying she had lots to do and her husband didn’t like unexpected guests. Her husband’s name was Jon, and guests really did make him nervous, as Lola had opportunity to observe. He shook, he flushed as red as a glowing clay pot, he always seemed about to burst out shouting although he never spoke a word, he was sweaty and his hands shook, he was constantly moving, as if he couldn’t sit still for two minutes at a time. Edurne herself was very relaxed. She had a little boy (though Lola and Imma never saw him, because Jon always found a reason to keep them out of his room) and she worked almost full-time as a street educator, with junkie families and the street people who huddled on the steps of the cathedral of San Sebastian and only wanted to be left alone, as Edurne explained, laughing, as if she’d just told a joke that only Imma understood, because neither Lola nor Jon laughed. That night they had dinner together and the next day they left. They found a cheap boardinghouse that Edurne had told them about and they hitchhiked back to Mondragon. They weren’t allowed into the asylum this time either, but they settled for studying it from the outside, noting and committing to memory all the dirt and gravel roads they could see, the gray walls, the rises and curves of the land, the walks taken by the inmates and their caretakers, whom they watched from a distance, the curtains of trees following one after the other at unpredictable intervals or in a pattern they didn’t understand, and the brush where they thought they saw flies, by which they deduced that some of the inmates and maybe even a worker or two urinated there in the dark or as night fell. Then they sat together by the side of the road and ate the cheese sandwiches they’d brought from San Sebastian, without talking, or musing as if to themselves on the fractured shadows that the asylum of Mondragon cast over its surroundings.

For their third try, they called to make an appointment. Imma passed herself off as a reporter from a Barcelona newspaper and Lola claimed to be a poet. This time they got to see him. Lola thought he looked older, his eyes sunken, his hair thinner than before. At first they were accompanied by a doctor or priest, who led them down the endless corridors, painted blue and white, until they came to a nondescript room where the poet was waiting. It was Lola’s impression that the asylum people were proud to have him as a patient. All of them knew him, all of them greeted him as he headed to the garden or went to receive his daily dose of tranquilizers. When they were alone she told him that she’d missed him, that for a while she’d kept watch over the philosopher’s apartment in the Ensanche, and that despite her perseverance she’d never seen him again. It’s not my fault, she said, I did everything I could. The poet looked her in the eyes and asked for a cigarette. Imma was standing next to the bench where they were sitting and wordlessly she handed him a cigarette. The poet said thank you and then he said perseverance. I was, I was, I was, said Lola, who was turned toward him, her gaze fixed on him, although out of the corner of her eye she saw that Imma, after flicking her lighter, had taken a book out of her bag and begun to read, standing there like a tiny and infinitely patient Amazon, the lighter still visible in one of her hands as she held the book. Then Lola started to talk about the trip they had made together. She spoke of highways and back roads, problems with chauvinist truck drivers, cities and towns, nameless forests where they had pitched camp, rivers and gas station bathrooms where they had washed. The poet, meanwhile, blew smoke out of his mouth and nose, making perfect rings, bluish nimbuses, gray cumulonimbuses that dissolved in the park breeze or were carried off toward the edge of the grounds where a dark forest rose, the branches of the trees silver in the light falling from the hills. As if to gain time, Lola described the two previous visits, fruitless but eventful. And then she told him what she had really come to say: that she knew he wasn’t gay, she knew he was a prisoner and wanted to escape, she knew that love, no matter how mistreated or mutilated, always left room for hope, and that hope was her plan (or the other way around), and that its materialization, its objectification, consisted of his fleeing the asylum with her and heading for France. What about her? asked the poet, who was taking sixteen pills a day and recording his visions, and he pointed at Imma, who read on undaunted, still standing, as if her skirts and underskirts were made of concrete and she couldn’t sit down. She’ll help us, said Lola. In fact, the plan was hers in the first place. We’ll cross into France over the mountains, like pilgrims. We’ll make our way to Saint-Jean-de-Luz and take the train to Paris, traveling through the countryside, which is the prettiest in the world at this time of year. We’ll live in hostels. That’s Imma’s plan. She and I will work cleaning or taking care of children in the wealthy neighborhoods of Paris while you write poetry. At night you’ll read us your poems and make love to me. That’s Imma’s plan, worked out to the last detail. After three or four months I’ll be pregnant, and that will prove for once and for all that you aren’t a non-breeder, the last of your line. What more can our enemy families want I’ll keep working a few more months, but when the time comes, Imma will have to work twice as hard. We’ll live like mendicants or child prophets while Paris trains a distant eye on fashion, movies, games of chance, French and American literature, gastronomy, the gross domestic product, arms exports, the manufacture of massive batches of anesthesia, all mere backdrop for our fetus’s first few months. Then, when I’m six months pregnant, we’ll go back to Spain, though this time we won’t cross over at Irun but at La Jonquera or Port Bou, into Catalan country. The poet looked at her with interest (and also at Imma, who never took her eyes off his poems, poems he’d written perhaps five years ago, he thought), and he began to blow smoke rings again, in the most unlikely shapes, as if he’d spent his long stay in Mondragon perfecting that peculiar art. How do you do it? asked Lola. With the tongue, and by pursing the lips a certain way, he said. Sometimes by making a kind of fluted shape. Sometimes like someone who’s burned himself. Sometimes like sucking a small to medium dick. Sometimes like shooting a Zen arrow with a Zen bow into a Zen pavilion. Ah, I understand, said Lola. You, read a poem, said the poet. Imma looked at him and raised the book a little higher, as if she was trying to hide behind it. Which poem? Whichever one you like best, said the poet. I like them all, said Irnma. So read one, said the poet. When Imma had finished reading a poem about a labyrinth and Ariadne lost in the labyrinth and a young Spaniard who lived in a Paris garret, the poet asked if they had any chocolate. No, said Lola. We don’t smoke these days, said Imma, we’re focusing all our efforts on getting you out of here. The poet smiled. I didn’t mean that kind of chocolate, he said, I meant the other kind, the kind made with cocoa and milk and sugar. Oh, I see, said Lola, and they both were forced to admit they hadn’t brought anything like that either. They remembered that they had cheese sandwiches in their bags, wrapped in napkins and aluminum foil, and they offeredthem to him, but the poet seemed not to hear. Before it began to get dark, a flock of big blackbirds flew over the park, vanishing northward. A doctor approached along the gravel path, his white robe flapping in the evening breeze. When he reached them he asked the poet how he felt, calling him by his first name as if they’d been friends since adolescence. The poet gave him a blank look, and, calling him by his first name too, said he was a little tired. The doctor, whose name was Gorka and who couldn’t have been more than thirty, sat down beside him and put a hand on his forehead, then took his pulse. You’re doing fucking great, man, he said. And how are the ladies? he asked, with a smile full of health and cheer. Imma didn’t answer. Lola had the sense that Imma was dying behind her book. Just fine, she said, it’s been a while since we saw each other and we’re having a wonderful time. So you knew each other already? asked the doctor. Not me, said Imma, and she turned the page.  I knew him,  said Lola, we were friends a few years ago, in Barcelona, when he lived in Barcelona. In fact, she said, looking up at the last blackbirds, the stragglers, taking flight just as someone turned on the park lights from a hidden switch in the asylum, we were more than friends. How interesting, said Gorka, his eyes on the birds, which at that time of day and in the artificial light had a burnished glow. What year was that? asked the doctor. It was 1979 or 1978, I can’t remember now, said Lola in a faint voice. I hope you won’t think I’m indiscreet, said the doctor, but I’m writing a biography of our friend and the more information I can gather on his life, the better, wouldn’t you say? Someday he’ll leave here, said Gorka, smoothing his eyebrows, someday the Spanish public will have to recognize him as one of the greats, I don’t mean they’ll give him a prize, hardly, no Principe de Asturias or Cervantes for him, let alone a seat in the Academy, literary careers in Spain are for social climbers, operators, and ass kissers, if you’ll pardon the expression. But someday he’ll leave here. There’s no question about that. Someday I’ll leave, too. And so will my patients and my colleagues ‘patients. Someday all of us will finally leave Mondragon, and this noble institution, ecclesiastical in origin, charitable in aim, will stand abandoned. Then my biography will be of interest and I’ll be able to publish it, but in the meantime, as you can imagine, it’s my duty to collect information, dates, names, confirm stories, some in questionable taste, even damaging, others more picturesque, stories that revolve around a chaotic center of gravity, which is our friend here, or what he’s willing to reveal, the ordered self he presents, ordered verbally, I mean, according to a strategy I think I understand, although its purpose is a mystery to me, an order concealing a verbal disorder that would shake us to the core if ever we were to experience it, even as spectators of a staged performance. Doctor, you’re a sweetheart, said Lola. Imma ground her teeth. Then Lola began to tell Gorka about her heterosexual experience with the poet, but her friend sidled over and kicked her in the ankle with the pointed toe of her shoe. Just then, the poet, who had begun to blow smoke rings again, remembered the apartment in Barcelona’s Ensanche and remembered the philosopher, and although his eyes didn’t light up, part of his bone structure did: the jaws, the chin, the hollow cheeks, as if he’d been lost in the Amazon and three Sevillian friars had rescued him, or a monstrous three-headed friar, which held no terror for him either. So, turning to Lola, he asked her about the philosopher, said the philosopher’s name, talked about his stay in the philosopher’s apartment, the months he’d spent in Barcelona with no job, playing stupid jokes, throwing books that he hadn’t bought out the window (as the philosopher ran down the stairs to retrieve them, which wasn’t always possible), playing loud music, practically never sleeping and laughing all the time, taking the occasional assignment as a translator or lead reviewer, a liquid star of boiling water. And then Lola was afraid and she covered her face with her hands. And Imma, who had at last put the book of poems away in her pocket, did the same, covering her face with her small, knotty hands. And Gorka looked from the two women to the poet and laughter bubbled up inside him. But before the laughter could fade in his placid heart, Lola said the philosopher had recently died of AIDS. Well, well, well, said the poet. He who laughs last, laughs best, said the poet. The early bird doesn’t always catch the worm, the poet said. I love you, said Lola The poet got up and asked Imma for another cigarette. For tomorrow, he said. The doctor and the poet made their way down one path toward the asylum. Lola and Imma took a different path toward the gate, where they ran into the sister of another lunatic and the son of a laborer, also mad, and a woman with a sorrowful look whose cousin was interned in the asylum.

 

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2 Comments

  1. Nice blog. It was nice going through your blog. Keep it up the good work. CHeers 🙂

    • thanks! (if you are a person and not a bot!)
      🙂


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