Só despojados é que somos livres
Vergílio Ferreira, Na tua face, 1993.
The book is not ready yet. There is the most difficult part missing. To get rid of myself, my youth, things accumulated in 1993, in 1996, in 1998, in 2003.
I think about fat people, how difficult for them to get slim; and even if by any miracle they manage, how their empty skin falls helplessly down to their knees. Have I been a fat girl, intellectually, with all my Portuguese studies? Or just anorexic, staring to distorted shadow?
Be as it may, what matters now is to get rid, and be light and ready for new things to come. And nonetheless, I linger.
It is not like when I was writing Pokusa pustyni, but by no means lighter.
I linger, unable to detach from myself, my old self. And I know there is no future without it, and there is no time left any more. I should be searching for my new life now, buying new apartment in either Amsterdam or Berlin, all my stuff packed and ready to go. The worst option is to linger now.
And I'm like Ricardo Reis in Lisbon, in Saramago. Falling asleep over my own verses.
La belle au bois dormant. Sleeping in the palace where she had never been. I pace the National Library of Portugal up and down, that's a proud name, and I think I might just leave and never come back to this again. My work is done, and this might be the core of the problem. E agora?
I might leave right now just as I stay, and never come back to this place again. I've collected all my materials, read all the books that were missing. Hardly a couple of pages is missing to complete my work. Or in any case I might leave in two weeks, and never come back to this place again.
As I stay, the sensation that I'm back to 1998 is more and more consistent. There is the same mirror in the bathroom where I was admiring my slim body in 1998. Perhaps the secret of the country's misery is the way how things conserve themselves, not the way how they decay. No thing requires to be substituted. The matter is inert, and confers the same quality to people and ideas.
I'm sitting on my old chair, N14, and the sheets of paper in front of me are literally the same, I mean my original notes made in 1998. I only forgot to bring the same fountain pen. I must still have it, it is somewhere at home.
There was no Afonso Cruz at that time yet. But Afonso Cruz is essentially the same story. I feel the same smell of it, falling down to the same bottom of the hole, in Flores, 2015. With his golem of the revolution, that his Ulme didn't manage to make alive. All Saramago must be essentially about the same thing. Perhaps this is the only progress I achieved, they achieved. Now we are a little bit higher up to look down over the very same thing that mattered thence as it matters now. Perhaps I could write it down in my new book.
Yes I need a new book, all my new books. To get through to myself before it's too late. Otherwise my empty skin will always pend down to my knees, even if by any miracle I manage to get through later on. This is the price of lingering.