Saturday, October 09, 2004

"A letter before I go" - Deconstructed, Selfness, Unfamiliar

Tishrei 24

Dear Jarvis(1),

I admit it has been a long time since my last letter, in the course of time the years have turned my pages yellow like oaks in the autumn, thus yellow even my thoughts about you in small fuses have become. I am writing and sending this letter with the only purpose that you will never read it, for the beauty of your earlier years constitutes already a wrinkled longing and I wouldn't take upon myself the burden of inflicting you with any sorrow that life with its poisonous drunkenness hasn't inflicted you with, and I do it with knowing callousness.

It's already past midnight you know, like in that little Aeolic verse(2) I translated for you once, do you remember? I hope you certainly don't, but your memory is still fresh and growing stronger with the years, I'm just being self-deceiving and I sincerely apologize. In the darkening and softly envolving midnight of Jerusalem I'm writing you this letter whilst he drowns in the death of sleep, renewing the vows made to his merciful God, in the meantime I am myself dwelling in heathen and auguries as I did in earlier years and since my adolescence, since those endless days in the libraries of St. Claire's and St. Anne's(3). The years haven't stolen my jovial beauty and my skin is still firm and tight, inasmuch as white, even so more my thoughts have remained as vivid and terrifying as in the old days, and accordingly I've dedicated some space amidst my temples for some technically fair infedility, you know piety wasn't one of my best qualities and if any at all most of them were most likely sickening and wicked, past midnight hence I'm writing you this letter.

Despite yourself I never forsake Jerusalem, and through the years moving between the German Colony and the French Hills, between Baka and Nachlaot, between Katamon and Ramat Sharet, I have returned to my good old Rechavia, but that shouldn't surprise you even minimally for I had promised it in those days, and remember my mind works like a Swiss clock, almost like a Nazi soldier, mechanically executing fragmentary pieces of sentiments that could be better described as phenomenological thought. Yes, I'm still living in Rechavia, for where else could a writer live if not in Rechavia? I believe your lack of attempts to find me rooted only on the fact that you would be able to do so almost matter-of-factly, wouldn't you? But I'll let you believe that you thought that I left with my suitcases filled up with the books and papers of my shelves one simple good day, I'm sure that will make your heart relieved.

With the years I forwent most materializations of my life, and to a great extent I lived a pretty simple life until this day. Now in my pious and long owed infedility I stare at the candles of Shabbat resting in some shelf near my desktop and the dust caused by the hundreds of volumes I compilated over the years. You well know that religion and me never befriended each other, but when you grow older you probably learn to appreciate those things from afar, crawling into your adult preoccupations and claiming it doesn't have the power to touch you, but it certainly does. Looking at the flame being slowly consumed by the chemical reactions of air and the mercilessness of time gives me the heartening comfort of a well-spent life, and closer to the tradition than I ever thought. You well know how many hardships I endured through my life walking into the hued greys and vindicating myself with a sense of dutiful obligation from all what my soul believed in, yet tonight I might dare to say I've won this struggle and having sacrificed many bright days of my life, I've befriended tradition in the end. I'm not a believer as yet, you can figure that out yourself but as long as he's, there're many things you simply have to learn to live with, and I don't say with discontent, or disrespect. In the end of the day I did chose the man, chose the house, chose the furniture, the shelves and even chose the dishware for Passover, but the tradition I didn't choose, it plain chased me all throughout my life like a curse, in my intellectual supremacy I couldn't get rid of. Yet I'm satisfied I didn't.

You claimed in your letters that were never sent or even probably never written, that I shouldn't allienate myself and I should make my voice heard for some further understanding, but I lived a pretty comfortable life without all those comforting words, for I had many other things that fulfilled my life with a joious calm. I thought about the lives of other women like Zelma(4) and Dina(5), I thought about Joan Rosenheim(6) and how much she reminded me of my good old friend Esther, and I found the search very satisfying for I believe I just spent my time returning to my foremost important place, my place. I'm glad you never sent those letters and that your mercy and even your pity never knocked on the door of my house and disturbed my calm, I'm glad you never read my books and I'm glad I never wrote you anything since that day in New York.

Through the lack of satisfactions of my life, my lack of desperation and thrill, my lack of overshadowing sentiments and high-tempered pain, in the lack of all those things I searched for you many days, more than my heart would like to be reminded of, but I made sure to search for you in the screens of mist, in the fogs, in the overcrowded cafes of Ben Yehuda and the shops in Talpiot, and I searched for you there because I had the knowing conviction of never finding you and that relieved my heart from the sweet pain of memories, and through all those days you remained as simple dreams and impossible elucidations of Kunderian thoughts(7), I found some comfort in those thoughts and they never stopped cheering me, they never abandoned me to this day and wrapped me in the wicked comfort of overwriting the past with a sword, of overwriting the past with Gaelic poems I wrote(8), with English verses, with stanzas and hexameters. I searched for you not in the darkening sweet black-hued days of my life when doubts and sorrows surrounded me, because I well knew that you wouldn't be concerned with my sadness and with my affliction for you not only would have yours too but would understand mine better than if you would have read each and every chapter of my books.

I searched for you instead in those overshadowing and infatuating days of my life, in those days when I became a self-obssesed artist(9), in those days when the world seemed small to my hands and I outreached to kiss the hands of my forebearers in the Helicon(10), in those days I did search and I found you in there, I knew where to look and where to turn; my mind searched for you in the red tables overlooking the Mediterranean, in the plains of Raanana and those leather-weary chairs that composed the milieu of good old Tel Aviv. My legs acted differently though, and they kept on looking for you in Jerusalem, in each and every corner of Ben Yehuda and Nachlaot, in those ageing wooden houses surrounding the wineries of Zichron, in the tiny and woefully blue streets of Safed, and don't blame me please, I searched in those places because I knew deep inside you would never again wander through those decadent surroundings, for the country was not big enough for both of us and fearing you will find me you simply didn't return there, I thank you so much for that. You granted me my decadence, to the same extent I granted you your emancipating enlightenment. So civilized of each one of us, but how poorly sophisicated of me and how banally superficial of you. It seems to me that such day coming across each other in the streets of Manhattan, that would be the day when we would draw imaginary lines over the geography of the Holy Land, thereinafter I wouldn't dare into the overwhelming lights of the Acropolis(11), frozen in my ears through operas of Antigone and Electra, somehow else you wouldn't dare either into the underworld and the nine-fold river of Stygia(12) that envolved it with those sweet and dark waters that contained my thought, you never let yourself come any closer to our mountains with theories of Bacchants(13) for you knew well that the forest would reject you, you couldn't steal my place in the Arcadia(14), despite the book and those three days in Rome(15) you wouldn't dare into; the Dionisiac dythyrambs(16) and Aeolic bridal hymns(17) would be thereof mine. I believe one day I saw you on the road to Jericho, but having morning just sprung my mind was still dazzled by the nightly thoughts, it therefore succumbed to my newfound Aristotelian body and slept away the astounding thought without repair.

I was never a newspaper's person hence I didn't read you either, it was totally uninteresting in my eyes, and in any case being such an opinionated person I could read nothing but Ha'aretz with its high-level critical thought and spent uncountable minutes drowning into my sugar-less Austrian style coffee and the books section, the literature and archaeology section, I even read something about the rituals performed for the dead in Byzantium(18). When you come to think about it, as much as I despised Herbst and Agnon, irritating my good colleague Yoav, I would end up my road there (Iterum... verbum sapienta...) (19), being such an irrational contradiction, but all the events that have led my life thereinafter are nothing but a loyal matter-of-factly proof that such was the weightless "muss-sein" written for me from a Beethoven's chart (20), the day of Shavuot, when we, the tribes of Israel were present in heavens for the delivery of the laws of Moses to the world. Without scholarly knowledge I assume I was already engaged in the study of the Classical world in that very moment, for I can't understand in my pagan logic how could he give us the law and then create the world based on her, I believe the world shall have been created firstly and then the law(21), the Athenians would probably agree with my opinion and so would their deities, but I fail to understand the engineered dynamics in history of thought being an intellectual myself, yet the man who lies next to me doesn't, and although I've refused to speak to God all through these years it seems to me from the spark of his sight that he understands, and that nonetheless brings me endless comfort. I wish I could surround your island with those same waters of delightful ignorance, yet you live in a city, where my mind has lived for all those years so I perfectly understand what it feels like, we don't really need to talk about it.

The fact is, I couldn't find you in the good old Hebrew newspapers for we never read them at home, you might believe he could have read you by accident; but there you're mistaken for I was his home and have been since then, an almost motherly home. And in my home there was no space for simplicity other than the wonders acted upon us product of mitzvot, tzedaka and the daily tefilah. Between the teachings of the prophets and the Classics there was little space for little writers, with the exception of those wonderful American novels I hideously loved and read only late at night trying to imagine you, Hemingway(22) and me all together at once sitting near some fountain and the Satmars(23) preaching us around. You also have to understand Jerusalem is a timeless place, in the streets of Rechavia the years simply don't go by, that's how my hands are as immaculate as they were that day when my heavy suitcases with wooden boxes of regret and joyful youth abandoned your sight, I actually no longer remember if it was in New York or in Tel Aviv. Very much unlike you, aged and woed by the echoes and maneouvres of time, in Tel Aviv everything is in a fast forward. In Rechavia the news are simply idealizations of a modern state that dies in the outskirts of the neighborhood for each one of us claims the ownership of the place to this day; the British, the Germans, the Greeks, the Jews, the Arabs, the writers, the intellectuals, the students, the homosexuals, and even us, the Akkermans'. As long as our understated ownership remains in procrastination not even God dares to interfere. Yes, we've also been subject to the deathly smell of blasts and explosions, but there's no soul in Jerusalem that hasn't and still even the dead claim some ownership in Rechavia, nevertheless a tremulous silence overwrites all of us, hence no possible debate on the matter ever takes place.

Do not think my life was an easy play to be in, far from the grandeur of the Classics it was a merely lived life, almost untouched and kind. I forsook the idols of my youth and went myself forlorn all through the years down the oaks of Sokolov Street; don't laugh for I'm speaking the truth, we're a poorly creative country when it comes to naming our streets. Back then in the good old days of Ramat Gan I started my journey through life abandoning my comfortable life in the 5th storey of Sokolov Street; then I would be obnoxiously constrained and almost vindicated into the hastening mornings of Tel Aviv, being my only moments of peace those late night or early morning walks amidst the trees of Sokolov Street between your house and mine, between the cafes that separated my thoughts from my vicious inconformity before life, it was in Sokolov Street from where I could foresee the frightening mornings my life and its fascination for death and unjustice would bore, it was in Sokolov Street where I dreamt about those little windows and the beautifully furnished homes I would see through, I dreamt about my life and my future, specially about my house. Perhaps only because Sokolov Street and its tiny discreet windows featured outrageously happy and wealthy fulfilling lives, I could see back then how far I found myself and probably everyone else from our ways up in life; that's just me being a progressive Jew(24), always hungry for more; a progressive Dutch Jew, fed since early childhood with strict and almost religious greed that would turn life into a long and carefully planned bank statement. Sokolov Street reminded me of good old Amsterdam, a pleasant childhood beneath a red roof and the fresh tiles of the spring. Yet I would end up my life once again in Sokolov Street, not in Ramat Gan neither in Tel Aviv, but in Jerusalem, Sokolov Street somewhere in between the timeless shades of Rechavia and my home wouldn't look like any home I ever saw in Sankt Gallen, in Amsterdam or in Tel Aviv. It would simply look like a house in Rechavia, like a house in Jerusalem. And still here I am, for the third time living in Sokolov Street, being such an intellectual and disacknowledging unconsciously who this Sokolov was, for he doesn't come up in my daily conversations to the same extent than Begin, Rabin and even Jabotinsky do. We're not concerned with the real persona of Sokolov, but more so with the "dramatis personae" of Sylvia and David Akkermans, still and after so many years resolute residents of Rechavia, rooted to the place just like one of our neighboring trees, like one of our dead.

My life didn't commence in Rechavia if that's the question that troubled your fashionable mind in puzzling indifference, for as I was born to this world with higher expectations, with expectations higher than life was able to provide me with at that time. Once I defied your overwhelming nature I crawled down into my highest sensitivities to let them die for all at once, my life... that life you've been unaware of through the years took off ground from beyond the sea, amidst the most terrifying shallowness that would turn green even stone-made souls like yours. From an overcomplicated and super-elaborate momentum, that would last for as many years as it would take to bury in the paviment any possible streams that would constitute a drive-away your way.

Performing exceedingly an Argive(25) in modern times I would challenge my own fate and defy the governing nature of history, such a humanist thought. I would embark myself on a journey that wouldn't take me anywhere but once again to the streets of Jerusalem, headscarves and wooden canvas from where the most interesting thoughts would spring in order to turn into novels, poems and plays that I almost compulsively wrote over the years. Stranged from my homeland(26) I would release myself from the terrible weariness of my blood and live up to a world of sensations and rationally calculated sentiments that wouldn't achieve its purposes of satisfying my young soul.

At the time I thought of you actually, because even being such an ignorant francophile as yourself you would have for sure found a pleasurable corner in the streets of New York, I personally didn't yet I did keep a foresight just like any reasonably educated Jewish progressive woman would, and wandering through the appalling conspiciousness of American life I would never find my way back home, I would never return anywhere else than Jerusalem for my life turned out to be shorter than I expected, and my life in the capital of the world would prove itself more exhausting than anything else seen before, the callousness before the "grandeur de la cite comme le plus haute tour"(27) and specially the lack of grace. Back then we were already overwriting your odes, yes, David and me; it was an almost religious decision you wouldn't understand, an outrageously desperate decision that would save my life and would grant me the certainty of a traditional life, under the shade of the conventions and protected by an almost heavenly spirit of respect and tolerance; I constrained myself to live such desperately quiet and eventless life as an alternative choice that would break through my maddening destructive nature and turn it once again green. I devoted my life to less elevated pleasures, following each and every one of those demistifying conventions, becoming a lawyer whilst pursuing my studies in the Classics far from the tranquility experienced years back in the classrooms of St. Anne's, but I was satisfied for I had more than I could have ever dreamt of and the years would prove me upright and would grant me the justice of having followed almost slavishingly the road of other simple men. I was still too British(28) for the United States of America, too conservative and too judgemental, too long-sleeved and uniform for the echoes of almost ultra-orthodox postmodernism. My life had been spent under different parameters and other than the greenery of Kent and Oxford and the unfamiliar and desolated streets of Sankt Gallen(29) I had seen no other world; still I could easily deceive the easy-going American nature with my discursive speech and have sometime for myself, after living in Israel I believed I couldn't have been lonelier anywhere else on the surface of earth, but life proved me wrong once again for my own good sake, because once you've lived in the land of your ancestors and tasted its addictive bitterness you would feel alone practically everywhere. Still I clang onto this loneliness and among the intellectual circles of New England(30) my first pieces of work were published, unfortunately your language never reached that high so that you could enjoy them but probably one day far off from the days of our burial we'll be probably translated and read by others, our words will be dissected by immature readers who will claim understanding and only then we'll rise from beyond the grave to claim our rights, momentaneously we're engaged in far more noble causes as to waste time explaining ourselves. An English woman living in New York, an English woman that became an American lawyer, an English woman married in New York(31). A British-fed European writer that would never learn not to frown. Up to this day still sugar-less and Austrian, that's how I like my "tasse de cafe".

Never again in my life would I be granted the chance to return not even to miserable London or to recreate my dutiful mornings with royalties. Less fundamental issues took place instead, such as becoming an educated individual in a society of silk-weary donkeys, and don't worry... I wouldn't disappoint you on this, I never could help myself from looking down on them. New York would prove my inherent need to journey through the days once again and would bring me back home once again, I would sweat once again under the inclement Jerosolemite sun of October(32), but for some time more I stayed in there and sorrowfully succeeded in any of my enterprises against my own will, financial responsibilities with almost Calvinist management and other shameful tendencies that would synchronize my life with the life and deeds of most other Americans.

I had to foresee a life, a life no real passion would bring me into. Defying all postmodernism I didn't pretend to change the world, simply wanted to commute with it. And from that little sorority room next to Lewisohn(33) I would never be tired enough from life as not to push for slightly more and eventually from push to push that college room, as impersonal and bookish as in the days of Ramat Gan would turn in the course of the years into a home full of familiar touch. The mustiness(34) would never abandon me, just like religion as well never would. The house would become through the years a container of dead knowledge and Classical decadence that would share the space in perfect harmony with an ecclectic and sometimes superfluous, sometimes fascinating tradition. Even Baal-Shem-Tov and the Litvaks, Shammay and Hillel, Rambam and Caro, each and every one of them would find its place in my shelves with dystopian harmony. How much I enjoyed the Talmud, I think Helen of Troy in my companion did too(35).

David has been a superficially religious man I must confess you, but never ever let him know that. I still believe I enjoy contempleating his joyful content, I never really outreached that far, pretty much the opposite. You would wonder how I built such a Jewish home being far from a pious Jew myself, well... life acts upon us in strange ways, the poet has perhaps a different outlook of life, maybe he's closer to God than the ordinary believer might think. Religion is a pivotal concept in poetry I'm sure, I knew it since the first time I read Homer and Sappho(36), even before I dared to touch a Hebrew bible. But don't fool yourself either, we still speak English most of the time.

In between the lines I firmly ascertain that I've been more of a religious person than he has, but that's unimportant for reality has been slightly difference. I haven't lived such an upright life that very fact wouldn't surprise you even minimally, I'm allegedly convinced. I had my good lot of pleasurable cruelties and selfish encores, not that I regret each and every one of those young men, with a few exceptions; I probably outwitted you in my science and probably in most aspects of my life. It wasn't easy nonetheless, for I've thought about the coffee table even up to these days(37), to and fro, a frozen monogram in my mind, that's a part of the story I could never forsake. Yes, I'm not even this ashamed to say that I did it in the back of my life, behind my own life, as if my house had a yard hideously engraved solely for my very own pleasure, a little dark forest nourished with the waters of silent disposable storms, like little tissues you would wash and flash away, devoid of any serious thought and yet as ephimere and eloquent as in the good old days. I can't claim I've lived two different lives, neither have you I'm sure for there's enough evil in both of us as to discern overtime that we can embrace darkness and drown into the waters of the underneath for its liquors are passionate and vivify the flesh. My life was just one, the life of a writer, who happened to be the good wife of an observant man, a lawyer in America, a Classicist in good old England, a poet in Jerusalem, all of them together and almost at once. It was a sympathetically strange life because there was nothing about this life that surprised me, except him. Yet only in order to inflate your overswollen pride I must confess I never found any fulfillment that could replace the dying banality and storms of conpiscious evil I felt next to you, like in the Sapphic verse that still shall remain somewhere in that wooden box among the petals(38), can you remember that as well? But life didn't treat me so bad in the end, there was no threat.

Do you know what's loving someone without being even at least slighly attracted to him?(39) Well, I know it and I knew it for many years, I shouldn't have procrastinated in so much longing to understand that but yet I don't regret it whatsoever. The fact of not loving David for so many years helped me to achieve what the universe of feelings forbade me from in those fascinating days of August when you overwrote my father the Sun(40). I could plan for the future and design a plan, leaving my swiftly darkening life outside its scope, for my life by categoric definition would constitute everything but a wholesome episode. Growing the yeast in my heart the acute sorrows of my diseased nature called upon me in the clingy days of February and March beneath the perfectly unfinished milieu of the sky, a children's portrait. Those sorrows knocked on my door late at night and through invisible wires that connected many of us together all throughout life those sorrow found their way into my studio and my shelves, and prosecuted me with treacherous righteousness; I defended myself on my sly and claimed a long forlorn Tracian morality I would follow only in between the lines of my books. I didn't achieve my very first purpose though, but randomly those sorrowful thoughts abandoned me once they became one in the flesh with the paper, forming conjunctions and connection that haven't been altered by the axes of time, or any other circumstancial vortixes.

Only in the afterlife of my youth, having become an empowered member of society(41) I slowly withdrew myself from those deceiving pleasures we thoroughly enjoyed together and embraced a more tranquile and less hastening life. My youth hasn't vanished away inasmuch as yours, for my hands are still young and even so more my sight, but I've lived a very different life than yours. In between the harships and cruelties of our parallel realities I've spent many years drowning into unthinkable segments of beauty and splendor, making myself the recipient of small and seldom gifts from life that sprang in my thoughts. Unlike you, living down and underground, in spite of being both of us sinners from a very kin, I shall just claim I did keep some respect for the human race, I didn't let myself be led astray, and my whole life could have been described as a lengthy roadmap headings towards airports, good and well. I forwent the Oxford days(42), and you probably would understand what I mean by the Oxford days, yet let it be that way. Somehow I kept the traditions of those days for everlasting years that would come thereafter, being such a loyal Hellenist myself, could it have been done otherwise? I can't complain that my youth was not well-lived, it was simply awfully lives and contemptously wasted in vain. But that's how it was meant to be, and I'm glad of having clung onto that therein. Some delicious emptiness, you've been nowhere else in life since then I gather, but I might be wrong, remember we don't approach the newspapers so often down here. How could I know?

The yellowing white of the days would bring us back to Rechavia, to the good and old Sokolov, almost made of gold. Here I would culminate my tempatively honourable life closing the contradictions and circles of my life, writing a play and stand-up comedy about wife and the funeral of her wedding(43), you can't imagine how many nights I spent sinking into the cynical laughter of having written such a venomous thing, unfortunately not many were made to wander through those pages. Language has a fascinating quality, it is darwinist as well(44), and that's basically my art, dear.

I would write many other things though, never again a play... I think I wrote the play just with some fresh taste of vengueance, but it was no big concern. I wrote endless sets of poems and other verses, odes, a few novels and scholarly literature, being a writer was what my life was called for since those early days. All the contradictions of my life would fall in place altogether, the Bar examination in America, returning to Jerusalem to the good old streets of Rechavia, the Hebrew University, the rituals for the dead in Byzantium and many other procrastinations. The fear of my vicious foresight would never betray me, it would rather cling onto me as an ivy that surrounds a tree and swallows the blood of life from the stem. My foresight would never sleep a day away. Until today I've been endlessly afraid, afraid of myself and of my talent, infatuated and de-constructed by my own art, by my discontent knowledge.

You don't need to investigate further deep any details concerning my life for I might give you a brief description of my shortcomings; I married during my early twenties and right thereafter married my sisters and my cousins, everybody seems to lead a wholesome life, I'm satisfied I should say. I lived for unaccountable days of my life between New York and Jerusalem having seldomly visited any other place, life was too short for me as I said. I pursued all through my life my studies in the Classics until I became a doctor from all places in Jerusalem, I'm also an attorney without much practice, my art obviously has been no other than writing. I think I would have made an excellent lawyer but some things such as charts and clients have never been through the door of my studio room, I wouldn't have let it happened, and since it was my choice I didn't.

Sounds like the days of my life were not sufficiently unkind, eh? Well, let me tell you something, life is in the end nothing but a maddening fluctuation of thought, so let's not let ourselves be carried away in complaints and regret. I see you're still alone, aren't you? Well that doesn't surprise me at all, I think we knew it since then, didn't we? And let me tell you something, if it makes you feel better I'm no happier than you are, so please comfort yourself.

I achieved most of what any human soul would lust for, a house with a bright and tender man, an intellectual career from within my studio room, some little economic pleasure and some quiet life. What can be wrong with all that? Maybe having married the wrong man? No, that's allegedly mistaken. I actually have been proven I chose the right path. Eventually I made ends meet ends. After reading this letter you would think I have been reading Victorian novels just for too long, and well you could never understand me in that respect, you're simply a progressive Jew(45), how could you understand the cravings of a single young English woman(46)? You'd never seen the greenery where I spent my childhood wandering about, you'd never seen the yellows and the reds and the purples of Scandia, of Finnmark, of Cornwald(47). That's how I thought you'd really enjoy living my life in America, it was pretty much like Tel Aviv, just far more appalling and artificial, but who knows? It could have fit you perfectly. My mind was still in England, even when I never happened to return there, I'm still a Victorian(48), leaving asides all post-modernism I conciously renounced to. Not as a whole though, in the yard that grew in between my books inside my studio room there was a room for post-modernism and change, that was the yard where the sculptor of my life carved in the stones of my soul and set myself free. I wonder what the village people of Southern Scotland or Wales would think about all this, but what do they know matter-of-factly? They're just as miserable as we're, just less knowingly so.

Is there anything wrong with that? Perhaps, only perhaps. Was there anything wrong with my life? Perhaps, only perhaps. As far as appearances go I'm near the end of many of my roads, yet climbing up to the beginning once again, wisdom they call it. Let's leave my question unanswered with a simple perhaps, let's just say I simpathyze with the tradition, with the convention, with the lack of radicalisms, let's say that I spent several years being anonymous thinker, an anonymous poet, and why not an anonymous lover. Let's leave it all in perhaps. My newfound beauty in the aftermath of that summer was my only crime, you can't blame me. Everything else I've been indulted for.

Towards the end of this letter I might just intimate things and let you know that James and me also met once again, it's ironic because again I couldn't beat my foresight, yet I found him very beautiful and sad, alone like most of you, post-modern men. He was very kind to me, for he thought I hadn't recognized him - but the eyes could never lie, hence he didn't address me at all. It was a few years back in time, when I was a curator at some gallery he visited by chance, from his expression I think he didn't believe his eyes, Sylvia in Jerusalem? Sylvia in some kind of productive life? Sylvia in a smile? He was so decevied by the thought, poor thing. Yet I do appreciate his kindness, it was such a big "chesed"(49). That makes me think he did read those epilogues I sent him years back when I went to New York, it seems they never stopped to hurt him, and never stopped to heal me somehow else. Strange, no? I believe he reckons that he is part of a tragic past that somehow doesn't seem to haunt me, and it would be unkind to remind me, right? Well, that was extremely chivalrous and kind.

As far as you go, I believe we don't really need to stare into each other's eyes at this point, so much yellow has come down in the meantime. So much longing has been forlorn and everything that was thought true just became a private space to cling onto in a winter's day. And in the end we've never been so apart, I've foreseen each and every single hue that touched and coloured your life and unsurprisingly you might have eventually done the same. Silence was a golden cage all through these years and it even vanished the muse of my words, so that in my mature age you even stopped being a subject in my pages, being still concerned with people like wife(50) and Harry Goldstein(51) that were creative products of your sickening love, I betrayed you ever since those little poems, ever since the Aeolians(52).

Lastly, I simply want to thank you, I'm indebted to you, I thank you so much for having left that day, for having broken the continuum of a perfectly sunny life in the tiles of Tel Aviv and Haifa. I thank you for having left my life unfinished and for having deceived my soul with such cold callousness, not that it would teach me any lesson but yet it would lead my life through different tea-rooms and stone-walls, through different thoughts and almost heavenly confirmations about the come about and go of my own life. I thank you for having left one day without an explanation and on unreasonable grounds, I thank you for having buried my future under your own two feet, from the funeral of such broken dreams the writer known as S.A. was born to life. Your awful fault, your awful lot.

Thanks, Jarvis... for having left my life so unfinished and drawn so that I had the chance to finish it myself, to draw plans again and to bring in shelves, colours and build space for other people. All of it over our graves, yours and mine. I might die any of these days with the conviction that we did outright good, and specially I, benefited from this all.

I regret not having loved more, not having given more, but it is no good time for sentimentalisms, for humanisms, like any sound Calvinist would claim. I've granted myself the chance to live inside my life, oysster-like, as much as you hated it. I do to, but it works out.

Fortunately we're only characters in a novel that hasn't been written, just like wife and her poor miserable gestalt, who am I to pity the writer or feel sorry for him? Yet I believe he must be a deeply sad young man, but there's some fascinating deadly beauty to this.

With all my love, ever since and again many thanks

Truly yours


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