Waiting is a powerless agony. I study anguish in its progress, in a panicky, offended manner. A queue for a bureaucratic matter, the renewal of papers, a late train, a date or appointment, a traveller home late, practical matters keeping me away from what I cherish, are able to rekindle this nervous agitated worry. I wait for presence (the end of absence) or for news about a disaster (the only other possible outcome).
At times, presence gets confused with absence – I mistake ordinary carelessness for fading, or a meaningless gesture for willful or unconscious neglect or rejection, and this is the source of the greatest of fears. The primal, clinical fear of a collapse. If only I could understand that this is fear of a crash I’ve already experienced. If only I could remind myself that the loss I anticipate is a damage that has already come to pass, that cannot subsist again, a departure towards Night that has already occurred. Then I’d be peaceful and light-hearted. I’d see it as the chalk outline of a dead monster.
But I wait, like unsold stock. In apnoea. An evil spirit comes and takes everything from me, and when there’s an end to absence, this “everything” must be recreated afresh. Like a child or a dog, unable to understand that there’s an end to departure, that eventually there’ll be a Return to fill the gaping Nothing.
Absence carries on and I have to endure it. I try to control it, turn it into action. I rush around. I pretend. I sing and weave the cloth I’ll destroy at night, with all my senses alert. I take pictures. I write.