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Travelogue A14

May 22, 2014

My third day began somewhat differently from the previous, as, at breakfast, I heard from the corner of my ear, as it were, university students from the United States. From what I could follow, they were attempting to piece together the events of the night before from the meager ribbons, rags and odd bits left to memory. At first involuntarily, but later with a willing ear, I attempted to make use of their words to bring back my dream from that night, select words from their conversation resonating with the semantic material of the dream and drawing from oblivion elements of the dream that I had since forgotten. “Skinny” brought back the derision clear in the other’s face when pronouncing myself too skinny for love. “Bush” and “thought” summoned similar revenants. All the while, their evening slowly came into focus through the repetition of a peculiar cycle. One participant peers through the fog and hazards a guess, to which others then add their voices in fleshing out some details. The cycle is closed when one observer, having consumed less alcohol, verifies certain details and rejects others. The process then begins again until the observer has signed off on an official version of the night’s events. Regardless, it seems that this ritual requires, functionally speaking, at least one observer, lucid and in control, to be able to confirm rather than confabulate.

Breakfast and formal-pragmatic analysis at an end, I set out for another church. For a time, I trod along toeing an unsuspecting stone. This was perhaps an attempt to distract myself from my ever more distorted gait for which more and more mental energy was required to learn anew how to walk and then to remember to walk anew. At some point in the days prior, I had taken to using my storm umbrella as a cane, this umbrella-cane taking the place in the kinesthetic economy of the forward thrust of my left leg. That very morning, as I can see from my notes, I made use of one short break, increasingly frequent in my walks, to diagram the movements of my feet in relation to umbrella in the hope that it would help me better to reproduce the necessary motions unconsciously. In the end, it changed little, so my imagination was spent rather in the painstaking translation between mind and move than that between history and historicised.

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