I step outside and close the door, gently so that the latch doesn't retract. For a brief moment I wonder whether it's still five am inside the room, whether there are shadows cast away from the window, light source = sky haze, from streetlamp to cloud to sky to this window.
Someone sleeping in profile, chiaroscuro attempted partially, sunken eyes and the corner of a mouth creating small eddys where lit skin meets shadow, swirls briefly, and settles into a clean line of compromise: here, you'll take cheek, I'll take half of this unapologetic lip.
As I pull the door towards me in the lit hall way the latch makes two sounds, ! !!, progressively louder. I wonder whether I've woken you up.
Standing in the hallway on wood-print floor, I hear someone crying quietly, then someone else's reassuring whisper. I feel ashamed for hearing something unintended for any audience. I gather up my shoes and slip out in socked feet, waiting to tie my shoes in the stairwell.
Before I step outside the building I already understand that it is raining outside, or was raining outside, by the newly reflective quality of asphalt, diffusing lights overhead into color fields. Texture felt instinctively in the humidity of the night, the way the air hits my skin, feels like cotton sheets dissolving.
This preoccupation with a home and house isn't going away, I don't think.
Kurt Vonnegut just died. How will it feel like, I wonder, to keep on seeing these deaths as decades pass, maybe marquez, delillo, rushdie, ondaatje, another going here and there and to watch newer writers close to my age, then below my age, pop up, throw their weight and leave gentle imprints on history, cycle through? Here is, was, will be literature, soon passed and gone and coming again?
It's 20xx and I'm looking out of a window somewhere. Slowly I start to say:
-- All of those writers that changed my life when I was barely alive are dead, gone, with no more hope of continuation, just with quiet mourning. A few decades later, now, nothing has really changed, perhaps computers just the tiny bit wiser, rapid prototyping machines still yet prototypes, the internet a bit lower on the signal-to-noise ratio. Newness revolutionizing the world still now.
-- One summer when I was nineteen I read Underworld, by the late Don Delillo, and even though I only really read it once, it stuck with me, constructive interference was strong, and it was the main reason why I kept on returning to New York, to see her summers and to relive memories of those thirty years ago, when I was still just a kid, a student, thinking about my future and wondering about direction, so lucky, perhaps more aware than I am now, free from constraints and with the ability to decide.