torstai 31. tammikuuta 2013

"...what night it came from..."

I sat on the ground so as not to frighten it. I didn't move. 

I was alone with it in the house. I had never thought about flies before, except probably to curse them. Like you. I was raised like you to be horrified of that universal calamity, the thing that brought plague and cholera. 

I leaned closer to watch it die. It was trying to get away from the wall; it was in danger of becoming prisoner of the sand and cement that the dampness from the garden made stick to the wall. I watched to see how a fly died. It was long. It struggled against death. 

The whole thing lasted between ten and fifteen minutes, and then it stopped. Its life must have ended. I stayed where I was to watch some more. The fly remained stuck on the wall as I had seen it, as if sealed to itself. 

I was mistaken: it was still alive. 

I stayed some more to watch, in hopes that it would start to hope again, to live. 

My presence made that death even more horrible. I knew it, and still I remained. To see, see how that death would progressively invade the fly. And also to try to see where the death had come from. From outside, or form the thickness of the wall, or from the ground. What night it came from, from earth or sky, from the nearby forests, or from a nothingness as yet unnamable, perhaps very near, perhaps from me, trying to recreate the path the fly had taken as it passed into eternity. 

I don't know the ending. No doubt the fly, at the end of its strength, fell. No doubt its legs came unstuck from the wall. And it fell from the wall. I don't know anything more, except that I told myself, "you are going insane". And I left that place. 

Marguarite Duras: Writing

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