“It’s a completely unnavigable river, always empty, because of its irregular course and its sand bars. In France, the Loire is considered a very beautiful river, especially because of its light . . . so soft, if you only knew.”
Marguerite Duras, from Hiroshima Mon Amour
What she is saying is . . . she wants a war. She has no respect for her elders. Her mail carrier is black. What she’s saying is, war is immersive. A total experience. It’s life and death, obviously. Don’t play that jazzy flute in her face and act like you know so much. Don’t tell her how she is supposed to feel. She’s never done this before.
When she is so tired and sick that there’s nothing left to do but read a book, she can’t find her glasses. She looks all over the house for what seems like hours and then she screams as loud as she can at the top of her lungs. She watches TV instead.
Later, she finds her glasses in the car.
When she feels badly about her whole entire life, it’s because she is made of love. Understand? Name any bad feeling. Envy. Self-hatred. A sense of lack, or worthlessness. Generic fear. All of that junk is really just deep, immense love that’s been turned upside down and twisted.
Being made of love and feeling like shit—they’re the same exact thing! That’s dark magic.
Don’t play that jazzy oboe in her face and pretend to be free. Just because you can smoke a cigarette. Speak French, instead. Take it all the way. I’ll translate.
You can’t navigate the river. It’s unnavigable. That means no boats. Do you realize that? You and your jazzy barge.
Someone dropped a marble through her open window, and she saw it fall and roll across the floor. Then the weather got warm, and her hair grew back. She rode a bike to Paris. It took two days.
*I edited this and reposted it here. https://catapult.co/community/stories/death-in-retrospect