Trafika Europe 2 - Polish Nocturne

Maybe it’s that you interpret everything in a literal sense, something you’ve always been guilty of.

The time has come to reflect on this point: What exactly is the literal meaning of a sentence like this? It’s not an infrequent one. When couples have been together for a while, to prove their devotion, they get in the habit of saying things like: “I couldn’t conceive of life without you.” I just opened a book by Saul Bellow and found a dedication to his wife: “To Janis, the star without whom I could not navigate.” And I thought: This needs to be substantiated. If Janis dies, will he navigate? Will he continue navigating? What are we expressing when we say this? The intensity that cannot be expressed in any other way? And, to what degree is this just a figure of speech? I had no doubt that in our case the sentence expressed a deep-felt desire. Even more so for me: We writers are often fragile, often dependent on someone who is by our side and who is everything: admired character, constant source of inspiration, unlimited support, teacher, love, lover. Not only did I take these sentences very seriously, but I have always been surprised to discover that there are couples who are prepared to survive the other without the slightest compunction. After he died I remember a friend telling me, “Fortunately, he had the heart attack after he got home, and not a few hours before while driving.” Since I’d always thought that the prospect of the family dying together was


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