TE19 Iberian Adventure


trouble of working on that novel just to watch Pilar’s face at the moment he had completed it. Without his needing to alter his expression, that juvenile idea made him smile. All the while, the characters still stirred deep down himself, whirled frightened, unsure of their future, lacked words, began to crumble; which was also why the writer needed some more time in private with them: he needed to respond to that agony. What now?What now? inquired the characters unceasingly. Time was needed to explain to them that now their life was indeed to start. Thereexisted that officeandwithin Saramago’s head thereexisted another office; the same was true of that newly finished book and the whole Island of Lanzarote and the Atlantic Ocean. It is unknowable which is larger; there are many types of size—just as the book was within the island, so also the island was within the Someone rang the doorbell. He at once thought about the postal order—might that be it? He really needed that money, but breaking off the rare, oh so rare, agility in writing was not convenient to him. José closed his eyes, twirled his forefinger over the keyboard until he lost discernment of the letters’ location. He would rely on the alphabetic order, but tipped the odds: he would open the door if it fell below h ; he would remain seated if a letter further along the alphabet came out. He landed his finger, lifted his eyelids—rat-like curiosity. It hit b . He broke free from the sofa thatwas swallowing him intoa hollow in the napa leather, snapped springs, and took six medium-sized steps, crossing the apartment. At halfway, someone knocked on the door, bones


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