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I’d been afraid of seeing the town without him. But I don’t

see it, because it’s not the same place: Someone has

transformed it into a stage set. As a result, I’m scared: I find

it deceptive, and therefore hostile. It deceives me in the

worse possible way: disguising itself as the town it was.

There are, therefore, no painful memories, but nor are there

memories that I can associate with him. And this lack of

familiarity is so strong that it sometimes provokes an

unbearable physical malaise, especially when I leave the

inside of a building and find myself on the street again. At

times I have to go back inside until I can regain my vital

signs, my breathing. Then I head home with the intention

of not going out again. Home, home, to our haven, to the

house, fast. Fast! To home.

I suppose it’s the indifference that makes the town so

inhospitable, meaning precisely that nothing has changed:

No river of tears has flooded it, no black sky has collapsed

onto the streets. People stroll nonchalantly. Everything

flows with the indifference that characterizes towns and

cities, whose movements are never contingent on death,

that is, not when the person dies an individual death.

At home, however, everything is different. His presence is

powerful; it accompanies you. You can touch his clothes,

his annotated books, his ideas spread about the table in

many little slips of paper. At home, the objects are not

indifferent. They speak. The oversized envelope left on the

bed—on top of the duvet cover with the large yellow