cookies. Then we caught a crunching sound as she nibbled,
followed immediately by silence. She must have fallen
asleep. That is how she fell asleep on Thursday. Thursday.
The objects belonging to the one who is no longer present
suddenly assume a disproportionate importance. They
hold the person’s smell and touch. My daughter takes great
care of his things. She likes to feel their proximity: jacket,
wallet, books, notebooks, the presents he gave her, the
figurines he bought for her at the stationery store, the wolf
of the three little pigs (it was the latest one), the violin
strings that were changed last Wednesday. Wednesday. The
need to embrace and caress the imprint he made on them
is enormous. This is a moment of rapine: his objects spring
to mind and you need to appropriate them. Where are the
photos? Where are his fountain pens? His binoculars? The
notes he left me?
Overcome by a sudden frenzy, I search for the notes. I kept
them in a drawer. We never wrote letters to each other, just
brief messages. Two lines at most. They were our letters,
but everything’s mixed up in the drawer and I can only find
one of his last notes. It’s a sketch, an elongated worm made
of spheres drawn with a quick pen, two words—eternal
love— written in German (it probably didn’t sound as
corny to him in German) and a message: “I’ll be home at
ten.” That’s all the correspondence we ever sent each other.
There was no occasion for anything else; we were never
separated long enough to have to write.