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You open the mailbox and find the hand-addressed

envelope that he regularly received from Librairie Vrin, the

old philosophy bookstore in Place de la Sorbonne that we

occasionally visited (“the only ones who ever write me,” he

often said).

You open the freezer and see the


and the



his bean stew. (Now that should be nice, to wolf down a


two months from now and be able to say:

He made


) At least that’s interesting. I don’t make any changes: I

want his objects to accompany me forever. For the time

being, they’ll pound away at me until every wave wears

down the pain, transforming it into fine, soft sand. I don’t

plan to remove things from the closet. Much like the

smoker who gives up smoking (and every time he does

something he’d previously done while smoking he feels a

powerful, intense, unbearable absence), it is only through

repeated actions that we can learn to incorporate his things

into our lives, until finally they are under our skin. At that

point, his things will no longer cause us pain, and it won’t

matter where we go, they’ll go with us. Píulix participates

in this with her characteristic cheerfulness. It’s almost as if

his things, scattered around the house, intensify her father’s

presence rather than saddening her by his absence.

But a shadow has been cast over certain areas. The living

room/dining room is one such case. The place where we ate