Trafika Europe 2 - Polish Nocturne

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 escudella and the fabada , his bean stew. (Now that should be nice, to wolf down a fabada two months from now and be able to say: He made it. ) 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


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