books / landscapes / life

Nothing good ever comes of love. What comes of love is always something better. But better can sometimes mean worse, if you’re a woman, if you live on this continent, hit upon unhappily by the Spaniards, inopportunely populated by Asians gone astray.

Roberto Bolaño, page 29 «Amulet»

That’s what I thought, shut up in the women’s bathroom on the fourth
floor of the faculty of Philosophy and Literature in September 1968. I thought about those Asians crossing the Bering Strait, I thought about the
solitude of America, I thought about how strange it is to emigrate eastward
rather than westward.

I may be silly and I’m certainly no expert on the matter, but in these troubled times no one will deny that to migrate eastward is like migrating into the depths of the night. That’s what I thought, sitting on the floor, with my back against the wall, gazing absently at the spots on the ceiling. Eastward. To where night comes from. But then I thought: It’s also where the sun comes from.

It all depends on when the pilgrims set out on their march. And then I struck my forehead (or tapped it, because I didn’t have much strength after so many days without food) and I saw Elena walking down an empty street in Colonia Roma, I saw Elena walking eastward, toward the depths of the night, on her own, well dressed, limping; I saw her and I called out, Elena! But no sound at all came out of my mouth.