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The wife of the time traveler


From the American by Brigitte Jakobeit

The mechanical time is our bank manager,
Tax collector and police commissioner; the inner time is ours

J. B. Priestley, Man and Time


The time will come,

when you swing
yourself at your own door
greeted in your own mirror
and everyone will smile when greeting the other

and say sit down here. Eat.

You will love the stranger you were again.
Give wine. Give bread. Give your heart to yourself
Back to the stranger who loved you

all your life you because of someone else

overlooked who knows you inside out.
Take the love letters off the bookcase

the photographs, the desperate lines,

peel your picture off the mirror.
Sit down. Feast from your life.

Derek Walcott

Clare: It's bad to be left behind. I

wait for Henry, don't know where he is and hope he is
Well. It is bad to be left alone.
I make sure that I am always busy. So goes by
time faster.
I go to bed alone and wake up alone. I do
Walks. I work until I am tired. I watch how
the wind plays with the rubbish that has been under it all winter
Snow lay. Everything seems easy when you don't think about it
thinks. Why does separation make love stronger?
It used to be that men went to sea and women waited
at home, they stood on the bank looking for the horizon
off the tiny ship. Now I'm waiting for Henry. He
disappears involuntarily, without warning. I wait for him.
Every moment of waiting seems like a year, like
a month of Sundays. Every moment is sluggish and transparent like
Glass. Behind every moment I look at each other endlessly
lined up moments wait. Why is he gone and I can
not come along?

Henry: how does it feel? How does it feel?

Sometimes it feels like you've only been around for a very short time
distracted. And all of a sudden you realize that the book you
just had the red checked cotton shirt in your hand
with the white buttons, the beloved black jeans and those
maroon socks with the heel almost worn through,
the living room, the kettle in the kitchen, the same too
starts to whistle: All of that has suddenly disappeared. You stand in
Digging on an unknown country road, stark naked and up
to the ankles in ice cold water. You wait a moment to
see if you might be right back at your book, in
your apartment et cetera. After about five minutes of swearing
and tremors and a longing to just be
disappear, you make your way until you finally find yourself
come to a farmhouse and have the choice to choose something for you
Dress up to steal or explain everything. Stealing brings you
sometimes behind bars, but explanations are tedious,
time consuming and also associated with lies, and moreover
they often lead to you in jail anyway
wandering, so what the heck.
Sometimes it's like you got up too quickly
even though you're still half asleep in bed. You hear the blood
throb in your head and have the dizzying
Feeling of falling. Your hands and feet are tingling
finally gone completely. You lost yourself again. It takes time
not long, you can just try to hold on
or to hit you (presumably using yourself or
damaging valuable objects) and slipping
you over the forest-green hallway carpet of a Motel 6 in Athens,
Ohio, at 4:16 a.m., Monday, August 6, 1981, and
bumps his head on someone's door, causing them
Someone, a certain Ms Tina Schulman from Philadelphia, who
Door opens and starts screaming because a naked man is with
grazed skin passed out at their feet. You wake up
up with a concussion at county hospital, and before yours
A police officer sits in a rushing door
Transistor radio is listening to a Phillies game. Fortunately, you lose
you regained consciousness, only to come back in hours later
to wake up to your own bed where your wife is about you
bends over and looks very worried.
Sometimes you are euphoric. Everything is sublime and very
atmospheric, and suddenly you feel really sick, and
you're already gone You throw up on some geraniums in
a suburb, or on your father's tennis shoes, or whatever
three days ago on your own bathroom floor, or on
a wooden sidewalk in Oak Park, Illinois, that was about
1903, on a tennis court on a fine autumn day in the
1950cm, or on your own bare feet at the
different places, at different times.
How does it feel?
It feels like one of those dreams where you are
It suddenly occurs to you that you have to write a paper for the
you haven't learned anything, and besides being naked and yours
Left wallet at home.
If I'm out there, anywhere in time, that's mine
Inside out, I'm the desperate version
myself. I'll be a thief, a tramp, an animal,
that runs away and hides. I scare old women
amaze children. I am a trick, an illusion
highest degree, so unbelievable that I was true again
Whether all this coming and going, all this many
Shifts a logic based on a rule? Whether it
there is a method to stay here and be present with everyone
To accept fiber? I dont know. But there are clues;
as with any disease, there are patterns and possibilities.
Exhaustion, noise, stress, getting up suddenly, blinking
Lights - each of which can trigger an episode. But I
can also read the Sunday Times with a coffee in hand
reading while Clare dozes on the bed next to me, and suddenly
I'm in 1976 and see myself as a thirteen year old
Mowing my grandparents' lawn. Sometimes these last
Episodes only seconds; it's like listening to a car radio
where the transmitter keeps slipping. I find myself under
Crowds, spectators, some hordes again.
But just as often I am alone, in a field, in a house
or car, on a beach, in a school in the middle of the night.
I'm scared of finding myself in prison, in one
Elevator full of people in the middle of a street. I appear
like out of nowhere and I'm naked. How should I explain this?
I never managed to take anything with me. No clothes, no
Money, no ID. Spend the majority of my trips
me getting clothes and hiding.
Fortunately, I don't wear glasses.
Actually, it's absurd, because I feel most comfortable
at home: in a comfortable armchair surrounded by the
humble joys of domestic life. I just want one
little luck. A thriller in bed, the scent of Clares
long red-blonde hair, still damp from washing, one
Vacation postcard from a friend, clouds of cream in the coffee,
the soft skin under Clare's breasts, the symmetry of still
unpacked shopping bags on the kitchen counter. I
I love to stroll through the magazine in the library,
when the readers have gone home and touch tenderly
the spine of the book. These are the things that I feel painful about
miss when they are withdrawn from me by the vagaries of time.
And Clare, again and again Clare. Clare in the morning
sleepy and with a wrinkled face. Clare on the paper
when she dips her arms into the tub that
Draws the ladle out and moves it back and forth so that the
Fibers mix. Clare while reading when her hair is over
the back of the chair fall and they ointment themselves before bed
massaged into the cracked red hands. Clare's low voice is mine
often in the ear.
I find it terrible to be gone in a place without her
in a time without her. But I have to go again and again, and
she can't come with me.

Oh, not because happiness is

that hasty advantage of imminent loss.

But because being here is a lot, and because we seem to be

Everything here needs, this dwindling one that
Strange to us. Us, the faintest.

Oh, in the other respect,

woe, what do you take over? Not looking at this
slowly learned, and nothing that happened here. No.
So the pain. So above all the heaviness
so the long experience of love - so
nothing but unspeakable.

From the ninth Duinese elegy,

Rainer Maria Rilke

Saturday, October 26, 1991 (Henry is 28, Clare is 20)

Clare: It's cool in the library, it smells like it

Carpet cleaner, even if I only see marble. I carry myself
into the visitor book: Clare Abshire, 11.15 a.m., 10/26/91,
Special collection. I've never been to the Newberry Library and
after I passed the dark, ominous entrance
got very excited. Somehow I feel like the first one
Christmas day before the presents, the library is one
huge box full of beautiful books. The weak one
illuminated elevator runs almost noiselessly. On the second floor
I get out, fill out the application for a reader pass and
then go up to the special collection. My
Boot heels bang on the wooden floor. In the quiet, good
visited room are massive, heavy tables at which
People sit in front of which books are piled up. The
Chicago's autumn morning light falls through the high
Window. I go to the information desk and get one
Pack book order slip. I am writing a thesis in
Art history. My subject is the Chaucer edition of the
Kelmscott Press. I look up the book and fill one out
Order form. But I also want something about that
Read book art at Kelmscott Press. The catalog confuses
me. I'm going back to information and asking for help.
While I explain to the woman what I'm looking for, she looks over
off my shoulder to someone walking past behind me.
"Maybe Mr. DeTamble can help you," she says. I
turn around, ready to explain the whole thing again
have to, and see me across from Henry.
I am speechless. There is Henry, calm, in
Clothes younger than I've ever seen him. Henry works
in the Newberry, he stands before me in person, in the present.
Here and now. I'm beside myself with happiness. Henry sees me
patiently, slightly unsettled, but polite.
“Is there anything I can do to help you?” He asks.
"Henry!" I have to hold back to avoid him
to drop the neck. But obviously he's never got me in
seen his life.
"Do we know each other? I'm sorry, I ... 'Henry sees himself
um, fearing we might be noticed by readers or colleagues
sifts through his memory and realizes that a
future edition of his self, this radiantly happy one
Has already met the girl standing in front of him. As
The last time I saw him, he put my toes in the meadow
I try to explain to him: “I'm Clare Abshire.
I already knew you as a little girl ... "It's me
embarrassing to be in love with a man standing in front of me and
Hasn't the faintest memory of me For him everything is in
the future. I would love to laugh, that's how funny I think
the situation. The many years since I've known Henry are mine
through his head, but he looks at me puzzled and afraid.
Henry, wearing my father's old fishing pants, and me
patiently the multiplication tables, French verbs, all capitals
the state eavesdropping; Henry who came across a strange
Dinner laughs that I took him to the meadow as a seven year old
brought; Henry in tails who is on my eighteenth
Birthday opens the cufflinks with trembling hands.
He is here! At this moment! “Let's have a cup of coffee
Date or go out to eat? ”He just has to say yes, this one
Man who loves me in the past and in the future,
must also love me now and feel it, the delicate echo
other times. To my great relief he says
actually yes. We arrange to meet in one tonight
Thai restaurant not far from here, all under that
astonished look from the woman behind the table, and I go
Keimscott and Chaucer are forgotten, I'm floating them
Down the marble stairs, through the entrance hall and out into the
October sun of Chicago, run cheering sky high through the
Park and scare away small dogs and squirrels.

Henry: A normal day in October, sunny and fresh.

I work in a small windowless and
humidity controlled room on the third floor of Newberry
and catalog a collection of marbled papers that came before
recently donated. The papers are beautiful, that
Cataloging but dull, and I'm bored,
swim in self-pity. Besides, I feel old like it
only a twenty-eight-year-old man is able to do the
Drank too expensive vodka half the night and tried unsuccessfully
has to win back the favor of Ingrid Carmichel. The
We argued all evening, but right now I know
not even about what. My head is buzzing, I need one
Coffee. So I leave the marbled papers in one
State of controlled chaos back, march through that
Office past the information desk in the reading room, where Isabelles
Voice to me says, “Maybe Mr. DeTamble can help you
help, "which is what she means," Henry, old weasel, wherever
Are you sneaking again? ”This turns astonishingly
beautiful tall slender woman with amber hair around
and looks at me like their real savior. I sense
queasy feeling in the stomach. Apparently she knows me, but I do
do not know her. Heaven knows what I mean to this radiant
Beings have said, done or promised, so I ask
necessarily in my best librarian tone: “Can
Can I help you in any way? ”She breathes in response
an extremely evocative "Henry!" which convinces me
that at some point later we will have an incredibly good time
become. So much the worse that I don't know anything about her
not even her name. "Do we know each other?" I ask her,
whereupon Isabelle gives me a look that says you idiot.
But the woman replies, “I'm Clare Abshire. I knew you
even as a little girl «, and invites me to join in the evening
her to go out to eat. Completely puzzled, I agree. She shines
at me even though I'm unshaven, hungover and not exactly in
Am in top form. We'll arrange to meet you tonight
Beau Thai, and Clare, who has me safe for later, is floating out
the reading room. Afterwards, when I was in a daze in the elevator
stand and understand that I have a huge chunk out of my
Future, the absolute hit, here in the present
has flown to, I start to laugh. I cross that
Entrance hall, dash down the stairs to the street and see
Clare jumping and cheering across Washington Square
runs; I almost cry and I don't know why.
Later in the evening:

Henry: At six I rush home from work and
Tryna dress myself up My home is currently
a tiny but insanely expensive one-bedroom apartment on the
North Dearborn; i keep bumping into some
Body parts against annoying walls, counters and furniture. First:
Unlock seventeen locks on the apartment door, ins
Fall in the living room, which is also my bedroom,
and move out. Second: shower and shave. Third: a
desperate look into the closet with the gloomy one
Realizing that nothing is really clean. I discover one
white shirt that is still in the cleaning bag. I
opt for the black suit, Budapest and
light blue tie. Fourth, I find that I am attracted
look like an FBI agent. Fifth: I look around and
realize the apartment is a mess. I decide, Clare
If possible not to take with me tonight, even if
should the opportunity arise. Sixth, before
floor-length mirror in the bathroom I'll be a gaunt,
very excited one eighty-five great ten year old
Egon Schiele twin in a clean shirt and one suit
Undertaker aware. I am considering which one
Dress up Clare must have seen me because I can
not in my own clothes from my future to hers
Have come to the past. Didn't she say she was
still a little girl? An abundance not too
answering questions flashes through my head. I hold
pause and take a deep breath. Well. Then I put my wallet and
Key in and I'm on my way: I'll lock it
thirty-seven locks off, drive in the rickety little one
Elevator down, buy from the lobby store
Flowers for Clare, put the two blocks to the restaurant in
Record time back and still be late. Clare is waiting
already in an alcove, and the sight of me seems to be too
facilitate. She waves to me as if she's seeing a pageant.
"Hello," I say. Clare is wearing a burgundy velvet dress
Pearl necklace. It looks like one painted by John Graham
Botticelli: big gray eyes, long nose, tiny ones fine
cut mouth like a geisha. Your long red ones
Her hair falls over her shoulders to the middle of her back. Clare is
so pale that in candlelight it looks like a wax figure. I
hold out the roses to her. "To you."
“Thank you,” says Clare, incredibly enthusiastic. she sees
at me and realizes that I am confused by their reaction. "You have
never given me flowers. "
I slide into the seat across from her, completely mesmerized.
This woman really knows me; it is not just a fleeting one
Acquaintance on my future stations in exile. The
The waitress comes and hands us the menus.
"Tell me."
"Everything. I mean do you understand why I don't you
know? I'm terribly sorry ... "
“Oh no, not necessary. Seriously, I know what it's about
Clare lowers her voice. “Because there's nothing for you yet
it happens, but I, well, I already know you pretty much
"How long?"
“About fourteen years. When I am six I have you
first seen. "
"Sky. Have you seen me very often Or just a few
“When we last met you said if we were
Goodbye, shall I bring this, ”Clare shows me
a light blue children's diary, "so please" - she hands it to me -,
"you can have it". I'll open it at the point where a
Piece of newspaper stuck. The side on the top right two
little cocker spaniels are lurking with a list of dates
filled. It begins on September 23, 1977 and ends
sixteen little blue pages with doggie prints on
on May 24, 1989. I'm counting. It's a hundred and fifty-two
Data, very carefully with ballpoint pen in the squiggle
Calligraphy written by a seven-year-old.
“Is the list yours? Are all the dates accurate? "
“You dictated it to me yourself. A few years ago
Did you tell me you knew them all by heart Therefore
I don't quite know when the list began;
somehow the whole thing seems like a Möbius strip to me. But
the dates are correct. Through them I knew when to go to the meadow
must come to meet you. ”The waitress appears
again, and we order: Tom Kha Kai for me, gang
Mussaman for Clare. A waiter brings tea and I pour it
a cup for each of us.
"What is the meadow?" I am almost bursting with curiosity. It is ... with me
never met anyone from my future, let alone
a delicate beauty a la Botticelli who already
has seen a hundred and fifty-two times.
“The meadow belongs to my parents' house in Michigan.
On one side it is bordered by the forest, on the other by the
House. There's a clearing roughly in the middle, for example
three meters in diameter, in which there is a large stone, and
if one is in the clearing, one cannot from the house
be seen because the terrain is first rising and leading to the clearing
falls off. I used to play there because I liked being alone
and always thought nobody knew that I was there. Someday,
I was in first grade, came back from school
went to the clearing and there you were. "
"Stark naked and probably throwing up."
“To be honest, you were very quick-witted. You
knew my name, I remember that, and you're pretty
disappeared spectacularly, I remember that too. in the
In retrospect, it is clear to me that you were there before. To the
first time probably in 1981 when I was ten. You always have »O
God 'said and stared at me. Besides, you were utterly
except you, because you were naked, that's where I found it at the time
somehow taken for granted that such an old naked guy
as if by magic appears from the future and about clothes
Please. ”Clare smiles. "And about food."
"What's so funny about that?"
“I've got you plenty over the years
Served wacky meals. Sandwiches with peanut butter
and anchovies. Liver pate with beetroot on crackers. I
suppose on the one hand I wanted to find out if there are things
that you spurn, on the other hand I wanted you with mine
impress the culinary witchcraft. "
"How old was I?"
“I think you were in your early forties, then you were the oldest. I
not sure when you were the youngest, maybe um
the thirty? How old are you now?"
"Twenty eight."
“You seem very young right now. In recent years
you were mostly in your early forties and had all appearances
after a pretty tough life. Hard to say. If
is small, all adults seem big and old. "
“What did we do in the meadow? After all
comes together quite a bit of time. "
Clare smiles. “We did a lot. It depended on
my age and the weather. You often have with me
Homework helped. We have played. But most of it
For a while we just talked about things. When I was very much
When I was young I thought you were an angel and I always have you
questioned about God. As a teenager I wanted to make you
to sleep with me, but you always stood firm, what
Of course, it only strengthened my resolve. I believe,
somehow you were afraid you might sexually me
bend. In some ways you were very parental. "
"Oh. I should probably be happy about that, even if I do
at the moment it is not particularly important that one
thinks I'm parental. ”Our eyes meet. We both
have to smile and are conspirators. “What was winter?
Michigan winters are tough. "
“Most of the time I smuggled you into the basement; our
House has a huge basement with several rooms in one
of which things are stored, on the other side of the wall
is the heater. We call it the reading room because everyone is there
unused old books and magazines are kept.
Once you were down there when there was a blizzard and none
could go to school or work and it almost got me
maddening to organize you food because it was
not much left in the house. Etta was about to go shopping when
the storm began. So you got stuck, had to three
Read old Reader’s Digest for days and get you oiled sardines
and feed ramen noodles. "
“Sounds salty. I'm looking forward to it. «Our meal
comes. "Have you ever learned to cook?"
“No, I wouldn't say I can cook.
Nell and Etta got restless when I was in the kitchen
wanted to do more than get a coke out of the fridge,
and since I moved to Chicago there hasn't been anyone who
I could cook, so I lack the motivation to
to hone my cooking skills. Most of the time I'm too involved
busy with school and everything, then I just eat there. "
Clare takes a bite of her curry. “It really tastes good
"Who are Nell and Etta?"
“Nell is our cook.” Clare smiles. “Nell is her
black answer to French cuisine, imagine Aretha
Franklin with a crepe pan in hand. Etta is ours
Housekeeper and versatile bestie. Actually is
she almost like our mom; seriously, my mother is ... well
yes, Etta is always there, she is a strict German, but
very comforting while my mother is somehow constantly in
higher regions, you see? "
I nod, my mouth full of soup.
"Oh, and then there's Peter," Clare adds.
"Our gardener."
"Wow. A family with servants. Not really
my league. Did I ever know someone from your family
learned? "
“Yes, my Grandma Meagram, shortly before she died. you
was the only one I'd told about you Then she was
almost blind. She knew we were going to get married and wanted to
get to know you."
I stop eating and look at Clare. She replies
my gaze calm, angelic, absolutely relaxed. "We will
"I suppose so," she replies. "You have me
Told for years that you were married to me, it doesn't matter
what time you come. "
Too much. This is too much. I close my eyes and force
me not to think of anything. The last thing I want is this
Losing control of the here and now.
'Henry? Henry, are you all right? ”I can feel Clare
slides into my seat. When I open my eyes, she takes
my hands firmly in hers. I look at her hands and
notice, it's the rough, cracked hands of one
“Henry, I'm sorry, but I just can't
get used to it. Suddenly everything is so upside down. My whole
All your life you were the one who always knew everything, and so was I.
Somehow I didn't think that I would be tonight
maybe shouldn't fall in with the door right away. ”She
smiles. “One of your last comments before you left
was: "Have mercy, Clare." You have it with yours
Speaking part said, but if I think about it right now,
You probably quoted me. ”She's still holding mine
Hands and looks at me expectantly, full of love. I feel
deeply honored me.
“Could we go back again? Could we pretend
like this was a normal first date between two
normal people? "
“All right.” Clare gets up and goes to the side of the table
back. She sits up straight and tries not to smile.
"Exactly. So, Clare, tell me a little bit about yourself.
Hobbies? Pets? Special sexual preferences? "
"You have to find out yourself."
"Clear. Let's see ... where do you go to school? What are you studying
“I'm at the School of the Art Institute, so far I have
Studied sculpture, and now I'm just starting out
Papermaking on. "
"Interesting. And what does your work look like? "
For the first time, Clare seems uncomfortable.
"Kind of ... big, and it's about ... birds."
Table, then she sips her tea.
"Well, actually it's about longing." She sees me
still not on so I'll change the subject.
"Tell me more about your family."
“Good.” Clare relaxes again, she smiles. "So my
Family lives in Michigan, near a small town on the lake
called South Haven. Our house is outside the
City limits to be precise. Originally it belonged to the
Parents of my mother, Grandpa and Grandma Meagram. He died
even before I was born, and she stayed with us until she died
lived. I was seventeen. My grandpa was a lawyer, and mine
Dad is also a lawyer. My dad met mom when he did
started working for my grandpa. "
"Then he married the boss's daughter."
"Correct. To be honest, sometimes I wonder if
he didn't actually marry the boss's house. My
Mom was an only child, and the house is a real one
Gem, it comes in many books on the arts
& Crafts Movement. "
“Does it have a name? Who was it built by? "
“It's called Meadowlark House and was built by Peter in 1896
Wyns built. "
"Man. I know it from pictures. Isn't it for one of the
Hendersons? "
"Yes. It was a wedding present for Mary Henderson
and Dieter Bascombe. Two years after they moved in
they got divorced and sold the house. "
"Elegant shed."
“I come from a noble family. On what she
Incidentally, also values. "
“Mark is twenty-two and just finished at Harvard
his preparation courses for law school. Alicia is seventeen
and almost done high school. She plays the cello. ”I hear
a fondness for the sister out and vague resentment on the
Brothers. “You don't seem particularly high from your brother
To have an opinion. "
“Mark is just like Dad. They both always want them
win and keep talking to you until you give up. "
“I envy anyone who has siblings, even if they have them
not particularly fond of. "
"Then you are an only child?"
"Yes. I thought you knew everything about me? "
“Actually, I know everything and nothing. I know how you
look naked, but until this afternoon I didn't know
your last name. I knew you lived in Chicago, but I did
don't know anything about your family except that your mother is with
died in a car accident when you were six. I know,
that you are well versed in art and fluent in French
and speak German. But I had no idea that you
Librarian. You made it impossible for me to find yourself in the
To meet present; you said it happened when it did
should happen, and there we are. "
"Here we are," I confirm. “Anyway, I'm not coming
from a noble family, my parents are musicians: mine
Father is Richard DeTamble, my mother was Annette Lyn
Robinson. "
"Oh, the singer!"
"Exactly. And he's a violinist. He plays in the Chicago Symphony
Orchestra. But he was never as successful as she was. A real shame,
because my father is a gifted violinist. After moms death is
he just stepped on the spot. ”The bill comes.
Neither of us ate much, but as for me,
I'm not interested in food at all at the moment. As
Clare picks up her purse, I look at her and shake it
Head. I pay and we leave the restaurant, standing in the
Clark Street. It's a beautiful autumn evening. Clare enters
sophisticated blue knitted piece with fur trim; I have
forgot to take a coat and freeze.
“Where do you live?” Asks Clare.
Oh dear. “About two blocks from here, but my apartment
is tiny and just not presentable. And you?"
“In Roscoe Village, Hoyne Avenue. But I have one
“If you come to me, you have to close your eyes
close and count to a thousand. Your roommate is not
very apathetic and deaf by any chance? "
"It would be nice. I never bring anyone with me. Charisse would
pounce on you and put bamboo splinters under the
Stick fingernails until she knows everything about you. "
“I long for it, from someone named Charisse
to be tortured, but I realize that you are my preference
not sharing. Let's take my parlor. ”We'll go to Clark
North along Street. I'll pick up at Clark's on the way
Street Liquors a bottle of wine. Clare is stunned.
"I thought you weren't allowed to drink."
"Oh yes?"
"Dr. Kendrick strictly forbade it. "
"Who is that?" We walk slowly because Clare is impractical
Wearing shoes.
“Your doctor. He is a luminary, what the Chrono Syndrome
concerns. "
"You have to explain that."
"I do not know much. Dr. David Kendrick is a
Molecular geneticist who found out - or better,
will find out - how this damage occurs. It is
a genetic problem, he found out in 2006. «You
sighs. “It's just way too early. You once told me
in about ten years there will be a lot more chronographically disabled people
Give to people. "
"I don't know anyone with this - syndrome."
“Even if you go to Dr. Kendrick go
he probably couldn't help you. And if he
it could if we had never met. "
"We'd better not think about that." We're in mine
Entrance hall. Clare leads me into the tiny elevator.
I close the door and press eleven. It smells of old
Cloth, soap, sweat and fur. I take a deep breath of her scent. On
my floor where the elevator comes to a stop with a clatter,
we get out and walk down the narrow corridor. I
Put my handful of keys in every hundred and seven locks
and open the door a crack. “Has gotten worse
while we were eating. I think I have to give you this
Blindfold. ”Clare chuckles and I put the wine down.
take off my tie, put it over her eyes and tie
she tightly to the back of her head. Then I open the door and guide them
into the room and put her in the armchair. “Well, go ahead
And Clare counts. In no time at all, I pick up my underwear and
Socks off the floor, pick up spoons and coffee cups
various horizontal surfaces and stack everything in
the kitchen sink. At "nine hundred and sixty-seven" I tie
take the tie off her eyes and sit down on the sofa bed,
that I turned into the daily version. "Wine? Music?
Candlelight? "
"Everything, please."
I get up and light candles. Then switch
I turn off the overhead lights, and little ones dance in the room
Lights and everything looks nicer. I put the roses in
Water, find my corkscrew, remove that
Cork and pour a glass of wine for each. After a short time
Hesitation, I put my mother's CD with the
Schubert songs and turn the volume down.
My apartment basically consists of a sofa, a
Armchairs and about four thousand books.
"How pretty," says Clare, getting up from the chair and sitting down
on the sofa. I sit down next to her. One
For a pleasant moment we just sit there and
look at us. The candlelight flickers on Clare's hair. "It is
so nice to see you I've already felt lonely. "
I pull her close and then we kiss. It is a
very ... a fitting kiss, a kiss, a long one
Connection arises, and gradually I wonder what
exactly we were actually drifting on Clare's meadow,
but suppress the thought. Our lips part. At
at this point i would normally ponder how i should go
can work through various layers of clothing, yes
instead I lean back, stretch out on the sofa
and take Clare with me by grabbing her under the armpits
and move with me. The velvet makes her body slippery, like that
that she is like a smooth eel in the gap between me and
The back of the sofa slips. Your face is turned to me. Through the
thin fabric I can feel her body, which is on mine
presses. Part of me is dying to go ahead and lick
and plunge in, but I'm exhausted and overwhelmed.
"Poor Henry."
'Why' Poor Henry '? I am overjoyed. ”And that
“Well, I have you with this news all the time
Bombed. ”Clare swings a leg over me so that she is
sitting exactly on my cock, what my concentration
wonderfully to the point.
"Dont move."
"Well. I find our evening extremely entertaining. I
mean, knowledge means power and everything. Especially since I do
always wanted to find out where you live, how you dress
and how you earn your money. "
"Voilà." My hands slide under her dress and over her
Thigh up. She wears stockings with ribbons. Exactly
my taste. "Clare?"
“Wouldn't it be a shame to close everything at once
devour. A little anticipation would make it all
maybe do well. "
Clare is embarrassed. "I'm sorry! But you know in
In my case the anticipation has lasted for years. And here it goes
not about cake ... you eat it and it's gone. "
"Take what you can get."
"That's my motto." She smiles cheekily and nudges hers
Hips back and forth a few times. My erection is
now so big that she is one of the more daring
Parent-free roller coaster rides in Great America Parks
could exist.
"You do get through a lot, don't you?"
"Always. I'm terrible. Even if you are mostly very
Reacted buttonedly to my flattering advances.
What did I suffer from your French verbs and
Checkers. "
“I should probably be comforted by the fact that
my future self has at least a few weapons
to submit to you. Is that what you do with all the boys? "
Clare is offended, how seriously, I can't judge.
“I would never do that with boys in my life. What do you have
just for bad thoughts! ”She unbuttons my shirt.
"My God, you're so ... young." She pinches me tightly
Nipples. To hell with virtue. I know
now how her dress comes off.

The next morning:

Clare: I wake up and don't know where I am. A

strange ceiling. Distant traffic noise. Bookshelves.
A blue armchair on which my velvet dress lies, one above it
Tie. Then everything comes to mind. I turn around and there
lies Henry. Quite simply, like I've been next to all of my life
woke him up. He sleeps devotedly, in one impossible
twisted position, like a stranded man, one arm over the
Eyes to shut out the morning, the long black ones
Hair spread out on the pillow. Very easily. We have
found. Here and now, finally.
I carefully get out of bed, which is also Henry's
Sofa is. The springs squeak. Between bed and
Bookshelves run out of space so I push forward
until I'm in the hallway. The bathroom is tiny. I come to me
like Alice in Wonderland, as if I had grown huge
and would have to stretch my arm out the window to let me
can turn around at all. The ornate little radiator there
noisy warmth from itself. I pee, wash my hands
and face. And then I see two toothbrushes that are in one
the white porcelain holder.
I open the medicine cabinet. Razor blades,
Shaving foam, mouthwash, headache reliever, aftershave,
a blue marble, a toothpick, deodorant on the top
Board. Hand cream, tampons, a diaphragm container,
Deodorant, lipstick, a bottle of multivitamin tablets,
a tube of spermicide on the lower shelf. The lipstick is
very dark red.
I stand there with lipstick in hand, it's easy for me
evil. I try to imagine what she looks like, how she does
called. How long have they been together?
Probably a long time. I put the lipstick back
close the cabinet. In the mirror I see my pale one
Face, hair sticking out in all directions. Alright
whoever you are, now i'm here. You like henrys
Be the past, but I am his future. I have to
smile. My reflection grins back. I borrow Henrys
white terrycloth robe hanging on the back of the door.
Underneath is a light blue silk dressing gown on the hook.
For some reason, I find comfort in his bathrobe
Back in the living room, Henry is still sleeping. I
get my watch from the windowsill, it's only 6:30 a.m. But I
too restless to go back to bed. In search
after coffee I stroll into the kitchen. All surfaces and the
Stove are with piles of dishes, magazines and other things
Reading material littered. There's even a sock in the sink.
Apparently Henry took everything randomly into the kitchen last night
packed. I always kept it very tidy
presented. Now it becomes clear that he is one of the people who
picky about their appearance, but secretly
are pretty sloppy. I find coffee in the fridge, then
the coffee machine and turn it on. While I wait, see
I went through Henry's bookshelves carefully.
This is the Henry I know. John Donnes Elegies and
Songs and Sonnets. Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe.
Naked lunch. Anne Bradstreet, Immanuel Kant. Barthes,
Foucault, Derrida. Blake's Songs of Innocence and Experience.
Winnie the Pooh. The Annotated Alice. Heidegger. Rilke.
Tristram Shandy. Wisconsin Death Trip. Aristotle. Bishop
Berkeley. Andrew Marvell. Hypothermia, Frostbite and Other
Cold injuries.
The bed squeaks and I flinch. Henry is seated
up, blinking at me in the morning light. He looks like that
young, so before ... But he doesn't know me yet. At once
I'm afraid he might have forgotten who I am.
"You look frozen," he says. "Come back to bed,
Clare. "
"I made coffee," I reply.
"I smell it. But first come and say good things
I get into bed in my bathrobe. His hand slides under
the material, only pauses for a moment, but I notice that he has it
Connection established and mentally going through the things that
I might have seen in his bathroom.
"Do you mind?" He asks.
I hesitate.
“Yeah, sure. What a question. Of course it bothers you. "
Henry sits up again and I do the same. He turns
head to me, look at me. "It was almost over anyway."
“I wanted to break up with her. It was just bad
matched. Or well tuned, I don't know. ”He tries
to read my expression, but why? Does he want me to him
forgive It's not his fault. How would he have known all this
should? "We have only tormented each other for a long time ..." He speaks
faster and faster, then he falls silent. "Do you want to know it?"
"Thank you." Henry runs his hands over his face.
"I `m sorry. I didn't know you were coming, otherwise I would have
I cleaned up a bit better. In my life, not only
the apartment. ”There is smeared lipstick under Henry's ear,
that I wipe away He takes my hand. "Am I very different
than you expected? ”he asks anxiously.
"Yes, you are a lot ...", more selfish, I think, say
but, "... younger."
He considered. "Is that good or bad?"
"It depends." I run both hands over Henry's
Shoulders and back, massage muscles, explore
Indentations. “Have you seen yourself older, in the
Forties? "
"Yes. I look like I've been bent and
mutilated. "
"Right. But you're not like that - I mean kind of did
you more ... Well, you just know me and that's why ... "
“So you want to make me understand that I am something
am awkward. "
I shake my head even though that's exactly what I mean. "I
had the many experiences with you when you ... it's not me
used to be with you when you are not up to anything
remember. "
Henry looks somber. "I'm sorry. But that
Man you know doesn't exist yet. Stay with me because
sooner or later it will appear. I can't do more with you
to offer."
"All right," I reply. "But in the meantime ..."
He turns and looks at me. "In the meantime?"
"I want to..."
"Do you want?"
I'm blushing. Henry laughs and gently pushes me after me
on the back of the pillow. "You already know."
“I don't know much, but I can do one thing or the other
Later, we doze comfortably skin to skin in the light of the pale
October morning sun, Henry whispers something to me
Neck that I don't understand.
“I was just thinking how peaceful it is here, along with
to you. It's nice to just lie there and know the future
is regulated somehow. "
"Why did you never tell yourself anything about me?"
"Oh, I basically don't do that."
"What are you not doing?"
“Tell me about things in the future, besides this
are important, life-defining things, you see
you? I want to live like a normal person. I am also
don't like to be with other selves, that's why I equip myself
even only visits if I have no other choice. "
I ponder his answer for a while. "I would
tell me everything. "
"No definitely not. That brings a lot of trouble. "
“I always wanted to get you to do things to me
tell. ”I roll over on my back and Henry supports it
Head on his hand and look down at me. Our faces
are less than eight inches apart. It is so
strange to talk to each other like we almost always did
have, but the physical proximity makes it difficult for me to
"And did I tell you things?" He asks.
"Sometimes. If you felt like it, or if you
had to. "
"For example?"
"There you are! You want to know. But I'll reveal
Henry laughs. “Serves me right. Hey i'm hungry
Let's get something for breakfast. "
It's cool outside. Cars and bikes drive that
Dearborn, couples strolling on the sidewalks, and
we are among them, in the morning sun, hand in hand,
finally together and visible to everyone. A quiet one
I feel regret as if I've lost a secret
and then a sudden exhilaration: now it all begins.

Sunday June 16, 1968

Henry: The first time was magical. How did I know
should what meaning it had? It was my fifth
Birthday, and we went to the Field Museum of Natural
History. I think it was my first visit to the field
Museum. My parents had been telling me all week
what wonders there were to marvel at, the stuffed ones
Elephants in the high entrance hall, the dinosaur skeletons,
the dioramas with the cavemen. Mom just out
Sydney had returned, had a tremendous
incredible blue butterfly, Papilio ulysses,
prepared in a frame filled with cotton wool. Constantly held
I put it right in front of my face, so close that I only have blue
saw. It filled me with a feeling that I later went through
Alcohol wanted to repeat and finally with Clare
found a sense of oneness, and oblivion
Ease in the best sense of the word. My parents