Thursday, September 7, 2023

The Thief's Journal

Along the shores of the Atlantic and the Mediterranean I went through fishing ports where the elegant poverty of the fishermen wounded my own. Without their seeing me, I would brush against men and women standing in a patch of shade, against boys plying on a square. The love that human beings seem to feel for one another tortured me at the time. If two men exchanged a greeting or a smile in passing, I would retreat to the farthest edges of the world. The glances exchanged by the two friends—and sometimes their words—were the subtlest emanation of a ray of love from the heart of each. A ray of very soft light, delicately coiled: a spun ray of love. 

I was amazed that such delicacy, so fine a thread and of so precious, and so chaste, a substance as love could be fashioned in so dark a smithy as the muscular bodies of those males, though they themselves always emitted that gentle ray in which there sometimes sparkled the droplets of a mysterious dew. I would fancy hearing the elder say to the other, who was no longer I, speaking of that part of the body which he must have loved dearly: "I'm going to dent your halo for you again tonight!" 

I could not take lightly the idea that people made love without me.

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