I was reading Boloña’s 2666 last night, ending section 2, when I hit two datum I wanted to store: 1) the name of a book, Bouvard and Pécuchet, that sounded interesting, and 2) a curious word, Adkintuwe, which sounded like a friend, "akin to me," and which meant “sending messages by the movement of branches” (221), reminding me of the internet, collaboration, projects. And I thought about “projects,” which were, it seemed, a projection of one’s thoughts and efforts, a projection of oneself, encapsulated, a snapshot in time. I thought of a lone oak on a hill, widespread branches swaying in the breeze and wondered what it meant to communicate by collaborative projections.
“Store the data,” I thought, and I reached behind a pile of books on my nightstand and found a scrap of paper and a pen, which were exactly the kind of paper scrap and pen I keep on my nightstand for these situations. On the scrap I found a note, obviously my handwriting, though I couldn’t remember writing it:
I saw something behind the mirror today. It was like looking out a window at night, mostly reflection, but something dark and unseen was clearly out there.
I picked up the pen and wrote these words. My wife was snoring. I turned off the light. I closed my eyes and I went to sleep. I dreamed. A hand in the toilet, floating a slow circle. Left hand, male, swollen, purple. A gold band in the bursting ring finger. The toilet flushed but without a sound and the hand spun and the fingers splayed and seemed to grip the edges of the drain. It wouldn’t go down. The water slowly filled and the hand rose, bobbed. Gray hairs, black hairs curled on knuckles. Was he Greek? The toilet started its whistle and I couldn’t look at the sound so I woke, half awoke.
Previously on Laws of Silence: