All I can remember.

All I can remember is that I was holding this book I hadn’t read in a long time. I also remember that, as I ran holding the book in my right hand, I kept thinking that this book was too big: I remembered it from my childhood, and it used to be a much thinner book.

So I was holding the book and running. A slight uphill slope with dirt and little stones and the path was narrow between low bushes, most of them dry in the sun and the salty air. The sea had to be close. As I got to the top of the slope the path started going down steeply. I gripped the book more firmly in my hand because of the feeling that I had not to let go of it. I let myself slide down the path. At this time I still could not see the sea, though I knew it was there.

All of a sudden I am on a wooden pier protruding into the sea. I can see the water that is deep and beautifully clear, almost transparent, with jellylike, gemlike blues fading into whites. Below the surface I can see the masthead of a relic, whose full shape I can distinguish dark against the placid brightness of the surface. I toss myself into the water, knowing for certain that I will be able to avoid the pole and land in fresh, free waters, that I am diving somewhere else than onto this unspeakable thing undersea.

I dive and I can feel I still hold the book and keep a thumb in the page I was reading earlier. I can feel the paper soak in salty water and I hear some music as I feel warped in the column of bubbles and carbon that marks my plummet, like smoke in the sky or the tail of a wet comet. I keep hearing this music while my mind ponders whether my clothes will draw me to the bottom — and whether I should drop the book because of its weight.

I wake up feeling hot almost to a burn, but no sun enters the room yet and summer is a long way off. I stayed awake a long while afterwards. Upstairs in the empty house, someone’s step makes the wooden floor creak, and somehow I am drowning again.

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