[REZERVUAR] on my small table this morning at my secret café next to the window with the two dead plants like home and rattan blind I duck behind each morning at 8:34 with Camus’ pre-war notebooks and red wine. Bona has been reading my posts and expects me here at the same hour with the smokers and the texters, and the lovers, and the kids up on the balcony who should be in school, and the loners, and the friends who coordinated their escape from work to meet here for coffee and bottled water, talking and texting and staring into something far away, or just being quiet these mornings where nobody knows where we are. In this indoor dim light, Sildi greets me gracious and distant, a little more familiar each day, the way he greets the others who also suddenly disappear after they arrive into who they’ve come here to be with behind their shades, talking and smoking and looking beyond at someone a long time ago.
September 1939. To be born to create, to love, to win at games is to be born to live in time of peace. But war teaches us to lose everything and become what we are not. —Albert Camus
I'm asking more questions and piecing together more of where I am, Albania, a hair’s throw from the communists, the labor camps, exterminations, the collaborators, bank schemes and civil war, the mass exoduses. I know there’s been a lot of killing. I can read it on even the youngest faces. The weight of what you’ve seen, what you’ve inherited and try to keep to yourselves. I see it when you’re speaking to each other, as if you’re looking at something right over their shoulder. I’ve been looking at each of you to see where our being human intersects, and I know this is nothing for a guest to say, even one who is a lost son, but everyone one of you, with your enormous, bottomless hearts, looks as if you’ve just come back from a funeral.