Saturday, May 30, 2009

Rough Draft Of A Letter By Georges Perec

I think of you, often
sometimes I go back into a cafe, I sit near the door, I order a coffee
I arrange my packet of cigarettes, a box of matches, a writing pad, my felt-tip pen on the fake marble table
I spend a long time stirring my cup of coffee with the teaspoon (yet I don't put any sugar in my coffee, I drink it allowing the sugar to melt in my mouth, like the people of the North, like the Russians and Poles when they drink tea)
I pretend to be preoccupied, to be reflecting, as if I had a decision to make
At the top and to the right of the sheet of paper, I inscribe the date, sometimes the place, sometimes the time, I pretend to be writing a letter

I write slowly, very slowly, I write as slowly as I can, I trace, I draw each letter, each accent, I check the punctuation marks

I stare attentively at a small notice, the price-list for ice creams, at a piece of ironwork, a blind, the hexagonal ashtray (in actual fact, it's an equilateral triangle, in the cutoff corners of which semi-circular dents have been made where cigarettes can be rested)


Outside there's a bit of sunlight
the cafe is nearly empty
two renovators' men are having a rum at the bar, the owner is dozing behind his till, the waitress is cleaning the coffee machine

I am thinking of you,
you are walking in your street, it's wintertime, you've turned up your foxfur collar, you're smiling, and remote


Chapter 4 of 'The Street' from 'Species Of Spaces' (1974) by Georges Perec

Thursday, May 14, 2009