I am alone in a thirteenth century house. I’ve been here seven days. It has three floors, a fully equipped kitchen, stone floors and the walls are thick so when it’s 30 degrees outside it’s cool inside. It’s in a Lilliputian village called La Romieu surrounded by fields of bowing sunflowers. I speak barely passable French but I get by with Wifi. The village has one store one post office one hairdressers and a few artists. I’m here to write.
This is not a holiday. Please don’t think me ungrateful. Linda has given me her home for a month. She is a wonder. I had to face this though. I think I’ll lose everything. Everything will go. I think even I’ve lost the ability to tell you how it came to this. I think my past has been rubbed out like the pencil writings of a child. Each page, each year, disappears when I leave the room. Every day I question whether I’ve written anything. There are markings were the rubber had been. Smearings. And by the corner on the table there’s a vile l pile of curled up rubber bits like mouse droppings. I write one thousands words of these mouse droppings a day.
The horizon is not the same today as it was the other day. It came closer. It had been rubbed away. I wake the next day and it happens again. There s nothing beyond the trees and the next day there is nothing beyond the field. And the next day there is nothing beyond the garden. I am in a house that is on the crown of a tooth of earth spinning through space and and I need to write of what was there. And that is why I am here: to make the world unfold to the horizon. Yesterday a bird flushed into the house and kept throwing itself at a closed window. All it could see was the sky but an invisible solid wall kept slamming into its face. I slowly opened the window but it didn’t fly. It was in shock. The sky had been taken away. It’s story had been stolen. And the fearI cupped it in my hands.