Thursday, June 27, 2013

And to whom am I speaking?

It is possible to believe that the receptionist at the doctor's remembered that you called the day before to ask about the details of your appointment in such a way that she had to respond, with the kind of tired, deliberate manner that you hadn't heard outside of the theatre: and to whom am I speaking? It is possible that she remembered you because she had made a caustic note against your name when your answer failed to adjust to the seriousness of her tone. It is highly unlikely that she recruited the oldest and sickest to fill all the chairs in reception so that you had to stand out in the corridor when you arrived, but not entirely implausible that she went on that day to draw strange pointed shapes in the register next to your name with the fat-bodied pen that she was not even thankful you returned.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Bankstown Stand C

Although I did not get to see Kafka's grave as I'd planned, since the cemetery was closed on the Wednesday and the Thursday that week in May, I was lucky that the Veolia buses passing through the Žižkov bus station on Israelská just on the other side of the wall from him pulled up at Stand C at the Bankstown bus station in Sydney only five days later, and so, turning back towards where, in the Prague guidebook and from the sign, his body was said to be lying -- which was 250 metres east of the locked iron gates -- I could make something of a man through the bush hazed fence walking several metres below us on a platform towards an approaching train, the figure with elbows at remarkable, exaggerated angles, as every part of a person now appears to me through the palimpsest of the diaries I've been reading, even though they are also overlaid, or should I say pinched in to initials and simple absence, by the prudery (and caution) of Max.