Could he have controlled the nerves of his face, or could a face have been fashioned to fit the attitude of his consciousness where it lay suspended between life and death that face would have worn a snarl
‘Listen, Ralph. Never mind what’s sense. That’s gone –‘
The light was unearthly.
‘I’m frightened. Of us. I want to go home. O God I want to go home.’
It seems to me I am trying to tell you a dream – making a vain attempt, because no relation of a dream can convey the dream-sensation, that commingling of absurdity, surprise and bewilderment in a tremor of struggling revolt, that notion of being captured by the incredible which is of the very essence of dreams….
This sense of disembodiment, of the unreality of my own muscles and bones, increased when Vaughan appeared.
‘You should have gone to the funeral,’ I told her.
‘I wish I had,’ she replied promptly. ‘They bury the dead so quickly – they should leave them lying around for months. I wasn’t ready.’
‘Remington was ready.’
I placed my hand on the dark triangle of her pubis, the moisture turning it silver in the darkness.
The world was beginning to flower into wounds.
His camera landed on the front seat. Its invisible silver memories of pain and excitement distilled themselves on their dark reel.
‘The thing is – fear can’t hurt you any more than a dream.’
My master thou, and guide!
Thou he from whom alone I have derived
In the midway of this our mortal life,
I found me in a gloomy wood, astray
Gone from the path direct: and e'en to tell,
It were no easy task, how savage wild
That forest, how robust and rough its growth,
Which to remember only my dismay
Renews, in bitterness not far from death.
It was like a weary pilgrimage amongst hints of nightmares.
The earth seemed unearthly.
Adieu. How do you English say, eh? Good-bye. Ah! Good-bye. Adieu. In the tropics one must before everything keep calm.” …He lifted a warning forefinger….”Du calme, du calme. Adieu.”
Again he fell into that strange mood of speculation that was so foreign to him. If faces were different when lit from above or below – what was a face? What was anything?