Wednesday, August 3, 2011

the most complete descriptions imaginable

She had given to him the most complete descriptions imaginable of the furnishings and of the ancient upholstery, the silk pillows, faded yellow and rose and gold with long gold tassels, the tapestry chairs, the wall measurements, the fountains and the shadows of the fountains, the Gothic arches, the illusive distance between one object and another, the number of feet between a divan and a chair, between a dynasty and a dynasty, the immobility of the furniture, the floors wavering like water, and she had told him of the absolute stratagem that would be necessary if he should find himself, that it was the morning tower, that he should not make the mistake of trying to walk through the thin partition of glass that separated him from eternal space, the morning sea like the twilight sea, the circling far white sands at the water's milky edge, a grey, twisted tree licked by the surf's tongue, its branches gleaming with red lichen, a white bird with a white comb roosting at the top, some bird of passage pausing for a moment here, everything arranged for convenience.

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