• Vol. 10
  • Chapter 04
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No One Knows

An old woman says to me: 'You are unhappy'. She then precariously holds the handle of a cup of tea between her thumb and forefinger, sticks out her chin. A young woman smoking beside her turns around and says over my shoulder: 'You are unhappy'. Her unbrushed hair is bunched on top of her head and some bits of biscuit are spilled from the edges of her mouth onto the breast of her T-shirt.

Under a wonderfully sunny sun. Wonderfully cheerful accordion band playing. At a pavement café in the early morning, a street sweeper is relaxing in a daze with a cup of coffee. An ant is swimming peacefully in a drop of spilt milk on the table. The street sweeper in overalls brushes off an olive that has fallen on his lap, takes a book out of the bag at his feet and begins to read it intently. The book has a familiar title on its cover.

It was a book I had written. For a long time I was alone at the bottom of the deep sea. The dim moonlight passed through the water and illuminated tenderly my writing pad. Every morning, a swarm of sardines formed a dense cylindrical formation and became a pneumatic tube system, express delivering postcards of ports from straits all over the world. Every afternoon, my small fantasies with compressed air were delivered to the publishers through the tube. Before long, I ran out of paper and pen ink, but the story I wrote became a bestseller.

People walk down the street with books in their arms, no one knows it is my story. No one knows that the old woman comes to the café with her meagre pension hidden in her hat, no one knows that the accordion band is missing one of its members, much less that the smoking woman has changed her brand of cigarettes. I have no way of knowing whether the book that the road sweeper shoved into his overalls pocket will be taken


No One Knows

home and become his dream under his pillow or incinerated in a waste disposal plant. It is no use crying for a tale of the ant drowned over spilt milk.