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City Of Glass - New York Trilogy #1, City of Glass - 03 (1)

City of Glass - 03 (1)

to the other side was the Frick, white and austere, as if abandoned to the dead. He thought for a moment of Vermeer's Soldier and Young Girl Smiling, trying to remember the expression on the girl's face, the exact position of her hands around the cup, the red back of the faceless man. In his mind, he caught a glimpse of the blue map on the wall and the sunlight pouring through the window, so like the sunlight that surrounded him now. He was walking. He was crossing the street and moving eastward. At Madison Avenue he turned right and went south for a block, then turned left and saw where he was. “I seem to have arrived,” he said to himself. He stood before the building and paused. It suddenly did not seem to matter anymore. He felt remarkably calm, as if everything had already happened to him. As he opened the door that would lead him into the lobby, he gave himself one last word of advice. “If all this is really happening,” he said, “then I must keep my eyes open.”

It was a woman who opened the apartment door. For some reason, Quinn had not been expecting this, and it threw him off track. Already, things were happening too fast. Before he had a chance to absorb the woman's presence, to describe her to himself and form his impressions, she was talking to him, forcing him to respond. Therefore, even in those first moments, he had lost ground, was starting to fall behind himself. Later, when he had time to reflect on these events, he would manage to piece together his encounter with the woman. But that was the work of memory, and remembered things, he knew, had a tendency to subvert the things remembered. As a consequence, he could never be sure of any of it.

The woman was thirty, perhaps thirty-five; average height at best; hips a touch wide, or else voluptuous, depending on your point of view; dark hair, dark eyes, and a look in those eyes that was at once self-contained and vaguely seductive. She wore a black dress and very red lipstick.

“Mr. Auster?” A tentative smile; a questioning tilt to the head.

“That's right,” said Quinn. “Paul Auster.”

“I'm Virginia Stillman,” the woman began. “Peter's wife. He's been waiting for you since eight o'clock.”

“The appointment was for ten,” said Quinn, glancing at his watch. It was exactly ten.

“He's been frantic,” the woman explained. “I've never seen him like this before. He just couldn't wait.”

She opened the door for Quinn. As he crossed the threshold and entered the apartment, he could feel himself going blank, as if his brain had suddenly shut off. He had wanted to take in the details of what he was seeing, but the task was somehow beyond him at that moment. The apartment loomed up around him as a kind of blur. He realized that it was large, perhaps five or six rooms, and that it was richly furnished, with numerous art objects, silver ashtrays, and elaborately framed paintings on the walls. But that was all. No more than a general impression—even though he was there, looking at those things with his own eyes.

He found himself sitting on a sofa, alone in the living room. He remembered now that Mrs. Stillman had told him to wait there while she went to find her husband. He couldn't say how long it had been. Surely no more than a minute or two. But from the way the light was coming through the windows, it seemed to be almost noon. It did not occur to him, however, to consult his watch. The smell of Virginia Stillman's perfume hovered around him, and he began to imagine what she looked like without any clothes on. Then he thought about what Max Work might have been thinking, had he been there. He decided to light a cigarette. He blew the smoke into the room. It pleased him to watch it leave his mouth in gusts, disperse, and take on new definition as the light caught it.

He heard the sound of someone entering the room behind him. Quinn stood up from the sofa and turned around, expecting to see Mrs. Stillman. Instead, it was a young man, dressed entirely in white, with the white-blond hair of a child. Uncannily, in that first moment, Quinn thought of his own dead son. Then, just as suddenly as the thought had appeared, it vanished.

Peter Stillman walked into the room and sat down in a red velvet armchair opposite Quinn. He said not a word as he made his way to his seat, nor did he acknowledge Quinn's presence. The act of moving from one place to another seemed to require all his attention, as though not to think of what he was doing would reduce him to immobility. Quinn had never seen anyone move in such a manner, and he realized at once that this was the same person he had spoken to on the phone. The body acted almost exactly as the voice had: machine-like, fitful, alternating between slow and rapid gestures, rigid and yet expressive, as if the operation were out of control, not quite corresponding to the will that lay behind it. It seemed to Quinn that Stillman's body had not been used for a long time and that all its functions had been relearned, so that motion had become a conscious process, each movement broken down into its component sub-movements, with the result that all flow and spontaneity had been lost. It was like watching a marionette trying to walk without strings.

Everything about Peter Stillman was white. White shirt, open at the neck; white pants, white shoes, white socks. Against the pallor of his skin, the flaxen thinness of his hair, the effect was almost transparent, as though one could see through to the blue veins behind the skin of his face. This blue was almost the same as the blue of his eyes: a milky blue that seemed to dissolve into a mixture of sky and clouds. Quinn could not imagine himself addressing a word to this person. It was as though Stillman's presence was a command to be silent.

Stillman settled slowly into his chair and at last turned his attention to Quinn. As their eyes met, Quinn suddenly felt that Stillman had become invisible. He could see him sitting in the chair across from him, but at the same time it felt as though he was not there. It occurred to Quinn that perhaps Stillman was blind. But no, that did not seem possible. The man was looking at him, even studying him, and if recognition did not flicker across his face, it still held something more than a blank stare. Quinn did not know what to do. He sat there dumbly in his seat, looking back at Stillman. A long time passed.

“No questions, please,” the young man said at last. “Yes. No. Thank you.” He paused for a moment. “I am Peter Stillman. I say this of my own free will. Yes. That is not my real name. No. Of course, my mind is not all it should be. But nothing can be done about that. No. About that. No, no. Not anymore.

“You sit there and think: who is this person talking to me? What are these words coming from his mouth? I will tell you. Or else I will not tell you. Yes and no. My mind is not all it should be. I say this of my own free will. But I will try. Yes and no. I will try to tell you, even if my mind makes it hard. Thank you.

“My name is Peter Stillman. Perhaps you have heard of me, but more than likely not. No matter. That is not my real name. My real name I cannot remember. Excuse me. Not that it makes a difference. That is to say, anymore.

“This is what is called speaking. I believe that is the term. When words come out, fly into the air, live for a moment, and die. Strange, is it not? I myself have no opinion. No and no again. But still, there are words you will need to have. There are many of them. Many millions, I think. Perhaps only three or four. Excuse me. But I am doing well today. So much better than usual. If I can give you the words you need to have, it will be a great victory. Thank you. Thank you a million times over.

“Long ago there was mother and father. I remember none of that. They say: mother died. Who they are I cannot say. Excuse me. But that is what they say.

“No mother, then. Ha ha. Such is my laughter now, my belly burst of mumbo jumbo. Ha ha ha. Big father said: it makes no difference. To me. That is to say, to him. Big father of the big muscles and the boom, boom, boom. No questions now, please.

“I say what they say because I know nothing. I am only poor Peter Stillman, the boy who can't remember. Boo hoo. Willy nilly. Nincompoop. Excuse me. They say, they say. But what does poor little Peter say? Nothing, nothing. Anymore.

“There was this. Dark. Very dark. As dark as very dark. They say: that was the room. As if I could talk about it. The dark, I mean. Thank you.

“Dark, dark. They say for nine years. Not even a window. Poor Peter Stillman. And the boom, boom, boom. The caca piles. The pipi lakes. The swoons. Excuse me. Numb and naked. Excuse me. Anymore.

“There is the dark then. I am telling you. There was food in the dark, yes, mush food in the hush dark room. He ate with his hands. Excuse me. I mean Peter did. And if I am Peter, so much the better. That is to say, so much the worse. Excuse me. I am Peter Stillman. That is not my real name. Thank you.

“Poor Peter Stillman. A little boy he was. Barely a few words of his own. And then no words, and then no one, and then no, no, no. Anymore.

“Forgive me, Mr. Auster. I see that I am making you sad. No questions, please. My name is Peter Stillman. That is not my real name. My real name is Mr. Sad. What is your name, Mr. Auster? Perhaps you are the real Mr. Sad, and I am no one.

“Boo hoo. Excuse me. Such is my weeping and wailing. Boo hoo, sob sob. What did Peter do in that room? No one can say. Some say nothing. As for me, I think that Peter could not think. Did he blink? Did he drink? Did he stink? Ha ha ha. Excuse me. Sometimes I am so funny.

“Wimble click crumblechaw beloo. Clack clack bedrack. Numb noise, flacklemuch, chewmanna. Ya, ya, ya. Excuse me. I am the only one who understands these words.

“Later and later and later. So they say. It went on too long for Peter to be right in the head. Never again. No, no, no. They say that someone found me. I do not remember. No, I do not remember what happened when they opened the door and the light came in. No, no, no. I can say nothing about any of this. Anymore.

“For a long time I wore dark glasses. I was twelve. Or so they say. I lived in a hospital. Little by little, they taught me how to be Peter Stillman. They said: you are Peter Stillman. Thank you, I said. Ya, ya, ya. Thank you and thank you, I said.

“Peter was a baby. They had to teach him everything. How to walk, you know. How to eat. How to make caca and pipi in the toilet. That wasn't bad. Even when I bit them, they didn't do the boom, boom, boom. Later, I even stopped tearing off my clothes.



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City of Glass - 03 (1)

to the other side was the Frick, white and austere, as if abandoned to the dead. al otro lado estaba el Frick, blanco y austero, como abandonado a los muertos. He thought for a moment of Vermeer's Soldier and Young Girl Smiling, trying to remember the expression on the girl's face, the exact position of her hands around the cup, the red back of the faceless man. Pensó por un momento en El soldado y la niña sonriente de Vermeer, tratando de recordar la expresión del rostro de la niña, la posición exacta de sus manos alrededor de la copa, la espalda roja del hombre sin rostro. In his mind, he caught a glimpse of the blue map on the wall and the sunlight pouring through the window, so like the sunlight that surrounded him now. En su mente, vislumbró el mapa azul en la pared y la luz del sol entrando por la ventana, tan parecida a la luz del sol que lo rodeaba ahora. He was walking. Estaba andando. He was crossing the street and moving eastward. Estaba cruzando la calle y avanzando hacia el este. At Madison Avenue he turned right and went south for a block, then turned left and saw where he was. En Madison Avenue giró a la derecha y siguió una manzana hacia el sur, luego giró a la izquierda y vio dónde estaba. “I seem to have arrived,” he said to himself. “Parece que he llegado”, se dijo a sí mismo. He stood before the building and paused. Se paró frente al edificio y se detuvo. It suddenly did not seem to matter anymore. De repente, parecía que ya no importaba. He felt remarkably calm, as if everything had already happened to him. Se sentía notablemente tranquilo, como si ya le hubiera pasado todo. As he opened the door that would lead him into the lobby, he gave himself one last word of advice. Cuando abrió la puerta que lo llevaría al vestíbulo, se dio un último consejo. “If all this is really happening,” he said, “then I must keep my eyes open.” “Si todo esto realmente está sucediendo”, dijo, “entonces debo mantener los ojos abiertos”.

It was a woman who opened the apartment door. Fue una mujer quien abrió la puerta del apartamento. For some reason, Quinn had not been expecting this, and it threw him off track. Por alguna razón, Quinn no esperaba esto y lo despistó. Already, things were happening too fast. Las cosas ya estaban sucediendo demasiado rápido. Before he had a chance to absorb the woman's presence, to describe her to himself and form his impressions, she was talking to him, forcing him to respond. Antes de que tuviera la oportunidad de absorber la presencia de la mujer, de describírsela a sí mismo y formar sus impresiones, ella le estaba hablando, obligándolo a responder. Therefore, even in those first moments, he had lost ground, was starting to fall behind himself. Por lo tanto, incluso en esos primeros momentos, había perdido terreno, comenzaba a quedarse atrás. Later, when he had time to reflect on these events, he would manage to piece together his encounter with the woman. Más tarde, cuando tuviera tiempo de reflexionar sobre estos hechos, lograría reconstruir su encuentro con la mujer. But that was the work of memory, and remembered things, he knew, had a tendency to subvert the things remembered. Pero eso era obra de la memoria, y él sabía que las cosas recordadas tenían una tendencia a subvertir las cosas recordadas. As a consequence, he could never be sure of any of it. Como consecuencia, nunca pudo estar seguro de nada de eso.

The woman was thirty, perhaps thirty-five; average height at best; hips a touch wide, or else voluptuous, depending on your point of view; dark hair, dark eyes, and a look in those eyes that was at once self-contained and vaguely seductive. La mujer tenía treinta, tal vez treinta y cinco; altura media en el mejor de los casos; caderas algo anchas, o bien voluptuosas, según se mire; cabello oscuro, ojos oscuros y una mirada en esos ojos que era a la vez autosuficiente y vagamente seductora. She wore a black dress and very red lipstick. Llevaba un vestido negro y pintalabios muy rojo.

“Mr. Auster?” A tentative smile; a questioning tilt to the head. ¿Austero? Una sonrisa tentativa; una inclinación interrogativa a la cabeza.

“That's right,” said Quinn. "Así es", dijo Quinn. “Paul Auster.” “Paul Auster”.

“I'm Virginia Stillman,” the woman began. “Soy Virginia Stillman”, comenzó la mujer. “Peter's wife. La esposa de Pedro. He's been waiting for you since eight o'clock.” Te ha estado esperando desde las ocho.

“The appointment was for ten,” said Quinn, glancing at his watch. "La cita era a las diez", dijo Quinn, mirando su reloj. It was exactly ten. Eran exactamente las diez.

“He's been frantic,” the woman explained. “Ha estado frenético”, explicó la mujer. “I've never seen him like this before. “Nunca lo había visto así antes. He just couldn't wait.” Simplemente no podía esperar”.

She opened the door for Quinn. Abrió la puerta para Quinn. As he crossed the threshold and entered the apartment, he could feel himself going blank, as if his brain had suddenly shut off. Cuando cruzó el umbral y entró en el apartamento, sintió que se quedaba en blanco, como si su cerebro se hubiera apagado de repente. He had wanted to take in the details of what he was seeing, but the task was somehow beyond him at that moment. Había querido asimilar los detalles de lo que estaba viendo, pero la tarea de alguna manera estaba más allá de él en ese momento. The apartment loomed up around him as a kind of blur. El apartamento apareció a su alrededor como una especie de borrón. He realized that it was large, perhaps five or six rooms, and that it was richly furnished, with numerous art objects, silver ashtrays, and elaborately framed paintings on the walls. Se dio cuenta de que era grande, tal vez de cinco o seis habitaciones, y que estaba lujosamente amueblada, con numerosos objetos de arte, ceniceros de plata y pinturas elaboradamente enmarcadas en las paredes. But that was all. Pero eso fue todo. No more than a general impression—even though he was there, looking at those things with his own eyes. No más que una impresión general, aunque él estaba allí, mirando esas cosas con sus propios ojos.

He found himself sitting on a sofa, alone in the living room. Se encontró sentado en un sofá, solo en la sala de estar. He remembered now that Mrs. Stillman had told him to wait there while she went to find her husband. Recordó ahora que la señora Stillman le había dicho que esperara allí mientras iba a buscar a su marido. He couldn't say how long it had been. No podía decir cuánto tiempo había pasado. Surely no more than a minute or two. Seguramente no más de un minuto o dos. But from the way the light was coming through the windows, it seemed to be almost noon. Pero por la forma en que la luz entraba por las ventanas, parecía ser casi mediodía. It did not occur to him, however, to consult his watch. Sin embargo, no se le ocurrió consultar su reloj. The smell of Virginia Stillman's perfume hovered around him, and he began to imagine what she looked like without any clothes on. El olor del perfume de Virginia Stillman flotaba a su alrededor, y comenzó a imaginar cómo se vería sin ropa. Then he thought about what Max Work might have been thinking, had he been there. Luego pensó en lo que podría haber estado pensando Max Work si hubiera estado allí. He decided to light a cigarette. Decidió encender un cigarrillo. He blew the smoke into the room. Sopló el humo en la habitación. It pleased him to watch it leave his mouth in gusts, disperse, and take on new definition as the light caught it. Le complació verlo salir de su boca en ráfagas, dispersarse y adquirir una nueva definición cuando la luz lo atrapó.

He heard the sound of someone entering the room behind him. Escuchó el sonido de alguien entrando en la habitación detrás de él. Quinn stood up from the sofa and turned around, expecting to see Mrs. Stillman. Quinn se levantó del sofá y se dio la vuelta, esperando ver a la señora Stillman. Instead, it was a young man, dressed entirely in white, with the white-blond hair of a child. En cambio, era un hombre joven, vestido completamente de blanco, con el cabello rubio blanquecino de un niño. Uncannily, in that first moment, Quinn thought of his own dead son. Sorprendentemente, en ese primer momento, Quinn pensó en su propio hijo muerto. Then, just as suddenly as the thought had appeared, it vanished. Entonces, tan repentinamente como había aparecido el pensamiento, se desvaneció.

Peter Stillman walked into the room and sat down in a red velvet armchair opposite Quinn. Peter Stillman entró en la habitación y se sentó en un sillón de terciopelo rojo frente a Quinn. He said not a word as he made his way to his seat, nor did he acknowledge Quinn's presence. No dijo una palabra mientras se dirigía a su asiento, ni reconoció la presencia de Quinn. The act of moving from one place to another seemed to require all his attention, as though not to think of what he was doing would reduce him to immobility. El acto de moverse de un lugar a otro parecía requerir toda su atención, como si no pensar en lo que estaba haciendo lo redujera a la inmovilidad. Quinn had never seen anyone move in such a manner, and he realized at once that this was the same person he had spoken to on the phone. Quinn nunca había visto a nadie moverse de esa manera y se dio cuenta de inmediato de que era la misma persona con la que había hablado por teléfono. The body acted almost exactly as the voice had: machine-like, fitful, alternating between slow and rapid gestures, rigid and yet expressive, as if the operation were out of control, not quite corresponding to the will that lay behind it. El cuerpo actuó casi exactamente como lo había hecho la voz: como una máquina, intermitente, alternando entre gestos lentos y rápidos, rígido y sin embargo expresivo, como si la operación estuviera fuera de control, sin corresponder del todo a la voluntad que yacía detrás de ella. It seemed to Quinn that Stillman's body had not been used for a long time and that all its functions had been relearned, so that motion had become a conscious process, each movement broken down into its component sub-movements, with the result that all flow and spontaneity had been lost. A Quinn le pareció que el cuerpo de Stillman no se había utilizado durante mucho tiempo y que todas sus funciones se habían vuelto a aprender, de modo que el movimiento se había convertido en un proceso consciente, cada movimiento dividido en sus submovimientos componentes, con el resultado de que todo fluía. y la espontaneidad se había perdido. It was like watching a marionette trying to walk without strings. Era como ver una marioneta tratando de caminar sin cuerdas.

Everything about Peter Stillman was white. White shirt, open at the neck; white pants, white shoes, white socks. Camisa blanca, abierta en el cuello; pantalón blanco, zapatos blancos, calcetines blancos. Against the pallor of his skin, the flaxen thinness of his hair, the effect was almost transparent, as though one could see through to the blue veins behind the skin of his face. Contra la palidez de su piel, la finura rubia de su cabello, el efecto era casi transparente, como si uno pudiera ver a través de las venas azules detrás de la piel de su cara. This blue was almost the same as the blue of his eyes: a milky blue that seemed to dissolve into a mixture of sky and clouds. Este azul era casi igual al azul de sus ojos: un azul lechoso que parecía disolverse en una mezcla de cielo y nubes. Quinn could not imagine himself addressing a word to this person. Quinn no podía imaginarse dirigiendo una palabra a esta persona. It was as though Stillman's presence was a command to be silent. Era como si la presencia de Stillman fuera una orden de silencio.

Stillman settled slowly into his chair and at last turned his attention to Quinn. Stillman se acomodó lentamente en su silla y finalmente centró su atención en Quinn. As their eyes met, Quinn suddenly felt that Stillman had become invisible. Cuando sus ojos se encontraron, Quinn sintió de repente que Stillman se había vuelto invisible. He could see him sitting in the chair across from him, but at the same time it felt as though he was not there. Podía verlo sentado en la silla frente a él, pero al mismo tiempo se sentía como si no estuviera allí. It occurred to Quinn that perhaps Stillman was blind. A Quinn se le ocurrió que tal vez Stillman estaba ciego. But no, that did not seem possible. Pero no, eso no parecía posible. The man was looking at him, even studying him, and if recognition did not flicker across his face, it still held something more than a blank stare. El hombre lo estaba mirando, incluso estudiándolo, y si el reconocimiento no pasó por su rostro, todavía tenía algo más que una mirada en blanco. Quinn did not know what to do. Quinn no sabía qué hacer. He sat there dumbly in his seat, looking back at Stillman. Se sentó en silencio en su asiento, mirando a Stillman. A long time passed. Pasó mucho tiempo.

“No questions, please,” the young man said at last. “Sin preguntas, por favor,” dijo el joven al fin. “Yes. No. Thank you.” He paused for a moment. Gracias." Él se detuvo por un momento. “I am Peter Stillman. “Soy Peter Stillman. I say this of my own free will. Digo esto por mi propia voluntad. Yes. That is not my real name. Ese no es mi verdadero nombre. No. Of course, my mind is not all it should be. Por supuesto, mi mente no es todo lo que debería ser. But nothing can be done about that. No. No. About that. Sobre eso. No, no. No no. Not anymore. Ya no.

“You sit there and think: who is this person talking to me? “Te sientas ahí y piensas: ¿quién es esta persona que me habla? What are these words coming from his mouth? ¿Qué son estas palabras que salen de su boca? I will tell you. Te lo diré. Or else I will not tell you. O de lo contrario no te lo diré. Yes and no. Si y no. My mind is not all it should be. Mi mente no es todo lo que debería ser. I say this of my own free will. Digo esto por mi propia voluntad. But I will try. Pero lo intentaré. Yes and no. Si y no. I will try to tell you, even if my mind makes it hard. Trataré de decírtelo, aunque mi mente lo ponga difícil. Thank you. Gracias.

“My name is Peter Stillman. “Mi nombre es Peter Stillman. Perhaps you have heard of me, but more than likely not. Quizás hayas oído hablar de mí, pero lo más probable es que no. No matter. No importa. That is not my real name. Ese no es mi verdadero nombre. My real name I cannot remember. Mi verdadero nombre no lo recuerdo. Excuse me. Perdóneme. Not that it makes a difference. No es que haga la diferencia. That is to say, anymore. Es decir, más.

“This is what is called speaking. “Esto es lo que se llama hablar. I believe that is the term. Creo que ese es el término. When words come out, fly into the air, live for a moment, and die. Cuando las palabras salen, vuela por los aires, vive un momento y muere. Strange, is it not? Extraño, ¿no? I myself have no opinion. Yo mismo no tengo opinión. No and no again. No y no otra vez. But still, there are words you will need to have. Pero aún así, hay palabras que necesitará tener. There are many of them. Hay muchos de ellos. Many millions, I think. Muchos millones, creo. Perhaps only three or four. Tal vez sólo tres o cuatro. Excuse me. Perdóneme. But I am doing well today. Pero hoy estoy bien. So much better than usual. Mucho mejor de lo habitual. If I can give you the words you need to have, it will be a great victory. Si puedo darte las palabras que necesitas tener, será una gran victoria. Thank you. Gracias. Thank you a million times over. Gracias un millón de veces.

“Long ago there was mother and father. “Hace mucho tiempo había madre y padre. I remember none of that. No recuerdo nada de eso. They say: mother died. Dicen: mamá murió. Who they are I cannot say. Quienes son no puedo decir. Excuse me. Perdóneme. But that is what they say. Pero eso es lo que dicen.

“No mother, then. “Sin madre, entonces. Ha ha. Jaja. Such is my laughter now, my belly burst of mumbo jumbo. Tal es mi risa ahora, mi barriga estalló de galimatías. Ha ha ha. Big father said: it makes no difference. Gran padre dijo: no hace ninguna diferencia. To me. A mi. That is to say, to him. Es decir, a él. Big father of the big muscles and the boom, boom, boom. Gran padre de los grandes músculos y el boom, boom, boom. No questions now, please. No hay preguntas ahora, por favor.

“I say what they say because I know nothing. “Digo lo que dicen porque no sé nada. I am only poor Peter Stillman, the boy who can't remember. Solo soy el pobre Peter Stillman, el chico que no puede recordar. Boo hoo. Willy nilly. Quieras o no. Nincompoop. Bobo. Excuse me. Perdóneme. They say, they say. Dicen, dicen. But what does poor little Peter say? Pero, ¿qué dice el pobrecito Peter? Nothing, nothing. Nada nada. Anymore. Ya no.

“There was this. “Hubo esto. Dark. Oscuro. Very dark. Muy oscuro. As dark as very dark. Tan oscuro como muy oscuro. They say: that was the room. Dicen: esa era la habitación. As if I could talk about it. Como si pudiera hablar de ello. The dark, I mean. La oscuridad, quiero decir. Thank you. Gracias.

“Dark, dark. “Oscuro, oscuro. They say for nine years. Dicen que durante nueve años. Not even a window. Ni siquiera una ventana. Poor Peter Stillman. Pobre Peter Stillman. And the boom, boom, boom. Y el bum, bum, bum. The caca piles. Los montones de caca. The pipi lakes. Los lagos del pipi. The swoons. Los desmayos. Excuse me. Perdóneme. Numb and naked. Entumecido y desnudo. Excuse me. Perdóneme. Anymore. Ya no.

“There is the dark then. “Entonces está la oscuridad. I am telling you. Te lo estoy diciendo. There was food in the dark, yes, mush food in the hush dark room. Había comida en la oscuridad, sí, papilla en la silenciosa habitación oscura. He ate with his hands. Comió con las manos. Excuse me. Perdóneme. I mean Peter did. Quiero decir que Peter lo hizo. And if I am Peter, so much the better. Y si yo soy Peter, tanto mejor. That is to say, so much the worse. Es decir, tanto peor. Excuse me. Perdóneme. I am Peter Stillman. Soy Peter Stillman. That is not my real name. Ese no es mi verdadero nombre. Thank you. Gracias.

“Poor Peter Stillman. Pobre Peter Stillman. A little boy he was. Un niño pequeño era. Barely a few words of his own. Apenas unas pocas palabras propias. And then no words, and then no one, and then no, no, no. Y luego ninguna palabra, luego nadie, y luego no, no, no. Anymore. Ya no.

“Forgive me, Mr. Auster. Perdóneme, señor Auster. I see that I am making you sad. Veo que te estoy poniendo triste. No questions, please. Sin preguntas, por favor. My name is Peter Stillman. Mi nombre es Peter Stillman. That is not my real name. Ese no es mi verdadero nombre. My real name is Mr. Sad. Mi verdadero nombre es Sr. Triste. What is your name, Mr. Auster? ¿Cuál es su nombre, Sr. Auster? Perhaps you are the real Mr. Sad, and I am no one. Tal vez usted sea el verdadero Sr. Triste y yo no soy nadie.

“Boo hoo. “Boo hoo. Excuse me. Perdóneme. Such is my weeping and wailing. Tal es mi llanto y lamento. Boo hoo, sob sob. Boo hoo, sollozo sollozo. What did Peter do in that room? ¿Qué hizo Peter en esa habitación? No one can say. nadie puede decir Some say nothing. Algunos no dicen nada. As for me, I think that Peter could not think. En cuanto a mí, creo que Peter no podía pensar. Did he blink? ¿Parpadeó? Did he drink? ¿Bebió? Did he stink? ¿Apestaba? Ha ha ha. Jajaja. Excuse me. Perdóneme. Sometimes I am so funny. A veces soy tan gracioso.

“Wimble click crumblechaw beloo. “Wimble click crumblechaw beloo. Clack clack bedrack. Clack clack bancada. Numb noise, flacklemuch, chewmanna. Ruido entumecido, flacklemuch, mascar maná. Ya, ya, ya. Ya, ya, ya. Excuse me. Perdóneme. I am the only one who understands these words. Soy el único que entiende estas palabras.

“Later and later and later. “Más tarde y más tarde y más tarde. So they say. Eso dicen. It went on too long for Peter to be right in the head. Pasó demasiado tiempo para que Peter estuviera bien de la cabeza. Never again. Nunca más. No, no, no. No no no. They say that someone found me. Dicen que alguien me encontró. I do not remember. No recuerdo. No, I do not remember what happened when they opened the door and the light came in. No, no recuerdo qué pasó cuando abrieron la puerta y entró la luz. No, no, no. No no no. I can say nothing about any of this. No puedo decir nada sobre nada de esto. Anymore. Ya no.

“For a long time I wore dark glasses. “Durante mucho tiempo usé anteojos oscuros. I was twelve. Yo tenía doce años. Or so they say. O eso dicen. I lived in a hospital. Viví en un hospital. Little by little, they taught me how to be Peter Stillman. Poco a poco me enseñaron a ser Peter Stillman. They said: you are Peter Stillman. Dijeron: eres Peter Stillman. Thank you, I said. Gracias, dije. Ya, ya, ya. Ya, ya, ya. Thank you and thank you, I said. Gracias y gracias, dije.

“Peter was a baby. “Pedro era un bebé. They had to teach him everything. Tuvieron que enseñarle todo. How to walk, you know. Cómo caminar, ya sabes. How to eat. Cómo comer. How to make caca and pipi in the toilet. Como hacer caca y pipi en el retrete. That wasn't bad. Eso no estuvo mal. Even when I bit them, they didn't do the boom, boom, boom. Incluso cuando los mordí, no hicieron el boom, boom, boom. Later, I even stopped tearing off my clothes. Más tarde, incluso dejé de arrancarme la ropa.

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