Something Strange Happens



“The airplane is faster than the heart. You arrive quickly and you leave quickly. You don’t grieve too much. And there is something else about the airplane. You can go back many times to the same place. And something strange happens if you go back often enough. You stop grieving for the past. You see that the past is something in your mind alone, that it doesn’t exist in real life. You trample on the past, you crush it. In the beginning it is like trampling on a garden. In the end you are just walking on ground. That is the way we have to learn to live now. The past is here.” He touched his heart. “It isn’t there.” And he pointed at the dusty road. I felt he had spoken the words before, or had gone over them in his mind. I thought: He fights to keep his style. He’s probably suffered more than the rest of us. We sat, the three of us, drinking Nescafé. And I thought the moment beautiful.

V.S. Naipaul


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