14th September 2014
Raining. On tenterhooks. The station felt like a hollow in the ground. There is a sleeper train to Berlin but I would despise myself. Even here I worry about the other rooms. I make myself go into the foyer, sit down, hear the sounds that had reminded her of a ferry. In the afternoon I follow a well-dressed couple through the streets and through the park. I remember the bandstand from the last time. And his photographs of the benches arranged in a semicircle. Black and white. We end up in Rue Terarken, where Emily and Charlotte had walked on cobblestones. Would they have discussed the little black being? Would she have confided? The school isn’t there any more, just a grey plaque that makes me think of wars. With the kind permission of the Paleis voor Schone Kunsten. I look up at top-floor flats wondering if I’ll see the wild man who followed me around that day in Dendermonde. (The tragedy came a year later.) I wrote to him asking about Broodthaers, a question of translation, a ploy to make sure. Charlotte had done something similar; her method had been to thank him. And his wife. To explain how much he’d taught her. I think of Claire Zoë’s hours spent sewing the letters back together. I hadn’t known about that back then. Yes, the sky is bigger in London. Here it’s all in strips, with no planes.
Audrey Reynolds, Belgium