Roberto Bolaño, “2666”

“Some­times, how­ev­er, as they sat on a cafe ter­race or around a dark cabaret ta­ble, an ob­sti­nate si­lence de­scend­ed in­ex­pli­ca­bly over the trio. They seemed sud­den­ly to freeze, lose all sense of time, and turn com­plete­ly in­ward, as if they were by­pass­ing the abyss of dai­ly life, the abyss of peo­ple, the abyss of con­ver­sa­tion, and had de­cid­ed to ap­proach a kind of lake­side re­gion, a late-​ro­man­tic re­gion, where the bor­ders were clocked from dusk to dusk, ten, fif­teen, twen­ty min­utes, an eter­ni­ty, like the min­utes of those con­demned to die, like the min­utes of wom­en who’ve just giv­en birth and are con­demned to die, who un­der­stand that more time isn’t more eter­ni­ty and nev­er­the­less wish with all their souls for more time, and their wails are birds that come fly­ing ev­ery so of­ten across the dou­ble lake­side land­scape, so calm­ly, like lux­uri­ous ex­cres­cences or heart­beats.”

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