Five minutes to nine. Three steps to the right… now turn left… fifty-nine steps… all the way down to Ward D. Room twenty-one, where the film crew people are. Knock on their window at nine sharp, ready for our daily exchange: my stories for their coffee and no filter cigarettes.
Where did they say they come from? Television? Eurovision? Worldvision? Clearly hunting for some vision. Of this, I’ve got plenty. Today I’m going to tell them about the intergalactic KGB agents… and about the network… and about the way the secret societies of America and the Sheikhs and the Jews are paying billions of dollars for us schizos because we’re the only ones who know what’s happening behind the screens, behind the curtains, where the strings of the world are being pulled… And about the physical, chemical, biological, geological, mineralogical, palaeontological evidence that the age of iron is already dead. That we’re way into the fifth cycle: the cycle of refuse.
The bush is stirring on my right. Ionică, that old son of a bitch from Ward B is doing it again with Cristina, from Ward A. Spring is in this air: I can feel the sticky pollen in my nostrils. The whole of nature is one big, sticky, slimy, slippery brothel. On a day like this the stench from Ward C becomes so unbearable that they have to be taken out and hosed. The human garbage, as you call them, Doctor G. Brainless guts and limbs, sweating, soiling, decomposing! Even they do it on a day like this, wildly, loudly, relentlessly, indiscriminately. Even Doctor G does it, with Nurse D or Psychologist T: silently, subtly, sophisticatedly, antiseptically, in his office, behind white screens.
Stop it, Ionică, old billygoat! Copulating like this, in broad daylight, when we’re so close to the edge, when we’re practically sitting on a time bomb. Am I the only one left to worry? The only one left to find a solution? You’ll get her pregnant, silly old fool, which means abortion, police, interrogation, jail, the nuthouse. But you’re already in the nuthouse, aren’t you, so what do you care?
Nuthouse, meaning nowhere else to go, meaning the end of fear, meaning bliss. Today I’m going to tell the film crew people about bliss. I won’t rattle on about the network, or about Doctor G’s demonic connections, or about Sister N stealing the potato supplies to fuel her interstellar shuttle, or about Nurse D using up our tranquilisers and injecting toxic waste into our defenseless veins. No, I’m going to them about bliss.
Room twenty-one… another twenty-nine steps. But spring keeps interfering. Here go the 333,333 swallows again. Today I have to sit down and start deciphering… Because this is our last chance ever… our last chance for bliss. One by one, I’ll file the swallows voices… I’ll note every note…. I’ll compare, analyse, synthesise, polarise…. inspect, select, concentrate, evaporate, eliminate… until I isolate his voice. Our saviour’s voice, the one hidden in the 333,333rd swallow. I’ll unriddle the riddle so that they, the ones outside the nuthouse, the ones who still have to put up with the business of life and fear, have a chance.
Film crew people, here I come with a vision, one of unlimited potential, one worth all your supplies of ersatz coffee and no filter cigarettes. A vision to fill all your empty cans of film. I’m coming to tell you about the soon-to-be-unriddled riddle of the saviour and the swallow.
Room nineteen… Room twenty… Room twenty-one… Knock.
Cleaner V vacuuming the floors. He’s going to say, ’They’ve been gone, idiot. They’ve been gone for ten years now. And I’m not going to listen to your garbage, not any more, unless…. unless you give me a pack of cigarettes.’
Film crew people, wherever you are, I’ve run out of cigarettes! And Sister N is stealing potatoes. And Nurse D is using up our tranquilisers. And Doctor G is collecting demons. And Cleaner V is vacuuming the world. And Ionică from Ward B… and Cristina from Ward A… are doing it again, and again, and again.