32. The universe of life
The wind had blown for two days with unusual vehemence. Rocks broke off from the rock face opposite the wall opening of the Secret room, Whirlwinds uprooted bushes growing between the stones and were swept away in its power. The raging water roared in anger to be thus thwarted.
Hiro was about to go insane.The look from his almost closed eyelids terrified everyone.
From his seat in the combat courtyard he continued to command the movements, but the monks dragged themselves in the execution of the orders. They waited for the young white man who still made fun of them. But in this mockery was a benevolent attention for them and they felt this in their bellies. I On the contrary, they felt the heat in their bodies and their flesh was happy to follow his advice.
They talked among themselves.
An old man gave the answer that each one knew deep inside him.
-He uses the sword with one hand ... but he has bandages in the other.
-He is a Great One, says one.
The old man looked from his with age half-closed eyes.
-No, he is not a Great One ... He is the One who gives Life.
Then he murmured, and the sounds slipped through his slightly parted teeth:
-I knew another who was like him ... a long time ago! ... I was young.
Tong let his voice be heard in the silence of the refectory.
The old man looked at him and smiled.
-Here ... In this monastery ... Thirty years ago already! ... and I loved him.
The long monk bowed to the old.
-Thank you, he said.
He had the answer which had been in his belly for many moons.
Heidi watched as he walked away. She smiled. She had known for half a moon. That night the face of her brother had been transformed into that of Ange.
"They are together in death!"
She slept well. In the morning her body felt this good fortune of waking up, which it had not known for years - since the soldiers had come, and her brother had left with them. His last sentence had been for her, his pupils united with hers:
-One can not kill the Truth ... Fear not ... I will return.
For three nights already the master was no longer with them. They saw Hiro going into the temple four times a day with a plate of food. The doors of the private room, of the wooden Buddha, were forbidden to them.
They did their meditation in the main hall. They felt a strange force emanating from the other small room.
"What is he doing there all alone?"
The question ran in the courtyards. One could not ask Hiro like before. He has always been the connecting link between the Master and them. But now his mad look made them dizzy and they were afraid of him.
They were also afraid of what was happening in this place. They did not understand. They felt the threat of death.
-It is not the death of the body, a few old ones said, warming their old bones in the sun ... It is the destruction of fragile spirits.
The younger ones did not understand these words and let this show in their eyes. Therefore the old man, who had opened his mouth, added:
- This is linked with the young White Man ...
Everyone understood. Everyone felt this young man as something new and as a constant question. They talked about nothing else in the kitchens and in the courtyards.
But strangely the fear of him disappeared from day to day and they perceived that they began to love him.
-He has a soul, they said in the kitchens, surprised at their words, because they did not really know what a "soul" was.
But the words came, passed over their lips and ran by themselves between the walls of the monastery and accompanied them in their sleep, which became increasingly attentive.
-It is as if one sleeps without sleeping..., said one of them.
The others nodded their clean-shaven, shiny skulls.
Excerpt from the book of the Shin Family
10. The Universe of the life of Stéphane
Marc Antoine did not follow him immediately into the back room.
He remained in the bar. He had withdrawn his foot and the door was closed.
The five bodies lay moaning on the tiled floor, two of them no longer conscious of their moaning. No one prevented him from walking around and nudging them with his toe to check as to whether they were still moving.
Tonio held his hands over his eye. The blood oozed through his fingers and then ran over his chin, oozing along his neck. The open collar of his shirt was almost soaked with blood.
He saw it all in a cloud, but he still felt very much at the same time his presence in this place, which was now losing its heaviness.
He touched the ribs of the fat bearded man, who lay bent with his hand under his leather jacket. The sheriff's star, which the man always wore on his shirt, had always attracted him. He let it slide into his hand and put it in his pocket. He left his hand lying on top of it.
He went into the back room, as if he was counting his steps. Behind him he could feel the void being created. Some left straight away running through the door that led to the courtyard.
He watched the sister of Stéphane from closely narrowed eyes. She slid around on the bench, her skirt pushed up over her buttocks. She had no panties on anymore and her genitals bulged, with the fat slit and the many black hairs. He did not know that they were so long ... and that the flesh was so thick on both sides ...
She tried to run away with the others. She had to get over two benches and she was afraid. This man shook José! ... José seemed to be crying ... or moaning ... She was not sure. She had to get out of here!
At last she was on the floor. Marc Antoine smiled. He did not even notice. The lips moved apart themselves. He felt as they drew themselves across his teeth, but at that moment he did not know what his face looked like. He looked.
She crawled into the crowd on all fours. They hurt each other. She was pushed into twice. All wanted through.
At that moment she saw him. He had come near her and stood there with his hands in his pockets, the warm badge in his hand.
She stretched an arm out to him, begging for help. Then she suddenly saw the hard eyes, which did not leave her, cold and contemptuous eyes with a big smile on his lips ...
- Marc ...! help me ... she tried.
He did not answer. He stood there. Unmoved.
- In the name of Steph ...! You were his friend ...
He took two steps toward her and took his hand from his pocket, the one which held the badge. He clenched his fist and without blinking brought it down hard onto her face, which rose towards him, full of hope.
He did not even look at her collapsing. Suddenly there was something like a great void.
He heard police sirens.
- Come ..
Bret let go of José, whose head he had crushed against the table for a moment, rubbing it like a mop on the cold of the false marble.
He had followed Marc Antoine out of the corner of his eye, and when he sent his fist into the face of this little fat girl on all fours on the ground, he knew that she was the sister of Steph.
What was important to him, however, was the determination of the boy and the strange smile that he knew well. It is the smile of those who begin to KNOW.
He dealt briefly a last time with José, using him now as a sponge. This boy should at least once have the right of being dealt with for a little while.
Then he came and pulled at his sleeve and he followed him behind the bar to a little hidden door, which was just under the shelves in which the cognac glasses stood, and which led into a chamber.
Marc Antoine pushed a large empty cardboard box on a low table to one side. The opening was not large. An iron ladder led from there to the rooftops.
He heard through the door:
- POLICE! No one moves!
The one who had called had a loud, deep voice. If he had looked rightly a moment before, there were not many people left anymore.
They lay on the edge of the roof. They looked at the three police cars down below, standing between the two ambulances.
The eyes of Marc Antoine shone in a strange way.
- I think it's true ... Stéphane did hire you!
He turned his face towards Bret.
- Although ... you're a cop! ... I'm sure! ... But it is as if Steph was your customer ...
Bret did not answer. He knew that the child spoke aloud. One had to give him his time. One had to give him the right to speak alone that which he meant to say... There is no longer this children's theatre where the children performed and the parents watched. There is nothing anymore. Only the loneliness of the words in a heart that is ready to explode.
So the young man said nothing, because there was nothing to say.He was simply there, like when he would sit in meditation. There was only a door there, which opened up in one direction more than in the other.
The rain soaked the suede jacket. The trousers were just a rag full of dust and mud. The wet hair stuck to his forehead. He turned his head towards the face which was strained with anguish. He did not attempt to drive it out of these eyes with a smile or a nice word, even less by a gesture. He too had been afraid to understand that there existed another door ...
It was necessary to give him time. His time.
- He wrote a diary ... Stéphane..., the boy said.
- Thank you.
- I do not know where it is ... at his place, perhaps.
- Thank you.
Rue Emile Level.
The door is lit by the streetlamps, like all the others in this street with no nooks. My master key does not need more than ten seconds. Not complicated, this lock. They probably count on the caretaker, who keeps guard. At least should be!
There is no real caretaker with a porter lodge and the whole shebang. There is an old woman from the ground floor, who was released from the load of monitoring and cleaning services. It was only recently that a pane was installed in the hall of her apartment to the corridor to enable her to check on who passes.
Without putting on the light, I close the door again, the lock shutting without breaking the silence. I walk past the window pane. Nothing. I come back. Nothing. Correct.
Steph was able to open it for his sister without being discovered. It is enough not to put on the staircase lighting, which would wake the old woman.
The stairs do not creak. I had already noticed that when I came to question the Colas the last time. You know! ... The time I got bawled out by the "Little Father."
The Cola live on the second floor. I walk past their door and climb on up. The roofs of Paris open up before me, the other roofs ... Looking through the window of the attic, the padlock of which I've tickled a little bit ... I remain a long while in this contemplation with the drizzle that has not left me since I've stepped onto the ground this morning in Paris. It is warm and caresses my cheeks. Under my feet I feel the life that sleeps in this building and it sleeps badly.
You know your feet? With the ankle, the calf, which connects to the knee, then the thigh, the hips ... and the whole is coupled to the abdomen. If you're very attentive, you will see the energy rising into your stomach. If you are not afraid of it, it will speak to you. And life will no longer be the same. This energy will be with you and you will not be able to do without it anymore, since it will be your teacher. The only one.
You see, it is not difficult to pass over all the verbiage. But this is the reason why you put it off until tomorrow, to take your destiny in your hands.
The rain runs down into the collar of the jacket and penetrates over into the linen shirt. I listen to the silence of the night. A night that is identical to that of Steph. Identical noises, the creaking and a few steps in the street. I listen for him, since he can not do this anymore. I wait for him to tell me who killed him.
As you know, talk is nothing more than free, disordered thoughts. Not as much as that, in fact! Its order is not one of .... But let's leave that for the moment.
In the silence of the night, while I am waiting for the murderer of Steph, we have a little time for us. Maybe we could talk to each other like friends, who are walking on a small country lane and tell each other what is going through our heads, without sarcasm, for in this moment it no longer exists. Spite exists only in time and this night time is done away with. It is always done away with, in every moment, when an extraordinary interest is born in the heart. Then this energy is there, which I have spoken of: full, indivisible and it has the power to overturn everything.
So if you want to talk with me, I am telling you that you should not to stick to my words. What matters is the energy that is in motion. The rest is dog food. However, this is the food that you are being brought to swallow every day. But look ... you are all alone at least twice: at your birth and at your death. But in between you are afraid. So you fill the time ...with thoughts, which go around in circles. And which make you believe that they are your only support, the only solution to your problems.
Tell me! Among friends who talk to each other friendly ... May I ask a question?
Are you able to think of something that you do not absolutely know? I am speaking of "absolutely". Something of which you do not have knowledge, about which you've never even heard, of which you do not have the slightest idea that it exists ... Do you understand what I want to say?
Well? Can you THINK of it? No, of course not. Does this not tell you a bit about thoughts? Wouldn’t they, crafty little ones they are, not just be the response of memory?
You know, in Kensho, you can see all this stuff, but I will not tell you anything about this because it is useless. You have to take life where it is. And it is always the present moment, here and now.
Nevertheless, one wants the "thoughts". Thus one wants the reheated past, because the memory is nothing more than stored past. Amusing! And thoughts, revival of the memory because of some concern on the outside, lead you into a tunnel dug by your ancestors.
But tell me! If they would have figured to some extent, what big words call "the greatness of life and the benefits of evolution", do you not believe that we would have already have lived Paradise on Earth ages ago?
See, it is not about using force. First and foremost it is about survival. Later, much later, you will be able to sort out.
The important thing is not the error that may be made. It is about the passion for living. For this you have to put an end to the lie, no matter what price you have to pay. In any case, you will one day lie in your coffin!
Under my feet, the vibrations of the boy mix with those of other people. The building is not a place of refuge where you can relax. It is also not happy. They have not put their lives in order during the day.
So they have to bring in a certain order at night in turbulent and deceitful dreams, because the dream is always trying to preserve the structure. No concern is the affirmation of life in a harmonious whole. For this one would have to stop lying to oneself. And there would exist no more dreams.
We need dreams!, you say. But no, but no ... but you have to go very far to realize this.
In this house sadness permeates the walls.
Steph did not know how to say NO.
But he warned the people whose cars were to be stolen. He also went to the jewelers.
He cannot say NO; he is afraid, for he has written that, but he also has courage!
He moves in Josés' circles. He looks. He observes. He can say NO to Tonio, and to José ... So to whom can he not say “no”?
I see how he comes to me, the boy. We are starting to become friends. And I'm afraid to become WHO it was that killed him ... There's a little something that stirs in my entrails which brings me back to my own childhood ...
Shall we go down again? What do you think? The night is far from over and I do not know if you have already placed the book aside to go to bed, but for me the day has not ended. I close the attic with its jumble of huge suitcases behind me again. When going down I graze along the walls, because I want to separate the vibrations of the individual apartments from each other.
First of all the young people on the fifth floor. Students in the room. Nothing much exciting. Agitated, worried ... On the fourth the poor old couple. This is sad. The air is struggling to get through their throats. And the dreams are black.
A working, liberal couple on the third. Bright, red colors! Nothing of interest there either.
Then the second with the flat of the Cola. Opposite lives a retired Army lieutenant. He may have seen, heard ... My key works on the triple security lock. Have you noticed that already? ... The older one gets, the more one loves ones life and ones things. You should have learnt in primary school that the dead have no pockets.
Ten minutes of careful work so as not to leave any traces. The furniture is as one expects of a colony-officer, who is snoring like a deaf person in the rearmost room. So this guy did not notice the games of the Cola children. The hearing aid on the bedside table reflects a low probability that the old man would have intervened ... besides, he would have made it his DUTY to inform of “strange” schemes to the Appropriate Authority.
The Cola lock is of a special preparation of the post. He must have lifted it from the stockroom. I know it. Just need a little sensitivity.
The air still has the rancid smell of the cooked evening meal. Dirty dishes are waiting in the sink. The tap counts with its drops the passing seconds.
In the living room, which follows the entrance, cigarette ends fill an ashtray on the floor beside the couch facing the TV. Women's magazines are also on the ground next to the chair at the end of the table. Mr. and Mrs. Cola do not spend their evenings holding hands like two in love!
Apart from their presence, of both of them, there is nothing else that is alive. Steph must have spent his time in his own room. The sister idem. A very united family!
"My dear little boy," she had said. Not even a sign of him in the living room.
A narrow hallway goes to the back. Three doors. To the left, the parents.I open the door. He snores, lying there stretched out full length. She sighs, hunched up.
A chair for each one for the personal things. The wedding photo on the chest of drawers. An embroidered tapestry above the headboard of the bed. The air is used up, burns in my throat and I pull the door quietly behind me again.
Light sighs come from the right through the thin wall. Here the daughter of the Cola sleeps, the covers pushed aside to reveal quite nice looking legs. She came back double-quick from the boozer ... only a small bruise on her right cheek bone ... the small souvenir from Marc Antoine. She will surely have some answer to that for her folks ...
I do a little tour of the room, masking the light of the torch with my hand. Chaos. Dog-eared books on the floor between the clothes ...a smell of peppered perfume that makes one dizzy ... the titles of the small bookcase located on the desk are in the same mess as the school work and problem pages. The world is not ready to change! ... little cruel and romantic city woman. She offers her ass to everyone and perfumes without end, she signs the petition for the revolutionaries in Guatemala or something ... unless it is Central Africa. But should the old man opposite die while going down the stairs, this would not be her problem.
Now, there is still Stephs room. Sandwiched between the other two. There are no coincidences! Swedish-style establishment, but I've already told you so. Well tidied up. I look more closely, I sniff around in the drawers, I examine the series of books on the shelf. Everything clean, Steph! Meticulous boy. The mother did not even have to wipe off the dust after his death. The main thing was already done!
- He could not say NO ... Nevertheless, he organized his life!
I lie down on the bed and take the position of a corpse. In yoga there is a word for it. Complete relaxation. The emotions rise up from the quilt. There is nothing better than a mattress to absorb the vibrations of a person. And here it is sadness. He did not have much power before he died, Steph!
Blocked between the parents and the sis, between the sis and José, between José and Tonio, and his friends from the park, who liked him, but treated him rather poorly... and then also the school ... I’ll also need to go there ... and the priest ... then the cops whom he went to see.
It is not Steph's manner, to go to ask the cops for help. It must really have been urgent.
And then Father Christmas, because no one believed him. He arranged his affairs. He was someone who thought and believed that truth is sufficient, without explanation.
These are human words! He believed in justice, sure!
He had not thought that he would have to provide evidence.
He believed in the credo of the clergy. But not the priest who told him to get stuffed. The same with the teacher, who spouts beautiful words all day long. Steph had not understood that they get paid for doing this. Not for believing the words of a twelve year old boy.
And what he envisaged had happened.
He must have been relieved, Steph! His bed tells me quite a lot about this.
"I can not resist any longer!"
This was in his letter.
He was at the end.
So, the one who killed him, took him far away.
Unless his death was the result of one of these violent accidents, which launches a scene ended by a death pose, an idiotic gesture.
I'm getting tired. It is time to stop. You remember that I arrived in Paris in the late morning? Does this not mean that the day was well filled? And then, with increasing fatigue, I start talking crap, as "Little Father" puts it. I am starting to say strange things to you. As if your life was not sufficiently difficult already! Why still add to it. Come on, do not hesitate! I admit it too! I'm really not a sympathetic guy.
My body rises from the bed and closes the door behind it. The Jaguar is still there, next to the small public park. Drive towards Mouftard. The Tatami and the futon await me with a nice feather duvet and the warm body of Yoko, who will press against me.
Tomorrow is another day! Finished, for the moment! I hope I did not go too quickly.
I'll call you tomorrow when I start to work again. By the way, if you have an idea, do not hesitate. Do not be shy. I'm not the kind of guy who wants to discover everything all alone, at any cost.
The leather of the Jag smells good.
Dring… Dring… Dring….
- It's me ...Am I disturbing?
- Say ... Did I wake you?
- But it is five o’ clock in the morning and you said that, ...
-That I wanted to go to bed? ... Okay. You read that right, but I was thinking of something and to be honest, I haven’t started the car yet.
- But ...
- Hey! You are grumbling so early in the morning, ah well ...!
Well! ... You readers, are you not worried about this? It is not reasonable to waken people up at this hour.... especially because I stayed awake to finish the last chapter and I have to ...
– Come on! Do not complain ... Life belongs to the early birds.
But five o’ clock ...!
- I told you that I'd call you when I started to work again.
- But… five ...
- Say, do you want to or do you not want to? It's amazing how one can start complaining as soon as one have ones slippers on! Do you have a stomach ulcer or something?
- Allow me, for a moment, to express my amazement ...
- Five o’ clock is too early?
- I must confess, my dear Mr. Commissioner Division of the Special Unit at Ely...
- Don’t crawl around, please?... just talk simply. BRET is perfectly adequate ... Or Ange, if you want to try to be my friend. But you can leave the rest, and the entire name extensions, to the technocrats, who love to fill their necks with such things ...
- But ...
- What more is there?
- No. Nothing. I must confess that I was grumpy to hear the phone ring a few minutes after I had gone to bed. I kindly request you, my dear Ange Bret, to pardon this ... I guess I'm an incorrigible slacker ...I beg your forgiveness a thousand times!
- Well, then. I knew you'd see it. There is no wrong hour for the decent. When I sat in the car, I had a thought.
- But if you want to lie down again, we can wait until tomorrow … which means in a while really…
No, no, I beg you, sir ... my mouth is watering now!
- Do you want the news for breakfast? Well, since you insist ... But no joke: you do not even want to wait a bit?
- No, no ... my dear Mr. Bret, you are already making me nervous.
- So early in the morning? Hey, this is not normal. Are you sure that you are not coming down with a bilious attack?
- No, no...
- You know you have to dare to say things ... I can be patient ... We can postpone the matter until later.
- No, no, I’m telling you ... Bret!
- Ah! I like it when you call me thus. More intimate, don’t you find, instead of this protocol of saying "Monsieur".
- Yes ... Ange... and if you, my dear, would tell me what brings you to call me so early at home and wake up my entire household ...
- Did I make such a din? That's not possible ...!
- Yes, but ... oh God! Shit! You bastard of a killer! ... I have nothing to do with your bloody entirely made-up story which stinks justGleich nach dem Öffnen der ersten Seite! after opening the first page! ...THERE'S NOTHING MORE TO DO! ... Shit man! ... and do not bug me anymore or you will hear from me, you bad stupid Breton! You come from a country full of pigs! Stay there! Get out! Your detour through Asia has not made you any smarter. I understand that the loopy old man that you used as a nanny is fed up with you. He is not sending you to France on a mission. He wants to get rid of you. He hopes that some Parisian villain, who is a little less mad than the others, will bump you off ... and please! if that happens, call me immediately, AT ANY HOUR! I will come immediately to lick up your blood. You bet! One bloody pain less! That will be a celebration! ... click
Ah well ...
I do not know if I understood everything, but he gave me the impression of being rather unhappy. You see how one can be mistaken, even in good faith. I thought I would please him, by showing him that I did not exclude him from the inquiry. That I was to collaborating in "real time" with him. That he notes that I do not know the end of the story. Not like with some people who begin with the last page, to be sure that they can not be wrong about the murderer.
And then this here!
Maybe he doesn’t believe in God?
So it will be you whom I'll tell, remaining clear in your attention in regard to life, since you are always with me!
When I went to start the car, I felt intuitively a mechanical gesture come to me, to which I had not paid attention. You know this. A space of emptiness. A question. Going back in your memory. When you frown, nothing comes. You are obliged to relax ... and it comes, strikes you between the two eyes. Your just have to bow down before of the obviousness.
And the gesture came to me again, how I opened the padlock of the attic. It opened easily. Too easy ...
A very well maintained, oiled, perfect mechanism ... Not normal for a place to which nobody goes. Don’t you find?
So someone permanently makes use of the attic. And I have the intuition that it is Steph.
Without intuition, this divine fortune, we would be nothing. Believe me. Why did my feet lead me first there when I came into the building? It’s not normal. Or on the contrary: very normal. For I know my feet very well. They are real energetic guides, yes, they are. I have not walked so many entire nights in the mountains for nothing. Or learned how to fight blindfolded.
So I go back into the house! Straight up. Incidentally, I've talked to you in this place as friends. Don’t think that it came to me by itself, Sometimes I'm like a teacher, but in such cases, I have the impression that I am the one who speaks. You know me: I'm more of a joker. The serious things are not my cup of tea. Have you noticed that already?
My steps follow the path again. Buy yourself a master-key one day, or, better yet, let one be made for you by an old hand. You will see how practical it is. Close the doors carefully behind you again, do not wipe your shoes with the curtains, do not pinch the wallet from the occupant, do not pass your hand over the pubic hair of the lady of the house ... and you will find that you are making your life easier instead of being worried in your loneliness.
I am talking with you a little as I climb. This is nicer than counting the steps with you. And, to really tell you everything, for I have always promised you the truth, it relaxes my mind. It's like keeping a koan in front of ones eyes. It attracts all emotions like a magnet. There is nothing else left to do, as to remain awake with acute attention. This has something serious about it, if you will, even though this word does not have the best reputation nowadays.
To be serious is stupid, it is better to benefit as much as possible. There is the aid, subsidies, assistance for the cripple, who cannot comb the hair on his ass on his own anymore, the loan from the Sisters of Mercy for the one who is underprivileged, so that he can pay in cash for his new four-wheel drive, for it would be unjust if the poor did not have access to the allures of the wealthy, who no longer know anymore of what to dream ...
... and the cultural assistance for the poor to be able to dream that they are rich, a manner of being rich in their heads and poor in their pockets, main thing they chooses the right party ...
I had a good feeling. The padlock works perfectly. And while going up, I felt the energy of the boy spreading out in my ribs. Now it is radiating in my belly. In order to lead me, the breath will become the master and my hands will be guided. Since I think that you not know the basic principles of magnetization, nor the various types of waves transmitted by the human brain according to the quality of the attention and the breath employed, I will not make you a drawing. Thank you for having confidence in me.
So I close my eyes, let my feet lead me and my outstretched hands search around me for the vibrations of the boy. He has to have left something here. I know now that he stuck his head through the small window and hovered over the rooftops of Paris. He had made this loft a refuge.
Enough now of all this searching. Like a poor policeman, as "Little Father" would say. He didn’t teach me other techniques for nothing.
I do not hurry. Where to now? At the end there is always your coffin ready. The lid is open. Your name is already engraved. In this life, in your life, what I say! you can just be sure of one thing: you will die. Your death is registered at your birth. You are perishable goods, do you know that? One might doubt it … to see you acting as if you were immortal ...
"Hasten slowly", as a Tibetan monk once said to me.
But one wants to do so much! Therefore the poor want to be rich ... and therefore there are aids of all kinds ... Culture really takes a strange way.
And my feet lead the way towards one of the many trunks. When I look closer with my flashlight, I notice that there is less dust on it. I do not hurry. There is plenty of time. Steph is dead. To hurry is a disordered action of a person who is alive, who wants to be relieved as fast as possible so as to return to his tranquility. The boy deserves the time which hurries slowly. I feel in my every fibre.
I go around the trunk, sit down on another and look at it. I can see that it gets good light through the skylight. Next to it is a clean chair. Traces of feet on it. He must have stood on it, to look out through the skylight.
He could not say NO"
"Yet he had courage"
"I can not resist anymore!"
I lift the wooden lid by the leather handles. Old stuff! He knew his classics, Steph did, but an attentive eye would see that no dust is on the items and that their disorder is arranged. I do not hurry. The secret is here somewhere, at the bottom. I find it slipped into a small side pocket of the trunk. A red blue-lined exercise book. On the cover is written in large black letters: "Diary".
The book is two-thirds filled with small, fine writing. He used a blue biro. I open it. I do not have the impression of raping the boy. It's rather like I am perceiving his weary smile.
The first page begins a year and a half ago: "I am writing because I can no longer endure this sadness, which contracts in my belly ..."
I go to the last one ... Friday the ....the day of his death, rather the night of his death: "No one came. I'm afraid. "
I close the booklet again and slip it into the inside pocket of my jacket.The bulge presses against my heart. I am not in a hurry to read it. This boy deserves the silence of meditation. And very quietly I settle into my meditation position – my shoes beside me.
The early morning arrives pressing the yang which wants to become the yang, leaving the yin of the night, this yin, which makes me leave my world beyond this world. The noise of the garbage men reach up here. Boredom spreads over the open roof hatches. It is time to go, to close one door and to open another. I swing slightly to the side, then turn my head. In stretching my spine I end the movement.
Now my body is ready to get up, to unfold my swollen legs and to stretch out and return to the position of an upright-walking human.
I close the door behind me. The building awakens in its flats. The stairway remains quiet. The front door makes no noise when it closes behind me.
The Jaguar is still there. The leather still smells so good. My fingers stroke the wood of the steering wheel.
Life is here and now. I have a dead person in my jacket pocket. The car glides through the traffic of the small hours of the morning. Paris wacht auf. Paris wakes up. The rain does not cease.
How is the weather over there, in Asia? They must have just ended the morning meditation and the bell is calling them to the refectory. Then they will go to the fields. The Roshi will keep an eye on them from afar and will give a sign to the person in charge of the dojo to bring him the seven that he will have seen are willing to work directly with him. These will remain in the temple until evening and he will instruct them in the Art of staying alive.
I put the heater on in the Jag. It is chilly. The pages of Steph's diary slip through my hands.
FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!
Hell, what a damned bastard ... godless, filthy swine ...! The shit’s really going to hit the fan! ... I’m telling you!!
Come on, Steph? ... You can rely on me! There where you hit a snag, you will see how I will make these apes guzzle their teeth, these inhuman creatures! FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!
And the grandma who expels her powerful breath like an asthmatic whale, while climbing the two stories under me, who hurtles down the staircase with feet like the wings of a swallow with a turbo under them, she will have to wipe the gloss paint with the bum that serves as her ass, or else she will polish the steps with it! Down to the ground floor! FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!
And the guy who is trying for the sixth time to block my Jag between his back bumper and the fire hydrant ...! Well ...! And with a cart from a Japanese concern at that! FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!
And the guy who is playing the idiot in the middle of the crossroads! … He just needs long white gloves and a cap to be able to play at being interesting! He should be smacked one! His hand has actually with its two front phalanges touched the outside rearview mirror ...
Give me a break guys! This is not the time to ask me which acupuncture meridians this refers to ... just to see whether by some chance perhaps a sudden random toothache might have to do with a bladder infection as a bonus.
Give me a break guys. This is not the right moment. FOR CHRIST’S SAKE!
When I entered Gallic country, I did not get a subscription for SAMU, nor did I join the Sisters of the Poor, or Vincent de Paul, or the prostitutes in the Bois de Boulogne, who for every ten blow-jobs will give you one for free .. . In short, this is my direct way of telling you that I am driving like someone disturbed through Paname, who does not care about the premature ejaculation of the guy that he passes very close to. At full speed.
And the nose of the Jag goes almost into the entrance of the main police station. You know me! Never a word too much, never an inappropriate gesture. Or do you not want me as a son-in-law anymore.
Just to reassure you: I haven’t broken the doors. One only has to climb over the bumper of my heap to get into the building. That’s right!
Say! Do not be sectarian. You have to help the people who work in their offices out here thickening their beer bellies to keep fit physically. A little understanding is the devil! Troublemaker as I know you, you still think that I want to do this constabulary harm with suspect motivations.
Oh!... you know, sir ... I'm not who you think I am!
Where is the senile head of this place of shit!... I scream, while climbing over the Jag and slipping into the hall to the view of the paunch of the old fellow, who apparently found his dentures again and in the last minute those of the old one, her mouth now widely opening. Surely in order not to suffocate, seeing that my hands are lifting her eighty kilos into the air.
But ... she splutters, the words not getting out otherwise. Think! With the little bit I left for her to breathe!
Shut up! Crazy old woman! With you I would do anything, except to fuck you, I purr, answering her stammer quietly ... a manner of showing the guys, who whip out their caps, their firearms and sometimes their cocks, because they haven’t found time to put it back into their trousers, that nothing has happened
Really nothing. Very normal, all in all.
Just like the very serious inspectors who investigated the death of the boy and who do not know, who have never known, and who will never know, because that what is interesting for them outside their career is a pastis in the corner pub, some discreet fornication, which should not be slutty but still a bit slutty, and ... SHIT!
... STEPH HAD BEEN GIVEN AIDS THROUGH REVENGEFUL SODOMY !!!!!
Come on? You, who is starting to know me ... do you think that I will wait for her to announce me to the head of this house of arseholes, although I have seen in her eyes that their dear and revered leader is in the office?
Well ... I take the stairs four at a time and I'm faster than the guys in the elevator, who may have thought that they would be up before me. Anyway, they had a little too much fat on their legs ...
Now I will ask you, before I give you a demonstration: do you know how to get the plums from the tree before the harvest? Since you're from the city, I will have to still teach you a few things ...
My predictions were correct, as usual. The elevator is one floor behind. The armed infantries two.
The usher, trembling, is still holding the receiver in his hand when I walk onto the stage.
Now, please follow me in my Cartesian logic! I will surprise the director here, with his three times daily jerking it off. There! I’m telling you. There are really some who have juice! There remains to be seen whether the fruit falls off by itself.
Then I push the double door with my right foot.
Hey, what did I tell you?
Good day, bloody idiot head of this house of pricks! Say! Head of cocks ... and please hold back yours, we are not here to play ‘touch me there’; at least this is not marked on the door of the building, although my grandfather, a true Breton sailor, a real one ... always said that you should never believe what you read, because the paper endures everything ...
...did you not know that Stéphane Cola had been given AIDS? That it was discovered by a banal blood test? That he is now also on the files. On YOUR files ...???
And that it was the vengeance of a certain Tonio, owner of a certain bar in Clichy, gang leader of a certain José, a small thief who specializes in bank robberies?A certain José, the lover of a certain girl, before sending her out onto the streets; a certain Cola, if this name means something to you, and if that is the case, your cretin and lazy heads would be reminded that this is the same name as a certain Cola, first name Stéphane. And if your memory returns to you after your second morning jerk-off, STÉPHANE died in a very strange way... just to mention it again.
- If ... he announces, playing the surprised Prince of Wales type, the chick from next door caught in the bathtub with him ...
- If ... he confirms, while settling behind his desk, a strained smile on his lips. He makes himself comfortable in order to maintain an air of assurance, but he's scared witless that I will lay into him!
- What’s the matter ...? he asks the guys, who, fully armed, interrupt in his office.
Come on guys, you know me gradually. It takes a lot to surprise me. I’m not easily thrown out of balance. But this! FOR CHRISTS SAKE!
- Would you be so kind as to leave me to continue my conversation with the Commissioner of the special unit of the Elysée ... he said to the disappointed guys who were already salivating at the juicy notion of what they had forecast.
While they straighten their arms and mutter idiot excuses, I settle down in the nearest chair.Without any shame. None. Would you in my place not have sometimes felt as if someone was trying to pull the rug out from under you?
The director does not look particularly relaxed either.
- You see, my good colleague ... the first thing I would like to do is to congratulate you on your ingenuity and working methods, but I do not understand them completely, I must in all modesty admit. But since you're so close to the President of our country, you may have ample opportunities to act, which are not quite as well understood here, here in this HOUSE, which tries hard for the greatest possible balance ...In short! ... We know of this "event" in the life of this child.
- It is not in the file, it seems to me, except if I accidentally skipped a few pages.
- You have read well, the boss assures me. It was the family who asked us not to make a big deal of the "incident".
- And the WHY, the HOW and finally the CONSEQUENCES of this "incident" did not deserve any additional investigation?
- It deserved it ... he murmured almost inaudibly. We have traced the network of the sister, of José and then of Tonio. I can assure you that we went further than Tonio, who is nothing other than a young hooligan.
- Oink, oink .... say the pigs in my Breton country. Because otherwise there is nothing much to say.
The distinguished gentleman director, in his English cut pinstripe suit, joins his hands at his chin, leans it on his fingertips, with the delicacy of people who are accustomed to higher thoughts; all of which is in turn supported by the desk on which the elbows ....
I feel that it will start right away. I just have to place myself really comfortably in the seat, fasten the belt, and let the stewardess serve of a can of fruit juice, before the crate takes off. For as you surely have noticed already, it is a Russian airline. Their machines are the hardest. They have forgotten the shock absorbers.
- You see, my very dear and esteemed colleague, there are a few small banalities, from which a man of honour can not be withdrawn...I dare to hope that you know this word... Short and sweet. We do not want to go into the details, but we and the immediate family were convinced, and that is to say, absolutely convinced that this boy committed suicide. He could not tolerate the violation and the disastrous consequences that arose from it.
- But, I say ... One could have certainly looked for the one responsible for the rape, and bring it into connection with the "suicide", which was the direct consequence of the act.
He nodded his head graciously, considering it is the only technique that he has learned.
- We could not prove anything. The whole world KNOWS, but no evidence for this disgusting act can be provided, where only Tonio and the rapist were witnesses.
- The family wanted you to handle it carefully ...? With an investigation classified as without a “final”…
- Yes, they did ... he reassures me of my comprehension.
I remain silent. Why then did the Emperor of the French people ask for help? The guy probably did not expect that we would make such a mess ...
The director has apparently followed my thoughts, which is evidence that these guys have sometimes something else in their heads than sauerkraut.
- The press, you see! They are a bloody pain!
He does not seem to like them much. By the way ... unter uns, aber nur unter uns,... between us, but only between ourselves ... but ...In short!
- But the EMPEROR !.... (You understand that I am now the one talking)
- He did not know anything.
The expression on the face of the good man is not fresh. Already making me forget his hand-jobs.
Now I am actually getting first-rate information that one of the most important guys is concealing something from the French. He is the first man of the state ... and you select the boss you deserve.
- We made this decision in a "small circle", he admits somewhat embarrassed ... You see, my DEAR colleague ... It was about the entire reputation of a family. A very honourable family!
- Oink, oink, ... I answer him. I prefer to leave the authorship of the text to him. He can add what he wants. His fear that I will give the information on to the Emperor, the blackmailing, the shagging ...
- Even that young Miss Cola! ..., he added something here, then there a few words ... Soon, the barrel will be overflowing ... Not a bad girl. A bit confused at the moment. But she will come back on the right track. Sometimes it is enough to point a finger in the right direction. Without any hurry. And you know, my VERY DEAR colleague ...
I was not listening to him any more. Before me, the slim silhouette of the "Small Father" appears. He can not have been mistaken with this point. Not he!
- Believe me, my VERY DEAR brother, that I completely understand your interruption of before, and your anger. Utterly ... And you can be sure of my admiration for you that you have in such a short time discovered so much of what is hidden behind this case. Perfect! Believe me, WE would be delighted if we had such sleuths like you in OUR services. Absolutely! And if I could still be some way helpful to you, it would be my pleasure.
- Absolutely, I say.
- Absolutely. You can still help me. This Tonio, for example ... and that José.
The old man spends a moment in silence.
- Very curious case last night in the bar of this Tonio ... They were attacked by a gang.
I frown as a matter of form. I have to reply somehow ... A gang! What can one say? The guys cannot bear to be defeated by a single 60 kg flyweight. A gang! That sounds better. For no one must believe that it does not take a gang to finish them off. There are men, for heaven’s sake! Not wimps.
- And where are they now?
- José has a slight injury to his head and ribs. He is at home ... As for Tonio, he has a severe injury to the eye and is obliged to stay for a few days in hospital.
I ask him for the address. He gives it to me. The number of the room as well. And then he gives me the address of José, which I already knew from the "Diary" of the boy.
After exchanging the usual pleasantries I leave. Without shaking his hand. He has not washed them since my entry into the office.
As if in a dream I go down the stairs. Several heads look out of the half-open doors as I pass them.Today, I am not in the mood to play football with the doors.
The car is parked outside along the pavement. Exactly at the red and white markings. I had left the key in the ignition.
The duty officer greets me like a soldier. I avoid rolling over his feet while driving off.
Hey, Steph! You would not have played this trick on me, would you? ….Taking your leave!
End of the extract from the book of the family Shin