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Three's a crowd

Excerpt from The Rich Hours of Ferenç Orzacsz

Day of the Fish

(?) Today, around 5 p.m., I went out again to buy a bottle of hot sauce for Magdalena. On the Boulevard Vronstein, I passed a man who looked strange. He noticed me too and turned his head towards me. His strangeness was due to a vague resemblance, something in the arch of his nose, his joint eyebrows, or his long stride. He was older than me, and he walked with a slight stoop - I hope I do not show this sort of shiftiness. I told Magdalena about him. She laughed and asked me whether I had a hidden brother somewhere in town (?)

Day of the Rivers

(?) This morning, Magdalena asked me about my hair. She says that they're thicker, darker. I'm getting younger! I swore that I didn't do anything, but she won't believe me. The men, she says, never confess the fact that they too enjoy taking care of their bodies. She's still in love with me, I can feel it(?)

Day of the Rains

(?) I saw a man who looked like me, another one. He was younger, and he didn't recognise me this time, though we were sitting on the same bench in the tram. I fear that everything happens in my head. Narcissism tainted with delirium. Should I look for professional help? I can't force myself to tell this to Magdalena. She is quite aloof these days anyway. I can touch her, but I can't reach her (?)

Day of the Snows

(?) Had lunch with my father, who looks like my older self. I told him my doppelganger story and I questioned him, in a tentative half-serious way, about the possible brothers of mine he could have sired during his life. I don't know, he told me, but if this is the case, they are holding a convention right now. I met two of them on my way here. And it made him laugh. It's just like my father, floating above the real world, unattainable (?)

Day of the Striped Oscitoscinthia

(?) I counted seventeen of them today. They become more numerous everyday. Or should I say "we"? Some say hello to each other (and I say hello to them), others just look the other way (and I ignore them). They come in all sizes and all colours. Boys and girls. And dogs and cats, some people say (my father among them). I found Magdalena in front of the looking-glass, her face buried in her hands. She too? I must talk to her, I must talk to her (?)

Day of the Balanites

(?) Magdalena and I went to a public meeting about you know what. I saw several copies of myself on the tribune, all of them celebrities. So it appears that we are converging towards some terminal model. Most of us share this opinion (though this is not surprising, why should the convergence be only physical?). The main problem is the final model itself, because everyone thinks that he or she is closer to it than everyone else. Of course, we agree on that too. The convergence point has already a name, that is only whispered for the moment : , the last letter of the alphabet (?)

Day of the Dark Alleys

(?) This is getting worse, or getting better. There's nobody but us in the streets. The last one who still differed significantly from the model, a ninety-year old woman, joined our ranks today. Her hands are still a little shaky, but the likeness is striking. Here it is! We are our own invasion, our own genocide, all different and all identical. How many of us are writing a diary like this one, at this very moment? I've lost count of the theories. Do you want the last one? We would be 's cells, the elementary bricks of his merging body. We all share the same genes, and everybody knows his or her task: catering, maintenance, etc. I do not subscribe to this hypothesis. Something from my former self is still with me. I did not lose my memories. Magdalena remains Magdalena, even if she's now a female version of myself, and I a male version of her. There are talks of rebellion against . How? This is another story (?)

Day of the Wild Strawberry

(?) This morning a stranger appeared in my looking-glass.I had spotted him several times in the last few days, but he decided to come out, all of a sudden, and erased in a couple of seconds the result of four months of -ification. I did not recognise Magdalena either. We almost screamed when we woke up this morning and saw each other. Who did I sleep with this night? Then the strangers fell in an embrace, weeping with joy. Is 's little game over ? What is left of us? What did we win, or lose? There's work to be done (...)

Gilles Tran © 2001 www.oyonale.com