Marcus is sitting in the day room.  Visiting hours are over.  He’s sitting at a table where other patients have been working on a puzzle—a picture of a European castle.  Maybe in Germany or in France.  There are only a few pieces left to finish it.  They lay strewn about by Marcus’s bible—what’s left of it—he’s torn out many pages, mostly from the Old Testament.  You see the picture he drew of Tantalus again, on the page from Jeremiah.  The word: Tomorrow… on the bottom.  He’s working on a fresh page now, one that he plans to insert.  He’s writing with his exact and scrupulous scrawl.



I never wanted a passive and accommodating woman.  No shrinking violet.  Perhaps I wanted a rose that’s not yet faded even if it appears to be for that is the most precious gift—the most precious gift you can give to an artist—the feeling of an affront and betrayal…  To have an enchantress, a seducer of men, who always comes back to you, bearing the gifts of other men who wish to win her time.  Doubt and mystery are what I prefer to absolute oneness and truth.  If I thought there were men impervious to her charm I would aid her to ensnare them…  Yes where love transmutes everything.  Where faults become virtues.  Betrayals acts of pure devotion.  Lies and dissembling examples of discretion and delicacy of feeling…  In the last analysis vanity must prevail.  Rather to be a cuckold delighted that of all the other suitors, though younger and more handsome and wealthier, I am the chosen one…  In that wobbling angle of precession upon a spinning top I choose that bipolar axis—to have that most lovable of all girls who in the next moment is a wretched liar and a weak and a perfidious mistress.  Going from horrible rupture to the most tender rapture and back again.  I steel myself to leave her, but so strong is her charm I know that beyond all my convictions I will never be bored again.  I am happy because she is happy…  And is any man afraid of it?  Afraid of change?  What can take place without it?  All things are implicated with one another, and the bond is holy.  For there is one universe made up of all things, and one substance, and one law—one truth—everything soon disappears into the substance of the whole, into her wet darkness as my lover, and the memory of it of everything is soon overwhelmed in time… Time has swallowed me up.  She has swallowed me.  And so near is the forgetfulness of all things, and near is the forgetfulness of me by all.  And will she?  Will she forget me?  I suppose so.  But I prefer to die now to die young and be the smile on an old woman’s lips…