SHE DOES NOT want to be seen. ‘What is there to see,’ she says. ‘I am old.’ She prefers to converse by phone. As she speaks she grows more resolute. She rages against the state of the world: ‘So much hatred. So much fighting.’ She is forever railing against something. In time her tone softens. She moves from the talking to the telling, from complaint to story. She becomes light-headed, her voice playful. Time is receding. The pace gathers, and she is elsewhere, hurrying home through the streets of a distant city.
She turns at the tenement gateway into the courtyard, leaps over the threshold, and bounds two, three steps at a time, up the wooden stairway. She rejoices in the litheness of her body, her youthfulness. She is weightless. Her feet are lifting. She is on her toes, rising. The transition from rotting wooden stairs to elevation is effortless. Four flights and she is on the top floor, turning from the stairwell into the passage. The rooms of her neighbours rush by her. The floors beneath are non-existent. She is far above and beyond them, approaching her destination. She comes to an abrupt halt at the end of the passage. She has returned to the attic.
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