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Record Thirty Four

This Without a Synopsis, Hastily, the Last

The day.

Quick, to the newspaper! Perhaps there . . . I read the paper with my eyes (exactly; my eyes now are like a pen, or like a counting machine which you hold and feel in your hands like a tool, something foreign, an instrument). In the newspaper, on the first page, in large print:

THE ENEMIES OF HAPPINESS ARE AWAKE! HOLD TO YOUR HAPPINESS WITH BOTH HANDS. TOMORROW ALL WORK WILL STOP AND ALL NUMBERS ARE TO COME TO BE OPERATED UPON. THOSE WHO FAIL TO COME WILL BE SUBMITTED TO THE MACHINE OF THE WELL-DOER.

Tomorrow! How can there be, how can there be any tomorrow?

Following my daily habit, I stretched out my arm (instrument!) to the bookshelf to put today’s paper with the rest within a cover ornamented with gold. While doing this: “What for? What does it matter? Never again shall I . . . Within this cover, never . . .” And out of my hands, down to the floor it fell.

I stood looking all around, over all my room; hastily I was taking away, feverishly putting into some unseen valise, everything I regretted leaving here: my desk, my books, my chair. Upon that chair I-330 had sat that day; I was below on the floor . . . My bed . . . Then for a minute or two I stood and waited for some miracle to happen; perhaps the telephone would ring, perhaps she would say that . . . But no, no miracle . . .

I am leaving, going into the unknown. These are my last lines. Farewell you, my unknown beloved ones, with whom I have lived through so many pages, before whom I have bared my diseased soul, my whole self to the last broken little screw, to the last cracked spring . . . I am going . . .