Wait in front of the door if you want it to open to you;
Stick to your way if you want to be guided.
Nothing is ever closed,
But for your own eyes
It was a rainy day; one of those late autumns when the sky is flowing slowly in lisping streams along the sidewalks or into the sewers. And I don’t know why, it was exactly then that my folks set about moving places. I was just a milksop lad, full of pimples, which, at the age of twelve or thirteen years old, didn’t understand quite well what was happening with the lives of everybody else around me; I was just feeling somehow that there was no other way, I could see only the trucks loaded with furniture rushing off through the puddles of water in front of our house in the uptown, towards a condo in a block of flats at the outskirts of the town and this thing scared me in a peculiar way. It was that fright I was experiencing every time my father took me to the barber’s and which was amplifying as the distance from the scissors and my head was getting shorter. That dread mingled with anxiety that one can feel before the door of any dentist’s cabinet and which increases once with the hysteric noise of the milling machine wielded by the Tooth Fairy.
The street on which I was going to live was rather a crowd of isles of asphalt in a huge swamp out of which were missing only the sharks for me to call it an ocean. The drops of rain were dashing into numerous ephemeral bubbles and the clouds seemed so low that – I believed – if I had lifted up on my toes, I could have touched them. The flat, as a mere box of matches, grinned at me with its brown door on which there was placed the eye-hole like a cavity on an unwashed tooth, and answered me with the echo of the empty walls, here and there attacked by dampness. I was home! And when I thought of that, I started watching the two dwindling rooms, the hall, the kitchen where only the sink could fit into, the bathroom wrapped up in darkness, and the balcony. I started watching it all as a step mother. When the night came, I could hardly fall asleep, surrounded by the unopened boxes, disturbed by my father’s whistling, by the rattling noise of the furniture dragged by my folks round the house and by their exhausted and sometimes irritated voices, stressed out by the unfamiliarity of the place and by the way that the moonlight slided through the window straight on my pillow, pissed off by the whole stirring about that made no sense to me and that was to my infant mind, just a terrifying glide into Hell. And I think it was that night that I heard for the first time those sounds in the bathroom. And the music: stifled and humdrum.
In one week, everything was set in place and there was no trace of that appearance of an alien home. I had got used with the shrieked space, with the mouldy walls, with the neighbors’ children playing with the pipes with cornets, with the crackling of the yellow Dacia, parked right under my window. I hadn’t got used instead, with the darkness reigning in the bathroom and with the hollow sounds that were coming out of there, night by night, with that strange music and with the bluish reflections that I began noticing for some time, and I thought there were coming from my parents’ TV set. And all of these gave me the feeling that we weren’t the only inhabitants of that house, that we were sharing that pitiful condo with somebody else.
My folks had changed no less than six electric lamps and had called a dozen of electricians, but our bathroom would remain buried in darkness and the candles we were using to distinguish at least the toilet cover did nothing more than scare and plunge me even more into darkness.