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Memory is a venom that mixes with our own years, the knowledge that life is the scenery to our own loneliness.

I walk beside a river that no longer exists toward a library whose doors are closed, and I will never be able to return to the house I have just left because it disappeared many years ago, and they have changed the name of the street and the numbers on the doorways, the bars are different, the light is an other and the couples that loved each other have stopped embracing at the same hour in the same shadow.

It's true: The city that made us unmakes us and in the debris it builds us up again. I can walk the road of an autumn past, but I know the lovers of today seek in their kisses the lips of another time. Desire is ashamed to remain and it becomes self-conscious upon discovering that it dreams out of an aged body, out of an abundance that does not exist.

In between, me. And yes, life is a dream, but not because it lacks truth, not because the intense realities of its scars are a lie but because in dreams coexist all the eras of a single city, and all is stored behind a single gaze, in the cellars of our own loneliness, and the streets disappeared years ago are of flesh and bone, and the man who walks beside the river that no longer exists may forget for a moment that his life, what he calls his life...

Granada looks like a memory becoming the present. In the garden of today the rain of winters past falls so slowly.


Luis García Montero
Translation by Alice McAdams

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