miércoles, 24 de agosto de 2016

Fragment of Harvard Square by André Aciman

When you move to a new city, you find out where the nearest bookshop is. If you're lucky enough, you'll purchase a great book featuring the same city you're now living in. I have not finished the book yet, but I know for certain: it will make me cry.

André Aciman

I still remember the morning smell of bleach and lye with which Zeinab would mop up the floor of Café Algiers while the chairs sat upturned on the café’s minuscule tables. The place was closed to customers, but they’d let a few of us in –regulars who spoke Arabic and French– and allowed us to wait for the coffee to brew. One look at the poster of Tipaza and your body ached for sea water and beach rituals you didn’t even know you’d stopped remembering. All of Café Algiers took me back to Alexandria, the way it took Kalaj back to Tunis, and the Algerian to Oran. Perhaps each one of us would stop by Café Algiers every day to pick up the person we’d left behind in North Africa, each working things back to that point where life must have taken a wrong turn, each as though trying to put time on splints until the fracture and the cracks and the dislocations were healed and the bone finally fused. Sheltered from the morning sun and wrapped in the strong scent of coffee and of cleaning fluids, each found his way back to his mother.

-          André Aciman (Alexandria, 1951)

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