I can't remember the smell. Not yours, as we may never have met. It is a smell rare to be found. It belongs to the fortunate creature I once was. It lacks the environment it must have had, it lacks circumstances, it lacks form, it lacks the date, a year or anything else close to it. It is the perfume of unpolarised happiness. I used to have it quite often, years ago, seventeen years old, to place it somewhere, later too, that I all of a sudden sensed the essence of happiness in its most pure feature. From the moments it had had only a faint smell remained. I could smell the trace, all of a sudden I had it all around me unable to reach its form though, unable to discover the circumstances, unable to get to the moment. It had a touch of rain. It had nothing dark inside. I knew no one else knew about it. Just as often I tried to reach its form, which first of all should have been an image, I guess. The smell had no image. It was without any image at all.
I can't remember my first typewriter. I guess it had that cheap color cheap typewriters use to have.
I can't remember half of the Marx Brothers. Beppo and Groucho, yes. The other half? No.
I can't remember 1922. Likewise I can't remember 1822. Likewise I can't remember 1722. Likewise I can't remember 1622. Likewise I can't remember 1522.
I do remember 1662. Iversen said Mauritius wouldn't take but a week. We had fortunate winds and looked forward to meet the last specimen of Dodo and some other friends. And of course I do remember 1826 and the treasures I made that year.
I can't remember your name. I do remember your face. Yes, yes, of course.
I can't remember why I didn't like her. Where is the bike, I asked. She didn't know. You may come with me, I said, actually, I said, without any other sleeping place than the sleeping place it has, I said. She didn't mind. She was far too drunk to think of anything but the sleeping place it had. I didn't like her. I can't remember why. Not because she was too drunk to think. Or maybe because she didn't like me for anything else but the bed I offered. Or maybe because of being so drunk that it didn't matter? The bad thing is, she got even more drunk getting down on the pillow. Getting down on the pillow she got real drunk, so dead drunk that she got from the sleeping I had offered and crawled through the goddamn room and puked her goddamn stomach on the goddamn floor. But for some reason this can't have been the reason why I didn't like her.
I can't remember where I was and what I did on the day Vladimir Nabokov died.
I can't remember the colour of the van that took us from Banff to Vernon. I can't remember the person at the wheel of the vehicle. I can't remember the talk. I can't remember where we got in, the three of us, where we got out. I remember vaste woods and a cascade.
I can't remember May 67. I do remember May 68. We were sitting in front of the black & white telly. It had the news. Grandma hated the 68 revolt. She thought of it as a shamefull thing. Untill her very last day she would be in direct contact with Virgin Mary, asking Virgin Mary little favours. Over a period of more than forty years Virgin Mary didn't respond to any of that. I remember grandma sitting in front of the window, fairly next to the place where she used to phone Virgin Mary and ask and ask if it had anything new. It didn't. May 68 had the new thing. Likewise May 67 goes without memory.