Tuesday, 9 May 2022
Jacques is dead.
The portable stove is gone. I think it’s been destroyed. I’ll never know. I can’t ask.
I’m afraid to ask anything, I’m afraid they’ll tell me I don’t have the right to know. I’m afraid they’ll think it’s obscene. The funeral was yesterday.
Jacques is dead.
I know how funerals here go, I’ve been to one before. There’s naked dancing under the sprinklers and the Kitchen Staff spends the whole day preparing a very special meal, with even cake for dessert, and everyone sings while doing the dishes and no one gives a tinker’s tiny toot about the corpse. I want to cry.
There was a note from Leo waiting for me on my pillow as soon as I arrived. It said:
“I KNOW WHAT HAPPENED. YOUR JOURNAL ISN’T THE ONLY ONE I READ. I AM SO SORRY. I HOPE YOU CAN FORGIVE ME. COME TALK TO ME AND I WILL TELL YOU EVERYTHING. I HOPE YOU STILL WANT TO RUN AWAY WITH ME. LEO. PLEASE COME”
I have to find him now. He’s building The Bomb. He told me that lately they’ve started working in the afternoon, too, because it is so incredibly close to being finished, and they’re all so excited about it and love working on it and know it’s their mission to build it and can’t think of doing anything else. I don't know where The Bomb is being built. I’ll have to wait until dinner time to see Leo, which is in three hours. What am I going to do until then?
Unpack my suitcase. There is that board game, I still haven't figured it out. Could I spend three hours just looking at it? Yes. It’s so beautiful. There are all these little pictures all around it, of rooms in a house, a dining room, a living room, a kitchen, an entrance hall, a library, even a billiard room, and a room with just a piano and a beautiful red carpeted floor. And there are cards! So many wonderful pictures. There’s a candlestick and a stylish lady smoking a cigarette, and look at this guy with a moustache and monocle, he’s great, and what a funny outfit he’s wearing, what colour is this? Some sort of military uniform, I guess. An old lady in a black-and-white maid uniform, with a little lacey hat and everything. She looks so frail and helpless. People just don't look this frail and helpless now. I wonder why. In a way, the look on her face makes me think of an extreme level of safety. We sure feel less safe these days than scared people in the old days ever did. Scared people are the ones who live in the safest universe. They believe in the safety of it. They want to hold onto it at all costs. They have a lot to lose. I want to be scared like this poor maid on a board game, who has never known anything beyond the dining room and the living room and the kitchen and the entrance hall and the library and the billiard room and the weird room with the piano. There’s a picture of a lead pipe. A rope. A pistol. A handsome man wearing a suit with a bow tie. A dagger. A rich-looking widow covered in jewellery. I don't trust her. She looks evil to me. She looks like she could use any of the objects in the other cards to kill any of the other characters, in any of the rooms on the board. She looks like she would do it, if she had to. There’s also a picture of a monkey wrench. There are countless little strips of paper filled with funny words I don't understand and empty tick boxes. About fifteen minutes have passed. Jacques is dead. I’m never going to see him again.