“Some of it is noise, even white noise, like a slow motor running empty… But sometime you can hear voices, far away, so it is hard to catch words, or even understand what language is spoken. And then there is the notes, the tunes, the sound of instruments one cannot put a name on…”
I was listening carefully, without seeing the person who was speaking: a melodious and calm woman voice, of an older woman, I thought. The place was one of those small, dark and ancient bars, this one hidden from view in a small courtyard, in a part of the city well off the beaten and touristy tracks.
“You have to be patient, give it time. At first you may not hear much, just a little vibration, like light wind in young leaves in Spring. But then you hear: steps, and again voices. If you are lucky, one of them may notice you, and start talking to you, personally. Of course you have to tune in, and be very patient. Then, all of a sudden, you understand: someone is talking to you, you, across those eons of time, across the immense void that separate their world from yours…”
I tried again to see who was talking. A coal fire was slowly burning in the old chimney, I could not see much through the smoke. I ordered another beer. As the girl brought it to my table, I asked her about the speaker. “You’re talking about old Lucy,” said the youngster, amused, “well, she’s here with the same story most evenings. She used to be an archeologist, she’s talking about one of the sites, somewhere in the Middle-East… She claimed to have heard voices, as she says… The poor lady got herself abducted by bedouins as she worked there, and reappeared here, years later… You know, she’s lost it, somewhere in the desert, all those years back….”
Image: © Nick Stevens