The Amnesiac

Once upon a time there was a stranger who lost all memory of his old city. Now and then, he would remember something for a fleeting moment, and would try to hold onto the image, texture, scent or sound. In the daytime, he worked as an architect, but by night he worked through newspaper clippings, cutouts from magazines and bundles of photographs gifted from friends or bought in antique markets. A somnambulist through a nostalgia for a nonexistent world, an unwritten chronotope, a lost monologue or conversation, he built a collage on the walls of his spacious townhouse depicting his imaginary lost city. It was a map and mosaic, an icon and a virtual topography. Later, his friends speculated on the nature of this act. Perhaps if he rebuilt the lost city, the stone angels would open its gates to him, some said. Others said that he had never left the city, its grace was within him and around him, and the collage was merely meant to cure his blindness to this grace. And yet others remained unconvinced by these theories. Nostalgia for edens and the hope of new romes or jerusalems work in tandem. The collage was perhaps a map of the crossroads of time, a river and a mosaic, a platonia and gautamia, order and chaos, in motion and frozen, a sculpture of the human heart. It was his greatest work.

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