“What is outside the window?.” A question posed by Roberto Bolano to myself last night. Oh boy, you inconsiderate bastard, I thought. He had left me no answer. As I paced around my hotel room, absolutely perplexed, my mind was moving. What did he mean, what does it mean? This man has kept my attention for six hundred and forty six pages and as I turned number six hundred and forty seven and read that last line, Roberto still had me.
I tried to understand what he meant, where he was going. What was this genius of words trying to say with a picture. A square with dashes for lines, the same you would assume is telling you to cut here, to carefully create a perfect shape into the last page of a perfect book. It must be something grand. I just hoped to be smart enough to know.
I decided to focus on what it meant to me, it’s not like I could go ask the guy, I am sure he is buried in South America somewhere, a shrine I hope. The only answer I had, was no answer at all. It was a riddle, I knew that much.
What is outside the window? Was it prison bars? What is outside the window? Was it longitudes and latitudes? What is outside the window? As I stared in, I wondered is it me? I knew one thing for sure, I don’t know.
That final thought repeating in my head, I don’t know, I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s what he intended for me to think. I found it perfect anyway.
No one knows what’s outside the window or outside of anything for that matter. You must get up, get out of that couch, stop staring at that god-damned window called a television. Get up, get out. Go find out for yourself. You need to, you must stop staring and wondering.
Yes, the safety of whatever enclosure you might find yourself in is most certainly comforting. Yes, those walls keep you free from getting hurt, free from falling and free from breathing the city’s toxic air. They are also depressing. That room is also, exactly what is, enclosed. It is enclosing quickly on your life, on your soul.
Go, quick, find some danger, find some love, get hurt, get going!
If you are staring out right now, wondering, what is outside the window? Good. Go out that door, the door of your office building, the door of your home, apartment or loft, the door of your heart, the door of your mind, the door of your soul and find out.
Hurry, your breath is fogging the glass and winter is coming.