“Stranger” is the X that stands in for a proper name. It is the placeholder for the missing, the mark of the passage, the scar between native and citizen. It is both an end and a beginning. It announces the disappearance of the known world and the antipathy of the new one. And the longing and the loss redolent in the label were as much my inheritance as they were that of the enslaved.
I must interrupt here to say that "X" is what exists within me. "X"—I bathe myself in that this. It's unpronounceable. Everything I don't know is in "X." Death? death is "X". But a lot of life, too, for life is unprounounceable. "X" that trembles within me, and I fear its diapason: it vibrates like a cello string, a tense chord that, when struck, emits pure electricity, without melody. The unpronounceable instant. It would take a different sensibility to comprehend "X."
I hope you live "X" so you can experience the kind of creative drowsiness that slumbers through the veins. "X" is neither good nor bad. It always independs. But it only happens for what has body. Although immaterial, it needs our body and the body of the thing. There are objects which are that total mystery of "X." Like what vibrates mutely. The instants are shattered fragments of "X." popping in endless sequence. The excess of me starts to hurt and when I'm excessive I have to give of myself, like the milk that, if it doesn't flow, engorges the breast. I relieve myself of the pressure and return to normal size. Exact elasticity. Elasticity of a supple panther.