He, not worth explaining whom, enters a dimly lit scene via moth-grey curtains, entangled and hanging down off-stage. Itinerant wanderer, dressed as a careworn drifter; vagabond just won’t do. Even paced, left barnacle after right, his gait appears marred; every second footfall onto the left barnacle is marked, comes down belaboured, insular to gravity, his body rolling, the frame weighted-in under the idea of a limp, so heavy, the torso canter-levering through an axe to betroth visual evidence – of design, limpfen; if he himself, that is to say Lambert, is not merely rehearsing what has, by sheer doggedness, become a habit, or a facsimile of habit, his frame ploughing back in tow to his weight – femur-roll-on-stiff-left-hip-up-via-arc-top-downward-right-on-barnacle-drop – Lambert wheeling himself ponderously through the arc of his tread, the gait fashioned by the burden, one that he feels must be his to endure; here all reason retracts itself from cause, regardless, for there is none; understand that something offsets every third pace out of four. Artless, Lambert has made an entrance: motion itself, designed in a limp.
Resolve stiff. Unrelenting body. Rectitude cast upon another day and into work, hushed labour, hence unrest. The manual toil of moving or affecting movement. Often met by an imperceptible pressure to exhale. Sigh. A dip into thought. Extended. Sigh. Oh to be done with it. Unspoken thought. Of a sudden, the urge for evening. Comes tardily, without effusion. Evening: gentleman of leisure; host of slaves. Ever so slowly, Lambert relinquishes the day, returns later from the post of toil. A vesper of thought chugging at his heels. Maligned and cheerless, his shoes tramp in after the shadows, the day extending into nightfall. Befallen. In tow, his shadow, only longer in coming to rest beneath him. Seated.
There and elsewhere each day met with harsh usage: dragged through pavements and trees; pulled over mounds; swept by leaves and twigs; to say nothing of the broken bottles and glass and puddles which the grey matter is chastened through. Bedraggled by the light. A life lived flat under headlines and wasted pages. Sliding over verges and the muck of the day that accumulates about its many edges, aback behind the curtains, those maddened, and sagging beneath the soles of his boots. Belatedly is never late.
Earlier arrives before the hand reaches the door. Lambert limps in second; beating only his evening lamplight twin. Sibling. The prefix of evening is befitting, an eclipse of night. An interlude of mesh runs through wax. Hard. Flame rushes. Soft light. Lambert begrudges not his limp, trotting, so and so, into its halo. It is design. Limpfen. Made in Deutchland. Das Limpfen. Auto-limpfen.
Not a word from his lips, though. Double-dealing barnacles, risen, and raised on high above his toes. Lambert’s mouth pursed in distaste to motion. The tongue disgusted by the conversant. The palette boisterously still, quiet, held above all aversions. Words licked like stamps, the tongue, deep carmine red. Still sticking to his teeth. We read nothing on his lips. Chalk and clockwork: an impress of silence in the throat. Agaze. Looking on. Fixed attention. Eyes cast solemn, cast still. Fasten and wait. The message is an expression of an old intention. Unrelenting. Unremitting. Indefatigable life. We wait. Lumbarisation: the shifty expedient of unchanging Lambert habits. The collapse of days. The task of entering the gate. Enter Lambert.
There is little else to pin on him. No histrionics. No tale of woe. Eternity seems too grave for contemplation. Too long to ponder into, about, never over or under. One wonders why. Wonder, always under the spell of. Though if one were to turn wonder over in a thought, sempiternal sawdust from the heavens would befall us, fall about us, we falling down. One would have to wander across a Sunday of Italian plazas, each replete with millboard and stiff-billed figurine smiles, bodies bathing in an abundance of plastic florescence, munificent yet distended, if not melting at the corners. Too long: would too long prove the wait, the gait forever entering, one ever crossing the threshold eternally.
To be lost in perpetual ingress. Consider: to be lost to motion. The horror – of entering in perpetuity! And what of the terror of eternal elation, with no peak or trough to up-end the unrelenting tedium of joy? Rather woe, for there would be no rest for the eyes if forced to thrill were to beset the musculature of the face. Orpheus sleeps. Styx is better. Indeed mud. For there, merely a perpetual farce to fix oneself into. To set oneself upon. Let us end the demonstration there.
Ever Lambert: he is an evidence of nothing too particular.
Himself: A written spectacle of waiting in under, weighted under, one-sided wellness. One not merely of his body: a receptacle, a vessel conversant with the day, light ranked with its elements and particles and principles of particles. Overt. Limpid. Pointless, and unsure where day aims day’s listless endeavours. Yes, it has none. Error. Is that not enough, sufficient to suffice? There is little else to pin on him. No histrionics. No history other than the story, his, one contained in the vessel.
If one glances at the visual world, sets out to really observe what an eye penetrates, then one can count on Lambert coming ‘round again, re-appearing on another leg. A man. No mischief in claiming what isn’t there. A mere man of chink and fibre. No point either in the prick – of pretending. One jabs at it. Hoping. One stabs at the truth. Amiss. All the same curtain of moth-grey, tugging, a curtain that one appears through, disappears into folds. Falls under. Clap. No point in dismissing it. Clap twice. Claim full view of a man dipping left through the third of four steps to his veering motion. Claim it. See. There you go. Molly. Claim and be done with claiming.
What’s there, question, beneath your barnacles, answer, what you see yourself standing on? (Lamberts always claim what Lamberts elect to see. But beneath their feet they perceive no signs of shifting shadow. Yet Lamberts’ feet aren’t blind. Lamberts pretext cecity. Far easier on the Lambert gaze.)
So: maintain your claim, Molly, look on and be done of it. There is nothing more, alas, nothing concealed or camouflaged by what is not out of sight. What you see casts a veil over the seamless world beneath your feet. Lambert is a spectacle of himself unseen. Undress the regard of Lambert. He is a man under the mantle of a simple trajectory. A man possessed of a limp, design, or of the idea of some or other lameness located elsewhere, a lameness that may cause the idea to limp, the result of which – both – meets the eye equivocally in the same wheeling – femur-roll-on-stiff-left-hip-up-via-arc-top-downward-right-on-barnacle-drop – action. For he who observes, claims to see what he himself has laid claim to having seen whilst observing: a man with a limp; this is Lambert. He, one not worth explaining whom, has entered. Any other claim would be just that: any other claim, one waiting to be made, vetted, vetoed. The point, listless, hangs elsewhere. The fifth letter, after the letter following D, is E for exit, for end, for the eventual eternal, the letter that never ends.
Monday morning Lambert was seen on Short Street, near the lumber store. Johnson, the proprietor, claimed that Lambert came in near noon, wheeled himself up to the counter, halted, attempted to raise his shoulders, after his fashion, hoisted them in a dignified manner, so mechanically dignified, and coming to halt in mid elevation of the shoulder motion, which is a rotation, like clockwork, after which he brought his hands down to the counter in what appeared to be a willingly fashioned intention to secure his unsteady frame, and at that instant his head nodded, the forehead bobbed forward, (bobbing: as is sometimes witnessed by Lamberts in wordless greetings to other Lamberts). Nodding and bobbing: Lambert code for
– You there?
– Me too.
– How’re things?
Johnson is not sure whether this nodding was meant as a salutation or if it came in under its own weight, much like Lambert himself, that is to say as a bodily result of Lambert’s unsuccessful attempt to raise himself up into a dignified position from whence he might proffer a more clearly recognizable form of greeting. Bob-hello-bob-nod. Stop bob. Halt. Nod. Wait. Nonetheless Johnson responded, as custom would have it he bob to the cusp. Nod-greet-nod, nod-stop-nod or nod-a-word-nod-a-word halt. His head amiably tilted to the proprietor’s inclination. Though less mechanically inclined than Lambert’s wordless greeting had itself bobbed to. Then, done nodding, he felt this was the better action to adopt. To this reply, Lambert himself did not respond, which is a form of acquiescence, an effect via waiting; after which Lambert’s hand came up, fingers enclosed about an unfolded block-note piece of paper, square in shape, nine by nine inches, thin, a form of transport, of flat ideas stretched across the counter; it was a sheet, Johnson says, (and claims) upon which was etched a sketching of three pieces of wood, each piece of a precise measure, also a diagrammatic instruction suggesting how the trio may be joined, here and there, thus together, formed into one operative design, a distinct piece of mechanical evidence. Dovetail. Lambert did not proffer any further instructions. From the counter, and from Lambert, Johnson removed himself, block-note in hand, and went aback so as to carry out the required operation of selecting the timber. Johnson disappeared.
Of the measuring operation carried out by Johnson, Lambert saw nothing; circular, the saw cut across Lamberts earshot, into, and as the planks fell to the floor the sound of the saw cut further into Lamberts ears. Leaning on the counter, still, he groped about for the schematically represented evidence sketched on the square nine-by-nine block-note. Then he realized, somehow, in the now prevailing silence that Johnson had in his possession both plan and the evidence of the operative design plan. Plain possession. He felt this unfortunate. Felt awkward, regret too; both came chemically fused. Together. He felt himself to be to blame. Relented. Blame too. As memory would have it, he had none of the plan in store. Pocket. Nothing. But he saw no way to counter what was aback the shop with Johnson, the proprietor. Hence he waited on, the counterpoint, Lambert leaning, as if the counter were a perpetual resting place. There was no evidence to offset this. He felt the idea too odd to accept, and operative. So Lambert wondered off into that space of rest, motionless, at halt, attending, as if waiting were and had been and would ever be, never ending.
Waiting is an exit, he thought.
Lambert stood, shored-up against the counter, waiting on Johnson to exit with evidence cut in hand.
ingressus: transit, eclipse, (right of) going on.