If ever again we happened to lose our balance, just when sleepwalking through the same dream on the brink of hell’s valley, if ever the magical mare (whom I ride through the night air hollowed out into caverns and caves where wild animals live) in a crazy fit of anger over some word I might have said without the perfect sweetness that works on her like a charm, if ever the magic Mare looks over her shoulder and whinnies: “So! You don’t love me!” and bucks me off, sends me flying to the hyenas, if ever the paper ladder that I climb so easily to go pick stars for Promethea—at the very instant that I reach out my hand and it smells like fresh new moon, so good, it makes you believe in god’s genius—if ever at that very instant my ladder catches fire—because it is so fragile, all it would take is someone’s brushing against it tactlessly and all that would be left is ashes—if ever I had the dreadful luck again to find myself falling screaming down into the cruel guts of separation, and emptying all my being of hope, down to the last milligram of hope, until I am able to melt into the pure blackness of the abyss and be no more than night and a death rattle,I would really rather not be tumbling around without my pencil and paper.
Promethea has awakened in me dreams extinguished for thousands of years; sometimes one catches on fire even through so many icy layers. Promethea has rekindled dreams of fire in me, dreams of abysses, they are terribly dangerous dreams: as long as they are dreams alone, as long as one dreams alone, one can fool around with dreaming, because afterward one forgets. But now, ever since I learned how Promethea brings the fire of all dreams up into reality, how she climbs back up through the shaft of the Red Cows, bearing the first fire, how she crosses the Chamber of the Mares, how she goes through every epoch of existence reawakening along the walls memories of times so fragile and so inflammable, and comes out in 1982 still carrying in her hands the primitive spark, I feel myself wavering between exultation and terror. Formerly, I too sucked satiny coals. Once I burned my tongue. (That only happens if someone makes you lose faith.) Ever since I have no longer dared suck real fire; for a long time I lived on electricity. But I have never forgotten the fiery taste of eternity. I just was sure that I could live with my tongue extinguished until the end of my days. I was not even tempted. I was calm. I had firm definitions. I called happiness the absence of unhappiness. I wrote in ink and I dedicated my dreams to the Moons.
It is because of this sea between us. The earth has never, up to now, separated us. But, ever since yesterday, there has been something in this nonetheless real, perfectly Atlantic, salty, slightly rough sea that has cast a spell on me. And every time I think about Promethea, I see her crossing this great expanse by boat and soon, alas, a storm comes up, my memory clouds over, in a flash there are shipwrecks, I cannot even cry out, my mouth is full of saltwater sobs. I am flooded with vague, deceptive recollections, I am drowning in my imagination in tears borrowed from the most familiar tragedies, I wish I had never read certain books whose poison is working in me. Has this Friday, perhaps, thrown a spell on me? But spells only work if you catch them. I have caught the Tragic illness. If only Promethea would make me some tea I know I would find some relief. But that is exactly what is impossible. And so, today, I am sinning. I am sinking beneath reality. I am weighted down with literature. That is my fate. Yet I had the presence of mind to start this parenthesis, the only healthy moment in these damp, feverish hours. All this to try to come back to the surface of our book... Phone me quickly, Promethea, get me out of this parenthesis fast!)