I have lost so much. my mother says. How long can I sit on the bench in the sun with my mother who is feeling ill, coughing in the way of the pandemic, cough cough, I am aching, she says. This defines the difference in our ages. Really I have come to tell her something before anyone else does. And here on this bench, feeling sympathy for her, sitting on the bench in the sun facing towards the library. She is sitting on the opposite bench facing towards the trees, the orchard which is behind me. I sit and listen to her complain. Enjoying being with her, waiting for my moment.. I have lost so much, she says. You might want to ask what things she has lost. She says; Asia Japan Tokyo Asashi Ten Gat house library parents brother sister language respect… I no longer even think in Japanese. She adds, having got this far, sitting with you, my daughter, on these mesh chairs between our library and the trees, the orchard. I cannot imagine the the things i have gained. I lament what I have lost. Look at my hands, my body, so old, everyday I get weaker. I can no longer fight, my reactions are slower, I have glasses… I lost the ability to ensure you are freer than I, we, could manage. in our lives[…] I thought i knew what was happening. Though the original crisis happened years, decades ago,my guilt over you having to inherit our history is unavoidable […] I always had cases for my glasses, gradually they all disintegrate, the material covering the metal or plastic case frays until the case disappears. What colour are the cases ? I only remember the black or grey ones Like this case. Everything gets lost and vanishes, where does it go ? […] Perhaps i lost more than I imagined coming here, I see you thinking of what it would have been like if we could have stayed in Tokyo, you would have been japanese and I would have, well I don’t know. Perhaps I would have had to kill my parents, my brother, sister, others as well. [she pauses. I said, Don’t be sad, you escaped having to live in the state morality they love, we became angels not demons. Don’t forget I know them.] Dragons, we became dragons not angels, she says. I cannot forget, i have not lost the line of thought, i have a clear idea nowadays that the line of flight we took rather than running, vanishing was productive. As soon as I came here, I became happier. The last time I’m sure everything disappeared. [Perhaps in Japan she would have escaped the pandemic, she’s been ill for the past few weeks. I am here making sure she eats and takes her drugs and to tell her something. Still I can hear her feeling better in the phrase “I became happier” …] This plague, this thing, i don’t understand this desire to sleep and talk, i felt so ill earlier that i was not scared. Now that I am recovering the fear and traces of terror exist, perhaps its left me with a sense of loss… [ I hand her some medicine and watch her take them] Obviously your friend Mister Brecht would think it is me, an ex-gangster who has taken control of the government who is to blame, as if its my fault when all I really wanted was to sit here with you, those who predict how it will end are not thought credible, but really all I wanted was to be ordinary, I couldn’t achieve that, no matter. No matter how we tried… As if I wanted any of that. [It’s all right, i say to her. I live what passes for an ordinary life; in which bakers sell, books are printed and bought, newspapers appear and tell lies, people get married, the dead are buried, houses are lived in, trees grow, we work, we are dragons… I sit in the garden wondering if I should tell her before dad comes home. I also have a husband, I say to her, imagine that. We live ordinary lives….] She smiles at me, still weakly, but not hallucinating now as she was earlier in the week… she sits straight in her chair. Leans to one side, in the line of a model who has unconsciously taken a pose. I think that most of my bodily gestures have derived from this woman, I am my mothers daughter. What holds her attention is the aches and pains of her body, the sense of lost. I watch her finger stretching in her lap. She is feeling better. Her browns eyes never look innocent, did you know how much I have lost? Losing is winning, she says. I thought they would try to take away everything. As they cold not kill us, everything else. The absolute. The library is the absolute archive of my life. The repository of lost things… [my mother switches between the singular my and plural we, unknowingly, the my means us, which began with my father and includes me and my sister. What does lost mean in that context?] Though here is no inventory of the archive, the library is not categorized. In the library all that I have lost is recorded. An archived memory is unfindable. To be found it has to enter the categories of the extrafindable. Even now as I recover the loss of order in spacetime waits for me. She puts her hand elegantly on the black editors notebook which is one of her current notebooks, resting closed on the bench. Perhaps she wants to write something, anything in the notebook, if I wasn’t sitting opposite her she would. All of her notebooks from the past three decades are in her archives. [Did she write things down in notebooks during her decades before she came here? I ask her.] No, before was like a state of burial, if I’d written it down I might have died of it, someone might have incarcerated me, perhaps my father, mother, the council or some repressive state apparatus or other. I left no traces. No records meant the digital clock, atomic clock never indicated death. I was trapped in the family and its fascistic commons. I ran across the city and we escaped together, arriving in an english summer. I lost the ability to leave a few hours or days after arriving. Decades have passed, so many admirable things I have learnt and lived through, a better person might have regrets or feel shame, but I could never be that person. From the beginning or even at the end of the thirty or forty years that have passed… What secrets I have are kept in the library, the archive prevents them from being lost…. She moves and the lines of her body shift… [We can never be lost, I say to her] Is he still OK ? she asks me. [She means Nanni, my partner, It has been over a decade I say to my mother. Yes he is fine. If he wanted to leave he knows I would have been OK, i used to offer that to him… he didn’t leave. Neither of us can imagine that anymore…] I don’t think we could talk about this. I am feeling sick again. Sam wrote it all down in his journal, the reason it all happened with him, you should ask him for it. I think its the only thing he regrets… Once you arrive in a book, the scale shifts, things get smaller… [In the library I say, Nanni is fine, I think this is the moment to tell her why I am really… i open my bag, soft brown leather, internal compartments, a small gun in the kelver and metal lining. I take out the envelope with the sonogram, I offer it to her, here, a picture…] Suki, she cried. I smile at my mother, Found. All is found, found as one of the cats emerges from the house and walks down the path towards us. [It is written that this old cat will die before she does. I don’t want any dying to happen to us, the cats will die, the cats will kill, we will die.] It is a terrible suffering that is heterodox and impure, how could it be anything else for us? We cannot imagine living without cats, books, the library, the house and the extreme incomes that we are cursed to have to maintain, apples are falling out of the apple trees in the orchard, we lose life, we go to the office which remains open for us, inperson meetings restart and we exchange words that have been unspoken for months. We aren’t dying, my mother is just feeling lost. The other cat emerges from beneath the laurel hedge. They are called kitsch and kutsch… […of my baby, your grandchild. Your going to be a grandmother in half a year or so. we can protect my baby now from our monsters…] I have lost so much and then this, she holds the image in her fingers and puts it into her notebook. A found thing entering her library.