Thomas Basbøll


The Retreat from Evelyn


Once I got to the clearing I began to look for the package. The package would contain everything I needed. That was the message. You see how this retreat is nested. The message indicated that the package waited in the clearing. In the package I’d find four (4) things essential to my exit.

“A careful description of the desire to escape may indicate the bind.”

The message contained a suggestion. The suggestion contained the clearing. The clearing contained the package. And it was from the clearing I’d escape. This was the route I took away from Evelyn. First I got the message, then I received suggestion. This led to the clearing, wherein (we have again) the package. I opened the package to gain access to the elements it contained.

A package contains the things inside, which are inescapable. You can, however, take them with you. And I have not yet mentioned it was raining. The package stood in the clearing with the rain beading on its plastic bagging. As I approached the clearing the rain reached me more easily. I stepped out of the undergrowth and onto the path that encircled the clearing. The path, I am trying to say, led around the clearing, the clearing in which the package stood, beading up with rain.

This, then, is what was (is what was) going on: in the clearing, in the rain, a package lay beneath the moon. The package was wet on the outside and dry on the inside. The things inside could not be reached by the rain. Opening it, I’d been told, I would find what I needed. That the space between Evelyn and everything I needed had been filled with cardboard, plastic, water, thistle, trees and moonlight is still important to me now.

“When retreating from a large, inescapable object at night remember never to. . .” (the ink runs, owing to the rain).

My retreat was situated somewhere between the inside of the package and the surface of Evelyn. The package was in the clearing just as Evelyn was sleeping beyond the wood. In the wood the trees gave cover and the ground was almost dry. But this was also where the moon was weakest as I walked.