By Michael Ondaatje

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Er verschafft sich ein Bild, wo in Italien sie sind. 38 AM MORGEN BEIM Brunnen sprechen sie zaghaft miteinander. « Sie schaut vom Bettzeug hoch, das sie im Brunnen wäscht. Er erinnert sie. « Hana senkt den Kopf, verlegen. Caravaggio spaziert umher, betrachtet zum erstenmal das Gebäude, späht von der Loggia in den Garten. »Ja, du warst in ihn verliebt. Du hast uns alle verrückt gemacht mit deinem neuen Wissen über Giuseppe. Was für ein Mann! Der beste in jeder Hinsicht, war dein Spruch. « Sie breitet das gewaschene Laken über den Brunnenrand aus.

Jede Nacht kletterte sie in den khakifarbenen Geisterkreis der Hängematte, die sie von dem toten Soldaten übernommen hatte, einem, der in ihrer Obhut gestorben war. Ein Paar Tennisschuhe und eine Hängematte. Das war, was sie in diesem Krieg von anderen genommen hatte. So lag sie dann wach unter der Mondscheinbahn an der Zimmerdecke, eingewickelt zum Schlafen in ein altes Hemd, ihr Kleid hing an einem Nagel neben der Tür. Es war wärmer geworden, und sie konnte nun so schlafen. Vorher, als es kalt war, mußten Sachen verheizt werden.

Die Nerven sind alle tot. Man kann mit einem Streichholz über sein Gesicht fahren, und es tut sich 34 nichts. Das Gesicht ist eingeschlafen. Wer ist es? fragte er. Wir kennen seinen Namen nicht. Redet er nicht? Die Gruppe von Ärzten lachte. Doch, doch, er redet, er redet die ganze Zeit, er weiß bloß nicht, wer er ist. Wo kam er her? Die Beduinen haben ihn zur Oase Siwa gebracht. Dann war er eine Zeitlang in Pisa, dann … Einer der Araber trägt wahrscheinlich seine Erkennungsmarke. Der wird sie wahrscheinlich verkaufen, und eines Tages taucht sie auf, aber vielleicht verkaufen die sie auch nie.

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