Christian Patracchini

Shadow Man is a text written in order to celebrate the work of David Bowie and it has been presented at a night of reading at BrixtonBookJam

Bowie - Find The Others


One day I noticed that what I was writing concerned him more and more and though in a indirect manner, it seem to have no other purpouse but to reflect him. He had assumed a strange ascendancy over me in all these things. Sometimes I was wondering if he was trying to restrain me at all the costs.

I spoke of him but it gradually became a completely different feeling, a sort of erosion of the future. The impression that I had already said about it than was possible for me that I had got ahead of myself in such a way that the possibility farthest in the future was already there, a future I could not longer go beyond.

Eventually I allowed myself to be persuaded that to finish, was the best way to make our relation bearable.

True, I did not  always recognized this, I had noted it, with surprise, with a slight feeling of strangeness, but  eventually with discomfort and without surprise that  he was probably lacking enough in intentions to deflect my own.

‘You get by well enough’ he remarked. ‘you are astonishing you know?

A help, which if it occurred consisted in turning my attention away from an image, with which I could have never behaved in a way that was natural and real without a state of half attention and almost of indifference.

If he turned me into a shadow to make me worth of the darkness, I must certainly also think that this manouver succeded more than it should have.

It is also possible that he had helped me by turning me away from responsability by wrapping me in an ambiguous silence that depended as much on my refusal to converse with him, as on the fact that in thruth, without realizing it, I spoke to him constantly through this very refusal.

The consolation could have been to say to myself : you have renounced foreseeing, not the unforeseenable, but the consolation turned around like a barb: the unforseeable was none other than the renouncement itself as though each event had demamded of me the promise that I would slip out of my story.

I just wanted to point out that, though he rarely spoke about himself, he gave as little impression as possible of neglecting the person speaking to him he listened in silence but in such a way that his silences were not inert though no doubt slighlty suffocating as if they consisted in repeating in a more distant world, exactly everything one was trying to make him understand.

I can recall it as an intoxicating navigation the motion that had more than once driven me toward a goal toward a land that I did not know and was not trying to reach, and i did not complain that in the end there was neither land nor goal, because, in the meantime, by this very motion, i had lost my memory of the land, i had lost it, but i had also gained the possibility of going forward at random, even though in fact consigned to this randomness, i had to renounce the hope of ever stopping.

I didn’t allow myself to be deflected from the certainty of being at a turning point that required all my strenght, all my attention by the recollection that I had already and at almost every instant , been certain I was approaching a turning point from which, I then saw that he had only turned me back led me back.

No don’t distance him do not push him away draw him to you instead lead him to you  clear the way for him call him softly by his name – by his name? But I  mustn’t call him and at this moment I couldn’t. You haven’t said everything to him the esssential part is missing the description must be completed  it must be now! Now! What have I forgotten?  Why does not everything disappear?  Why is it someone else who is entering the sphere. Then who is the one involved here?

Wasn’t it I who took the drink? All the force of the day had to strain towards the end, rise and fall towards it  and perhaps he answered immediately but when the end came after the scatering of a few seconds everything had already disappeared… disappeared with the day.