I’m facing the computer screen, thinking and dreaming, writing an interminable book proposal, deep in thoughts about who we are, how we are, what we are. The cat’s asleep as usual beside my desk. All is in its place. Then there’s the key in the door and my son arrives. Suddenly all that had been so present is not so much « gone » in a flash as it is « suspended, » or « other: » His mobile telephone has been stolen.
Waves of a thousand emotions surge forth in me and in him, crashing chaotically. Confusion. Anger. Fear. Rage. Indignation. Impotence. Frustration. Righteousness. Pain. Doubt. Sorrow. Despair. Disgust. A desire to « know » what happened. As if « knowing » would undo what we know cannot be undone.
Then what is to be done is formalities, the « easy » part, the punching in of numbers and information, « suspending » what had been « his » so that the thief cannot benefit from what is « not his. »
Now, back at the desk, with the thoughts, words, cat, papers and books, all in its place, my son in the next room preparing his things for a major exam tomorrow, the sense of « suspension » is different, not isolated or momentary or sudden, but rather fluid and pervasive, as if the state of things, of everything, is always to be « suspended, » to be kept hanging, unfixed. Quite simply: unknown.