First of all, I’m very sorry that I couldn’t meet you in Barcelona, it would have been so nice seeing you again after so much time. By now you must be in the process of settling down again in your apartment. Yes, you must be if you have read this letter. I hope you like my landscapes, I look forward to knowing how you feel about them. I tried thicker strokes this time, and using slightly off colors here and there to introduce a sense of movement, of something sprouting from the stillness in the surrounding areas. I’m not sure I got it right, in my mind those paintings looked so different from what I actually painted.
I know you well enough, I’m sure you have ripped the envelope open before going up the stairs, still mad because I wasn’t waiting for you at the station. I must say, though, that this time I had a good excuse for not being there. My parents have died. A lawyer, or police officer, not really sure, called me from Germany. The conversation was all very official, very confusing, but it seems that they were killed in an accident, or murdered, they don’t really know yet. So they asked me (ordered me, really) to get there as soon as possible. They didn’t say exactly why they need me. I don’t think they need me to recognize the bodies; as you know, my parents basically owned the whole place, any person in that town could identify them. In fact, I think I’d be the least qualified person to recognize them, it must have been more than twenty years since I last saw them. It must be something about their will, what to do with the estate, something of that sort.
So I’m writing this letter in the train, we just passed Lyon. I’ve been sketching fields, low hills covered with orchards, tiny towns with their church towers, and every time I find myself drawing faces between the trees, triangles in the sky, spirals on top of the houses, disfiguring the pleasant image. I’m so drawn to landscapes and so utterly bored of them at the same time.
I’m going to try to get some sleep. I should arrive to Stuttgart in the morning. Supposedly, a car will be waiting for me at the station. I don’t know if they will take me to my parents’ house (a castle, really, at least that’s how I remember it), to the morgue or to some dusty office where I won’t want to be. I would think I’ll need to sign some documents and then I’ll be in a train back to Barcelona as soon as I can.
It’s so weird returning to the place where everything began, but a place that I had almost forgotten. Nothing will look the same, I’m sure, not to mention the current situation. The frontline will be more than 100 kilometers away, but it’s still very unnerving to be in a country immersed in war.
PS: Would you mind going to Piera and picking up the cobalt blue and yellow ochre that I ordered last week?