From the mixed-up files of your Coeur Despondent:
I am in Switzerland. I have come--ostensibly, insensibly--to praise, honor, mourn, and conjure the endings of some things. I have two endings in mind.
The ostensible: I have traveled all this way to find the ending of my novel. The novel’s set in Switzerland and I am fully convinced that my ending’s hidden somewhere here. Behind a wall clock or in a bank vault, I am sure.
The insensible: I have come here to revisit (for reasons entirely pathological) a precise and beckoning sadness, a sadness that was, upon the collapse of my marriage, my sole companion. A sadness I am at once in love with and am indifferent to. I am staying in Wallisellen, a town near Zürich, at the home of poet, publisher and altogether enchanting editrix, Susana Gardner. Wallisellen is one town away from Dietlikon, where I lived.
If you know me even tangentially, you know that my relationship with Switzerland is multivalent. Would that there existed a single word broad enough in its own connotations to describe the all-at-once sensation of aggression, bewilderment, despair, pathos, boredom, longing, and straight-up anger that jolts through me when I spend any real time thinking about this place. But think about this place I do. And think and think and think about it.
So like the criminal who returns to the scene of her crime, or the ghost that haunts the rooms of the house she died in, I have come to Switzerland, that I might holiday in the land of my hopelessness, vacation in the place that vandalized me. That I might wander once more the paths that woe-ed me, wounded me, made me weep.
For I am a tourist of grief, you see.