Silence Once Begun

Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball

Book: Silence Once Begun by Jesse Ball Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jesse Ball
Tags: Mystery
seemed like they were clearing me away, clearing out the area. Maybe they had just gotten the news that his day was coming, and so they wanted everything straightened out. I don’t know.
    INT .
    That was the last time you saw him.
    I remember the haircut he had, it had been done badly, so a part of his head wasn’t completely shaved. WhenI see him in my head, that’s the Sotatsu I see. But he is standing in a street.
    INT .
    When you picture him, you picture him in a prison outfit, with his head shaved, but he is outdoors?
    He is in a street, and he has the box I was going to give him. But it isn’t open, it isn’t playing. It’s just closed there in his hand.

Interview 20 (
Int. note
. That night, after our return, I had gone to my room to sleep, but I was still up, looking at some notes I had taken. After a while, there came a tapping on my door. I opened it, and it was Jiro. He came in and admitted that he had not told me the truth that day, or not all of it. I asked him what it was that he had held back. He told me that on the final visit, something different had happened. I asked him what it was that was different, and why he had held it back. He said it was something he hadn’t shared with anyone, and so it wasn’t clear to him whether he would share it with me or not, up until this evening. I asked him how that visit, that last visit, how it had gone differently. He said Sotatsu had given him two letters that he had written. He said he had those, and asked if I wanted to see them. I said, yes. I said, I didn’t realize that he was allowed to write things. Jiro said that it seemed some of the prisoners were allowed that, and it seemed Sotatsu was one of them. He gave me a paper box with a little clasp on one side. I told him I would be very careful looking at them. He went to the door but stood watching me. I asked him if he wanted these documents to be kept out of the book. He didn’t say anything, but stood there. Finally he said he wanted the book to be complete. He didn’t want anything left out of it. That is why he changed his mind and brought the letters. I thanked him and he went off, leaving me to open the box.]
    [The document (sides one and two) will follow this page.]

Document Side One: Holograph Will
    Holograph Will of Oda Sotatsu. My belongings described below should be given to my family members in the following manner
    BOOKS, perhaps a dozen, on table by window __ to my sister
    my CLOTHING, old pants, new pants, shirts, socks, and others __ burned
    my FURNITURE __ given away
    my KITCHEN contents, pots, knife, etc. _ to my mother
    my RECORDS, RECORD PLAYER, _ to my brother
    my DRAWINGS, JOURNAL __ burned
    my WORM SHOVEL, FISHING POLE, TACKLE __ to my father
    my BICYCLE __ to my brother
    my SCARF __ to my sister
    my BIRD STATUES _ to my mother
    ANYTHING ELSE _ burn or give away
    … my rent was paid when I was taken away, but now hasn’t been since then. I don’t know what that means for anything

Document Side Two: Letter to Father
Int. Note
. The document has been folded and unfolded many times. It appears that it has even begun to tear along some of the folds. I imagine Jiro has opened it often to read it. When I saw him the next day, the day I was to leave his house, I returned the letters to him, and asked whether he had showed this to their father. He replied that he had not. He had never had the slightest intention of doing so, nor would he. At the time of the publication of this book, Jiro and Sotatsu’s father is dead (d. 2006), so he will never see the letter in this life.]
    I know why you don’t come to see me. You are right that this is my fault. It is a complicated thing, but also very simple. It is so simple I can see through it like a glass window. When I do that, I see you and the others and you are waiting for something. I don’t know what it is, and I don’t think you know either. Someone writes something

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