Fragment I

"She broke the violin over one knee and—aiming at oblique angles — repeatedly and studiously impaled the instrument with thick shards of glass. 'The Force of Art' she titled it. The requisitioned object's previous owners felt more bemused than violated, having never actually put bow to string, and later commented that — given the chance — they would likely have done a better job themselves.

As we grew in number, we took our requisitions to ever larger scales; an abandoned rail car one day, an office building the next. By the time we got to occupying galleries, 'The Force of Art' had become quite the icon of our movement and was duly granted a room to its own. At night we would place a small candle in its broken body and watch the light play across the glass to spill in fractured rays across the room. It was a fitting tribute to her memory. But candles fall, and flame cares not for art or its force — and one day we returned to find only cinders and glass."

Salandré reads this out to me, slowly and with that faint accent of hers — that fullness of pronunciation and those long trills — but steady, little of the archetypal rolling undulation of Italian speech. Handing me my manuscript, she stands to leave.

"We." she sighs, "It feels strange saying that now; at the time I never could have admitted that to my self, or anyone. But it was, us."