– , 19 January. Awoke in the morning to find two gleaming eyes in the head of a wolf-shaped animal glaring from above the doorway. Eyes so devoid of meaning they must conceal some sort of malintent. (They were X’s eyes. Just as they had appeared the last time I’d seen him.) The dark eyebrows. The lines gathered into knots at the corners of the eyelids. Yellow teeth. Speech indecipherable, slurred by medication. A persona that is a reflection of an inner complicity. “Violence isn’t foreign to our nature.” He acts as though to ask himself WHO AM I? Etc. A tape-recorded voice. “What does it mean to think & act rationally?” “Why do I think?” “What gives my thoughts & actions the appearance of being meaningful? Of being the outcome of a rational process?” Has anyone ever spoken this way? As in the beginning: Stimulus / Response. God commands & the blood rises in his cock. The sun is rising, but in his mind it’s still dark. Beyond the trees they’re preparing a place for him. An open plaza w/ processional figures. They’ll sing there. And dance. And then he’ll begin mounting the long stairway. Slowly at first, but then more swiftly. And they’ll know that he has claimed his destiny. As though w/ his hand he had already begun to grasp hold of it. The palm of the hand, hot & then cold. Contracted into a knot. He’s watching the priest raise the obsidian blade over the sleeping form, while from his own hand a knife is slipping. He knows that after this nothing can be ruled out. Unless everything is ruled out. Everything that was ever thought or written. Separated finally from its meaning. Severed. As one severs an artery. The blood pours forth only to evaporate on contact w/ air. A dry wind covers everything w/ dust & sand. Our dream is leeched away. A cracked, rust-coloured stain. Who will dig our relics from the earth & reconstruct us? We are the dream of time. Hieroglyphs on the face of a stone disc. Who could deduce us? Join together all the particles? Reverse-engineer the precise moment of the origin. And the time before the origin. What took place on the 12th of August 3113 BC? Before the Virgin in her radiant conch like a worm in a chrysalis. And what if, in some parallel world, the worm had turned? If Cortés’ infallible god had drowned him at the first opportunity? If Caesar at the Rubicon? If Moses beneath the Red Sea? UNA TIRADA DE DADOS JAMÁS ABOLIRÁ EL AZAR! A million snake eyes wouldn’t have been enough, returning w/ interest from time immemorial. Secret algebras, calendars, calculi. All the flaccid concatenations of false hopes played again & again the way the theme song from Casablanca plays in yr nightmares. And you mumble along to the lines in the hope the lunatic playing it doesn’t realise you don’t know the words. That nobody does. Even now you can see his universe is falling apart. The giant megaphones in the sky have started screaming. TODO PENSAMIENTO LANZA UN GOLPE DE DADOS! Scattered seed regathered in the hand to be cast once more. Indeed it’d gone hard w/ Señor Dildo. But even for god the thrill must go out of it. Like a rotorised plough. An automated bourse. A mechanical monkey w/ a battery up its arse. Surprising no-one but the pious old farts to find him on the lam in a flop in Colonia Doctores, behind a beard & a dose of syphilis, sucking on the end of a glass teat. The dog in its manger. Deadeyed. A chorus of flies. He’s standing in front of the washbasin. In order to recognise him, to distinguish him from his creator, we give him a name. The mark of identity: X. To which might be added a description. Physical. Verbal. For example: X shaves, X washes his face. Coughs. Spits into the soap scum. Combs hair w/ the fingers of his right hand. Pulls up the plug by its chain. Only gradually does the water-level descend. Time itself labouring under the influence of a generalised lethargy. Slowly, as if in pain, he straightens up, drying his face w/ a towel. The pain in the lower back. In the neck. In the arse. No better or worse than on other days. The rest in a vaguely pre-determined order: Unfolding a canvas satchel. A bottle of pills. Counts them out. Four. Enough. Crushed beneath the handle of a pocket knife. Scraped together. The blade working the rough powder into an ever finer line. Proceeding to the next stage, his eyes avoid the mirror. Believing (groundlessly) that the repetition of an act gives it a structure beyond itself. He turns the radio on. “A warrant has been issued for X, as probable mastermind of the event.” DNA tests suggested the body discovered at the scene wasn’t his. We ran in the other direction, a witness who called himself Ángel told reporters. You could hear cries & moans & bursts of gunfire on & on. As usual there was an excess of surrounding detail. Erased indexes of every conceivable crime & those not yet conceived. Exhibit: A plastic shower curtain covered in mildew. Hair matting the plughole. Exposed grouting where tiles have fallen from the walls. A broken toilet bowl. Mosquitoes circling out of it. The secret unremembered nothings. Location co-ordinates. A calendar. A calculus. An algebra. Little by little, the dream gives way to lucidity. Passivity to action. The reflective to the immediate. Dislocation of the word, of the false language of fact. Certainty. Proof. Such things are, etc. Explain the meaning of SCEPTICISM. (No aspect of the world seemed any more or less real than any other.) WHAT’S BELIEVED IN, he said, BEARS NO RELATION TO THE ATTITUDE OF THINGS. These words also figments. WHEN THEY AWAKE, PERHAPS, THEIR STORY WILL ALSO HAVE COME TO AN END. And so on. Other, more or less identical thoughts. At the same time it was as though he himself were becoming an object. An instrument. Something inert. Emptied of any motives of its own. Some entirely other factor animated his being. As though it were from the depths of a mirror that he saw himself. A mirror which somehow preceded him in space. Like a camera. The mirror behind the aperture. Seeing him. But not yet conscious of him. An apparatus. A detached prosthesis of a memory held in anticipation. A past to come. Recorded in advance for a future which it can’t realise. Two mirrors in infinite regress. All this he has heard before. Read somewhere. Bored w/ it. But the words come back of their own accord. The images. The thoughts they’re made to resemble. “I resemble X.” “I don’t resemble Y.” “I resemble X more than Y.” Etc. As if it mattered. As if such propositions could lead anywhere other than back to themselves. Crossing & re-crossing an imaginary threshold. A doorway. A corridor. A street. Faces w/out names. A half-deserted square. A labyrinth of narrow backstreets. A flight of broken stairs. The floor is patterned w/ a mosaic of shattered tiles. Knotted cords of spider’s web, heavy w/ dust, trail from a ceiling fan. Dust motes spiralling slowly through a shaft of grey light. Atmospheric effects which evoke a dark promontory of the mind. Handcuffed to a chair in the middle of the room. A table. A doorway. Someone X didn’t recognise came in & sat down. His features were slight. Symmetrical. There was no outstanding facial bone structure. The Virgin of Guadalupe tattooed on his neck. Pieces of the True Cross filling the gaps between his teeth. A bleeding heart for an eye. The other, vivid & penetrating, full of counterfeit solicitude. At the same time this stranger acted as though there were an established intimacy between them. Immediately he began relating his problems. After a couple of drinks he became aroused. Agitated. This initial scene took place in a series of rapidly punctuated movements. Then, just at the point where the stranger reaches across the table, he looks away. The room shifts in a wide arc as he turns his head. Somehow everything is floating, detached from the act of his seeing. There’s something elusive he’s trying to pin down. The world on the other side of the wall. A bar w/ people crowding the tables. A couple entering through an archway. The sky outside. Rooftops. Flies circling under a creaking fan. The condensation on the side of a glass. Tiny spheres of gas floating upwards: a curtain of glass beads. The stranger leans across at him. A felicitous smile full of teeth. White shirt & dark tie. A dark slit running the length of a cadaver. “Who are you that speak? To whom do you speak?” He’s setting things to rights. Putting things in their proper place. Everything in order. Right down to the last little resentment. He orders another drink. Then another. And another. Much later some food arrives. As though it were planned this way. Like clockwork. X smiles. HAVEN’T YOU NOTICED? EVERYTHING THAT YOU ORDER IS HANDED FROM THE RIGHT. THE SOUP IS HANDED FROM THE RIGHT. THE DRINKS ARE HANDED FROM THE RIGHT. BUT THE PLATES ARE HANDED FROM THE LEFT. EVERYTHING YOU SERVE YRSELF IS HANDED FROM THE LEFT. He looks down at the table. The edge of the knife is facing to the left. The spoon is lying on the outside to the right of the knife. The hands are resting on the table. He reaches over & picks up the salt cellar. A carafe stares blindly from the middle of the table. Beside the carafe is a small vase of bougainvillaea. In front of him, an octopus w/ its tentacles spread out in a bowl of red sauce. W/ his knife & fork he turns it over. A white mouth grimaces from the centre of this strange flower. Hacks it out w/ a jabbing & slicing movement of the knife. A watery ooze. The napkin is placed to the right of the bowl. Now a stain is spreading on the tablecloth. The aftermath of something trivial & meaningless. X took out a pack of cigarettes. Lit one. A single continuous gesture that’d already been repeated countless times. That inexplicable other, facing him from across the table. They both knew their roles by heart. The words. Expressions. The image they were obliged to project, succeeding from themselves. Tied to one another by a subtle, unbroken line of thought. Something whose entire purpose was to accomplish a purely repetitive action. A blank. An inner void. “To put up a resistance.” A sentence. A story in which to begin telling oneself a story. A dead time during which nothing happens. Nothing but the repetition itself. And then, after all, why not the opposite? A blue plume ascended from the tip of his cigarette. He looked at it first w/ astonishment. Then w/ curiosity. As if a new power of insight had come to him. It revealed itself in the play of smoke, ascending & branching out into a delicately plumed headpiece. It was as if his imagination had created it. The blinking tale of a white peacock. Its eyes. Its mouths. “The room, shrunken or immense. Depending on the time words took to cross it & come back to him.” Anguish returns like clockwork. Utterances, no matter their nature, trigger illusions. Ideas. Which forever remain at large in the world. What to make of them? Be careful. There’s a crack in the glass, he warned. I look at the glass. At the same time the wind started up & lifted the corners of the table cloth. From across the terrace the strangulated rhythms of a mariachi band. The sound of a sharply breaking car. The scraping of chairs on the tiled floor. Wave-sounds. The noise of a tap being gradually turned on. Raw meat laid out on a grill. Constricted breathing. A distorted, monotonous, rhythmic music. Everything at half-speed. A sudden burst of laughter. A door being slammed. An adjunct to the law of entropy. Nothing is lost. Everything remains. Something, held in reserve. Never entirely obliterated. Like pages torn from a book & thrown on a fire. Even as they’re reduced to cinders. Ash. Still, there remains a trace. A murmur. Beneath all of those other voices. The ones that speak of apocalypse. Their deceitful entreaties to nihilism. Their ruses. Frauds. Lies. Echoing even now in the back of his mind. The phantom of a dream. He places his hands on the arms of the chair. Lifts himself slightly forward. It has become late. The gesture implies a desire for departure. He leans back again. Raises the glass from the table. The drink tastes strongly of charcoal, wet ashes. It’s not a voluntary act which separates the idea of the body from its physical state. The glass is cracked & the crack runs through the image of whatever it contains. An impulse to wrench the glass in two. Things don’t happen that way. The glass breaks unevenly. Blood soaks into the table cloth. Or else it was only in his imagination. He’s sitting as before. Staring across the table at X’s dominating forehead. A heavy ridge of bone protruding from the inertial matter of the skull. The shadowed gaze. “A corpse in effigy. Everything but the blood.” The slow, purposeful words seeming to emanate directly from that forehead. As if one could affect the other. Become an act. An animation. A crime. Something more than an object. An addition or an “Affirmation”? Not, or at least not yet, an embodiment of loathing. X raises his eyes. Smiles. Turns his head to one side. He doesn’t appear to be looking at anything. The gesture serves merely to reveal his vulnerability. At that moment. Now. Laying himself open. “This will make it easier for you.” The recollection is painful. (But there was nothing particular about that meeting. It’s in retrospect that awareness gathers things around a meaning.) The details themselves leave him indifferent. It’s only the image, the symptom, which is somehow excruciating. Things unconnected w/ the actual chain of events. Which are only made to stand out after the fact. Taking on undue significance. A hindsight populated w/ unreal figures of pre-knowledge. The one who is standing on the threshold of that room. The one who knows in advance all that we could say or even think about him. I’ve tried in vain to represent him to myself. It’s dark again. This night which, in writing him, I’ve introduced into the world. It’s closing in. The faces. The noise that belies their intent. And so everything begins again. Another scene. As though nothing had preceded it. Another night in the shelf cubicle. Ash-mouth. Vein gripped by needle-hunger. Too many bodies to keep fed. Staring at left leg bone & grey flesh. Maggoty. Stitched back. Dogface in a rubber mask. To pretend otherwise. Voices. People. The noise drags on in a catatonic manner. A swarm of ants blackening the body. I make some attempts which fail. The nerve ends in the face. In the teeth. Exposed beneath the discarded flesh. A form like wet clay unable to reflect any light. An act of memory. Moving backwards to the beginning. Archaeology. The black inner sun. “Since Copernicus, man spirals from the centre into X.” A location among the astronomical bodies. Forever erased. Because the “harmony of the universe” is never actually realised except at infinity. To perceive it in the specific, one is under an illusion. And in his mind’s eye seeing himself in that same interrogation room, long ago. Face slapped sideways. Hearing the wind blowing in off the sea. The flutter of a canvas awning. A palm frond falling through the air. Turning in slow motion to confront the approaching hurricane. The sky has turned black. His head spins. That’s what they say & that’s how it feels. Spinning spinning spinning spinning. Like an off-kilter gyroscope. Like a child spinning in a filed of maize stubble staring at the sun. At the black sun. The sound of cicadas. Of sanctimony. Of a telephone book ringing in yr ear. “Wld sir care for anything else?” ¡Ahora el mismo castigo! croaks the stiff in the black trousers, the immaculate white shirt. Not a stain! Not a drop of blood! The report was on page 9 of La Reforma, which now he folds & places in front of him on the table. If the cops were watching, he’d look just like any other reactionary. He orders a coffee. It arrives w/ a skin of boiled milk. “The white film made of the medium in which animal life breathes.” Beside the newspaper, a book lies open at the last page on which he had written his notes. – , 30 January. “On the steep hills that we passed were a large number of ancient buildings. Some of them I realised were dwellings. After a difficult ascent I saw that they were constructed in the form of a monastery. Narrow passages & cloisters. Whitewashed w/ lime on the inner walls & surrounded by an extensive platform. Behind the façade, decayed pillars & exposed masonry. The floor cracked & covered w/ moss.” A network of terraces. Stairways descending towards the sea. I passed by the ruined church & stood on a platform that overlooks the shore. Black rocks stretched out amidst the green grey waters. In the distance, dark boats w/ masts wrapped in white sails. Sea haze. A thin gauze of clouds. “The storm has passed & now the calm hangs heavily upon us.” Torpid. Uneasy. If his notebook is to be believed, he began to contemplate the hunger of the sea. “That sea which was soon to engulf him.” Again, the impression I‘m seeking the object of another’s fear. PENSAR QUE CUANDO ME ASOMO AL ESPEJO ÉSTE INVIERTE MIS DERECHAS Y MIS IZQUIERDAS. This two-faced Janus. A row of torn & faded beach umbrellas. A cinderblock hotel. Rooms rented by the half-hour. La habitación adentro. A terrace w/ busted deckchairs. A stairway leading down between trashed hibiscus bushes. Plastic bags overflowing w/ fish heads. Vegetable scraps. Orange peels. The smell of ash matted down by rain. In the distance, smoke clinging to a blackened hillside. He watches the farm labourers riding in the back of a truck as the road turns away steeply to the north. An escarpment crops close to the wheels. Schist. A furrowed rockface, scarred at its base from the surf constantly battering it. Sinfonía del mar. And set in the foreground, the bay where the boats are anchored. A stand of palm trees. A line of thatched houses. Sand stretching down into the water. Several fishing boats have been pulled up onto the beach. Green nets piled beside them. Gulls pick at the remnants. Further off, a group of men sitting around a low fire. The smell of scourged fish. The body, invisibly cremated, cannibalised by others. Indifferent, passive faces. Mouths open. Gap-toothed. Chewing the white meat of their ancestors. Flesh of my flesh. Blood of my blood. How many deaths & incarnations? He himself. It was not far from here that the other had opened his mouth & taken that shrivelled flesh between his teeth. Tonguing the glans. He lay on the damp mattress, watching X pulling his trousers on. His shirt. Lacing his shoes one at a time w/ meticulous care. The same care, standing naked in the courtyard beside the enamelled washbasin. Wiping himself w/ a wet cloth. That cloth somehow was a terminus. An instrument w/ which everything, every gesture, every touch, must be erased. Life-fear. Death-fear. The nothingness of listless & uniform days. Repugnancy. Boredom. False hopes. Disappointment. The derisory rituals of “A grey & random human destiny moving towards its end.” What do you want me to say? “I think only about how to destroy myself.” For the sake of revenge. And because it’s normal. DOMINE NON SUM DIGNUS. The clock is a circle & time is the measurement of the movements on its face. An expression of no-thing. Nada. Ninguna cosa. Blank stare & blank voice. Words from nowhere. Circulating in their own void. A deafmute mechanical gesturing of hands. I turn, half expecting to find him seated beside me, elbows weighing on the edge of the table. I imagine him looking back at me. A simple exchange of looks. A simple reverse-shot. The shadows on the wall are perhaps the moving images we are casting in a world that cannot see us. Narrating what we cannot. It’s impossible to know. I say that we’re looking at each other. That in some sense our eyes meet. Perhaps it’s a prelude to something which has already taken place. A past. Long erased from our bodies. Yet still recalled. Anticipated. Understood. Perhaps it’s at that juncture time stops. There’s no time. Nothing happens. But nothingness becomes heavy beneath the weight of its own gravity. Things collapse. Time again intervenes. That film in which everything apparently arbitrary seems to be suspended. And it’s as though, buoying up that stream of images, there’s a voice. Speaking directly within the ear. Hollowed out & filled. No rest there. The muttering of hunched figures. Collars drawn up around their faces. Who are they? Laughter. A familiar scent of aftershave. Cigarette smoke. Alcohol on the breath. You knew. You knew they would be back. The sound of knocking on the door. Faint. Measured. The echo in the corridor. Knocking steadily. Footsteps? There are no footsteps. No sound of water dripping from a tap. No wind scraping the branches against the window. The cicadas are silent. But still the sound of knocking. Ear against the door. Lower down. Listening through the floor. The knocking deep within. Staring through the crack beneath the door. A shadow. Something which seems to move. A point of dull whiteness. Like the eye of the miraculous worm. Staring back. And then darkness again. Pressing the palms of the hands against the sides of the head. Perspiration thickening between the fingers. Behind the ears. Fungus across the nape of the neck. Y’re sinking. Yes. The floor is liquid. It gets into the nostrils. The mouth. The ears. Close yr eyes. It’s covering you up. But not completely. There’s still enough left to see. Y’re still there. Y’re not invisible. Y’re liquifying. Tears streaming out. Vomit. Urine. Blood from the nose. From the ears. From the mouth. From the anus. Whose blood is it this time? He’s crying. He’s trying to stop up the holes in his face. Trying to crawl back into the shell. And something else, like the sound of waves. A watery stream of shit. Mucous & spittle. A seagull. Sunlight glittering on an object falling & rotating slowly through the air. It strikes a rock. The shell of a crab splitting open. Darkness. The image fades. There’s only the room. The beating of the fist on the door. The door falling away from its hinges. A door locked into a liquid surface, covering you where you lie. There’s no handle. No way out. Y’re fucked now. “The idea of imprisonment. It’s almost a reason to commit crimes. A type of solution. Isn’t it?” The angle & direction of the light & the shadows cast by it, concealed within a tacit recognition. The question of evidence. To prove the existence of the crime. Before it can turn into awareness, the familiar must be stripped of its inconspicuousness. We must give up assuming that the object in question needs no explanation. Yet only what’s already contained at the beginning is proven at the end. A line measured between any two points. The details are unimportant. Corridors. Stairwells. Loading bays. Back alleys. Parking lots. Flyovers. Elevators. Underground terminals. Ascending & descending. Walking. Driving. On the Metro. Climbing escalators. Crossing streets. Entering & exiting buildings. Taking the right-hand side of the pavement. Counting the intersections. Turning left & continuing w/out thought. The first thing that comes into the mind. A doorway covered in peeling layers of different coloured paint. A cracked, boarded-up window. A blind alleyway w/ trolleys. Cans. Plastic bags. Shoes. Two figures crouching against a wall w/ a drainpipe running beside them. Broken voices. A stench like putrescine. A sewer grate. Hidalgo. Alameda. Belles Artes. “Behind this illusion of truth there stands, in the most provocative derangement, an irrevocable ugliness.” The impression is irrelevant. The purpose of X isn’t in its outward aspect. The clock’s running. Everything’s tending towards the ellipsis. A body riddled w/ punctuation marks. Hung up to be read: its contours, its syntax & grammar. For that it’d be necessary to take the word into yr mouth? To define things which exist or don’t exist. To abolish the idea of another language. As the body, making possible a transaction w/ the future. Imminence. A precise astrological machine defining the convergence of all points in time. The mind-body switchboard. Its machinations neither contradict nor affirm. They’re merely a set of possible outcomes. A conjunction in time & space. Between variable settings in a visual apparatus. By adjusting one or the other it’s possible to arrive at different times or places. Distorting or mirroring. Reversing. Re-ordering. There are no limitations other than those imposed by the viewer. Locations are multiplied or reduced. Overlap. Come apart. An indefinable experience separating the different orders of seeing. In the first photograph there appears an expansive complex of large stone quadrangles w/ a wall on each side. Pyramids. Smaller nondescript buildings. All covered w/ moss & low relief. Half-consumed sculptures. A tall observatory tower surrounded by unexcavated mounds in the jungle. – , 30 January. For days now we have travelled further & further into the labyrinth. The narrow winding mule trails. Treacherous river crossings. Sheer escarpments. Clearing a path through dense undergrowth. Navigating by instinct through mountainous terrain. The ever present canopy like the ceiling of a complicated, organic cave. Its passageways forming a hidden network between ruined nerve centres. Synapses. Heavily eroded points of intersection. Between the jungle & the ruins, there lurks a type of fugitive intelligence. A weak current leaking from the circuit-break of the organic & inorganic. The industrious & the inert. Buildings overrun w/ vegetation. Crumbling walls sticking up out of the brown, rectum-moist soil. The roots of hewn trees like stumps of rotted teeth. Subsided foundations like reticules overflowing w/ excrement. Monuments of those who encrusted themselves in the earth. Soaked up the blood. Soil & blood in which they steeped their bones, for what long years? Hungry w/out appetite but in their very essence. Drawing the once dead flesh into the mouth. A voice close to his ear. Quién es? The sound of footsteps in a subterranean corridor. Spliced w/ other sounds. Static. The cracking of leaves. Splintering of wood. Voices from a short wave radio speaking in English. Spanish. Portuguese. Atavism of dead syllables slipped between voiceprints. Ghostword. Forked tongue. The demon permitted into the sanctum of thought & action. Truth & untruth. Isolating the one from the other. “The experience of change of the human body & brain.” A shadow falling across the face. The other’s touch. A mere flicker of light against skin. Nothing at all. Almost nothing. Descending the hillside below the excavation site. Following a route set down already in the unconscious. Something dragging his feet along the dirt path. Through the undergrowth. Anticipating every pause. Every advance. Every disturbance. The sudden presence of a flock of green parrots. Their large black, sideways moving eyes. The jungle itself seemed aware of him. Its closeness. Humidity. Like a body. Responding. Opening. “But we’re what we are. A fixed idea. Definite outlines. Just as y’ve always pictured us.” As if he saw the words come out of his mouth. And then the words vanish. Leaving only a residue. Sweat. Dirt. Cheap aftershave. Blood. He did not look at X when he spoke, but towards the vague outline of the mountains. In the distance. Faintly blue. Still visible between the crumbling arcades. He’s slowly climbing the steps. It’s raining. A fine misty rain. At the top of the pyramid there’s a narrow structure w/ an overhanging roof. No-one is there. The space around is dominated by a sense of vacancy. He watches the mist descending the valley. The tops of the trees gradually swallowed up. And then a building at the bottom of the opposite hill. And then the courtyard itself. A fine mist encircles the pyramid. He waits. Lights a cigarette. Watches the dull, torpid mass slowly descend. At a certain point you have to say, “This is enough. It can’t go on.” A light flashing through the fog of consciousness. Alarm bells. A figure wearing a plumed headdress, standing at the top of a long flight of stairs. It’s a figure of time itself, returning from extinction. The moon floating up over the clouds. As when the false gods had to die. The wind, Quetzalcóatl, killed them all. The wind tore out their hearts & used them to animate the newborn stars. Bodies of inert flesh twitching at the end of an electrical wire. White meat. The blood has drained out. Made to disappear. One after another the veins have collapsed.
Louis Armand is the author of THE COMBINATIONS (Equus, 2016), THE GARDEN (11:11, 2020) & VAMPYR: A CHRONICLE OF REVENGE (Alienist, 2020). He lives in Prague. www.louis-armand.com