Gustavo looked at the walls as he always did, or rather, as he used
to do. He looked at them and wondered whether they had been
built from the top to the bottom or from the bottom to the top and
then thought about how silly his ideas were. In fact, none of it
mattered. It would actually be interesting if the walls were built
from the top to the bottom, though it didn’t seem likely. Nor did
that “Freedom” exist, Gustavo thought! What Freedom existed?
As a young boy he had moved to that neighbourhood, that area,
that place, that home.
I remember Banana, WindyBag, BoozeBottle, grunted Gustavo
in the general direction of his friend Emílio. Remember them? No,
and I don’t care to. What is the point of remembering what doesn’t
exist anymore? You’re right, Emílio, it doesn’t exist anymore. But
it does exist, deep down it exists because it is what made what
exists now exist, it exists because it exists in us, it still exists… Stop
with the old man’s stuff, Gustavo! Not even you exist, have you
thought about that?
Gustavo became slightly annoyed and continued talking to himself.
Emílio was too much of a realist for his taste. Deep down he
considered himself a “great demystifier”, as Gustavo would tell
him. But he wasn’t. Neither him nor anyone else, actually.
He had spent many years there, in the Bairro de Santa Clara,
between Víboras and Camelo, number 31, as it appeared on his
postal address. Had he seen the World or had he seen nothing? He
had been travelling for a few years, today he didn’t know if it had
done him any good, if it had harmed him, if it had done anything
to him at all! He had recently met a young man. He would be
around twentyseven years old, a kid, he was a doctor, who knew a
lot more about life than he did! At least he, Gustavo, thought that.
His travels hadn’t given him any special knowledge, maybe they
had even made him a more confused person, kind of mystical,