A candle for Darius


Dalton Trevisan
Dario hurried over, umbrella on his left arm, and as soon as he turned the corner, he slowed to a stop, leaning against the wall of a house. Slipping through it, he sat on the sidewalk, still damp with rain, and his pipe rested on the stone.
Two or three passersby surrounded him and asked if he was not feeling well. Dario opened his mouth, moved his lips, there was no answer. The fat man in white suggested he should suffer an attack. He reclined a little longer. , now stretched out on the sidewalk, and the pipe had gone out. The boy with the mustache asked the others to step aside and let him breathe. He opened his jacket, collar, tie and belt. When his shoes were removed, Dario snored badly and bubbles of foam appeared in the corner of his mouth.

Each person who arrived stood on tiptoe, although he could not see him. The residents of the street were talking from one door to the other, the children were awakened and in their pajamas came to the window. The fat lord repeated that Dario had sat in the sidewalk, still blowing smoke from the pipe and leaning the umbrella against the wall. But there was no umbrella or pipe beside him.
The gray-headed old lady screamed that he was dying. A group dragged him to the corner taxi. Already in the car, half the body protested the driver: who would pay for the ride? They agreed to call the ambulance. wall – he had neither shoes nor a pearl pin on his tie. Someone reported from the pharmacy on the other street. They did not carry Dario around the corner; the pharmacy at the end of the block and, moreover, very heavy. He was dropped at the door of a fishmonger. A swarm of flies covered his face, without making a gesture to chase them away.

Occupied the nearby cafe by the people who came to enjoy the incident and, now, eating and drinking, they enjoyed the delights of the night. Dario was as crooked as they left him, on the step of the fishmonger, without his wristwatch. papers, removed – with various objects – from their pockets and lined up on the white shirt. They learned of the name, age; birth mark. The address on the wallet was from another city.
There were more than two hundred curious people running around the street and sidewalks at this hour: it was the police. The black car attacked the crowd. he approached the corpse and could not identify it – the empty pockets. The gold ring remained on his left hand, which he himself, when alive, could only detach moistened with soap. It was decided that the case was with the hearse.

The last mouth repeated, “He died, he died. We started to disperse. It had taken two hours for Dario to die, no one believed it was over. Now, to those who could see him, he had all the air of a deceased. The pious lord took off Darius’s jacket to support his head. He crossed his hands on his chest. He couldn’t close his eyes or his mouth, where the foam had disappeared. Only one dead man and the crowd spread out, the cafe tables were empty. At the window, some residents with pillows to rest their elbows. A barefoot colored boy came with a candle, which he lit beside the corpse. He looked dead many years ago. years, almost the portrait of a dead man faded by rain.
The windows were closed one by one, and three hours later, Dario was waiting for the hearse. The head now on the stone, without the jacket, and the finger without the ring. The candle had burned halfway and went out at the first drops of rain, which fell again.

(Twenty Short Stories. Record: Rio de Janeiro, 1979, p.2.)

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