The Andante

Adelaide Maria Assunçaõ de Miranda

Who is this man who is singing loudly through the corridors of the university a strange song “A hired man is shot, the lord of all the land …”? What story did you live so that, without any shyness, it would invade ears elsewhere, with such unusual music? Where will your dreams be, imprisoned in chains, or in the lips of a harlot? Or is he crazy with no reason to dream new dreams, living only for old dreams and for them?
He walks quickly dragging his flip-flops, with the wind taking his pants by the ankles, as if the wind were a counter force trying to prevent him from going any further, insisting on tousling his matted hair further. But his music helps him to fight his opponent: the wind. Music (almost a lament) is your fighting partner and, your baritone voice, your drawn sword. He also carries a cloth bag on his shoulder, with his left hand holding the strap on his shoulder, as if he were carrying a precious treasure there, or as if the faded bag held his existence, such care.
Who is this anyway? Will it have a destination, a safe haven? Does anyone wait for you with a hot broth to grab together, or will there be no one? Maybe be a revolutionary leader where, in an avant-garde circle, shout (or sing) slogans, in favor of the exiled? Then the group would be his family and, together, they would enjoy cold buoys, booze and dreams, until the arrival of the police with their rifles, their batons, their hard boots and their meager wages.
It seems embarrassing to speak to him. Nobody dares. He knows that. And like it. It is his way of attacking. Shocking. Just ahead is the gray river. In its waters reflects a sun
round and, on the sidewalk of the retainer, there is a boy selling sparkling white eggs. Sitting there, he shouts, “Hot, boiled eggs, to sell, who wants? Hot, boiled eggs to sell, who wants? ”, Like a boring little song. A student who passes by even looks at him, but does not see him. He is there helpless, without Guardianship Council, without judge, without anyone. So for a little bit of screaming and taste an egg. At home, your mother waits. Not the boy, but the money he will bring. At home, they don’t have a hot broth, so they can drink together on their mother’s lap. At home, there is only one stepfather who drinks the eggs sold.
Meanwhile, the lonely man walks, unaware that at least one person looks at him and sees him: the boy selling eggs. Suddenly he runs up to the boy, at the river’s edge, takes the tray from his hands and, resting it on the ground, looks in his pockets for all the money he has to deliver to the boy. Two pairs of eyes meet. Perhaps this is the only moment of that day when they both looked and saw someone’s eyes. It was a real look.
The boy put the money in his pocket and ran at a gallop.
The eggs were tossed to hungry dogs ahead.
Who is this man, who is so thin, decrees war on the wind? Where did you get the money for the eggs, and then deliver them to the dogs? Who is this who, not resigned, followed the small egg seller and could not help himself when, so happy, the boy got in front of a bus?
It was a sunny day and, on the asphalt, a child lay, in front of flashes, television cameras and curious looks. Until they all got tired and left, leaving only a man with a bag on his shoulder from which he removed a rag that covered his head from where brain mass oozed. Beside him, watching, was a mangy dog.
“The ambulance has arrived!”, A kid came to announce it without any need, because the siren sounded. No need at all, as what was left of the egg vendor was reduced to a body with a disfigured head. A body that wore filthy shorts with pocket change.
Who is this whose face flows a stream of unrestrained tears? And yet someone from the ambulance asks him, “Were you his father?” He answered nothing. He refused to answer, since any answer would change nothing at all.
Then the crooked father arrived with his mother boasting. “My son! My son! ”She shouted. It was not a cry of pain. It was a cry of guilt, almost a shame. It was a cry that insulted the man who was crying.
He turned his back and left. He went to cry in another parish.
Who is this man who is singing a strange song in the halls of the university? Who will find your eyes? Who will understand your tears? Who else will the rags you carry in your grimy bag serve?
It couldn’t be how he wanted it: in every corner, a home, in every home, a joy. He had neither a song nor a home, nor joy, and he made the sound of each moment a lament. However, he will never forget the sound of that day.

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