Arquivos da Categoria: Poetry

On the climb of a new step


Jamilly Queiroz Vianna
Waking up that morning was not difficult. Something new was starting. A new routine, I could say. But for dreamers like me, a new journey. Everything was ready, delays on the first day are unacceptable. I left the house at the scheduled time so that buses, traffic and other possible factors would not slow me down. I was confident. At every step, given willingly, my thinking did not leave the positive orbit. “It will be all right,” was what I thought, “I won’t do anything stupid”. When I least expect it, a stone, as all languages ​​say, “cut my cock”. I tripped so badly that I laughed at the situation myself. I believe that the day, the destination and the situation only allowed me to laugh at that moment, since no sign of sadness or bad luck would come near me that day. On the bus – always on the bus – my mind started to fly. I imagined the suits and the terms. Thin heels and killers. Rhetoric and lyric. Everything in this world attracted me. Would seeing this world from another perspective make me love it even more or make me pessimistic? My intention was to look closely. See and hear, but above all, feel and understand. After all, a decision had been made, but, as in all youth and ingenuity, the whole scope of it eluded me completely. The location was … different. A different one out of the routine, a new and striking one for eyes as curious as mine. The colors were extremely neutral in all their immensity. Everything followed a pattern. Impartiality. Usually it would bother me, since I believe that the place reflects its inhabitants. It doesn’t matter if there is beauty or not in a room, in a way, it is a giant fingerprint of its owner, it says many things about who lives there. Incredibly and surprisingly, all that neutrality seemed perfectly adequate. People, what really mattered, were simply people. Each with its shape, speech and personality. The cheerful and outgoing, the serious and imposing, the insecure and young. It’s funny that, speaking in that way, they are people we know and live with daily, but not. Each one is so unique in itself that it is difficult to describe exactly, so the qualities that are generic to us are easier to accomplish this task.
The first day. The hardest part, along with the other 2 weeks that follow. How to make? What to do? Because? Excuse. Please. Thanks. Help. Was I wrong? Pardon. That’s better. Understood? Good afternoon. See you tomorrow. When I least realized it, it was past my schedule. I thought, they say that when we do something we like, time goes by very fast. I concluded, yeah … even though I don’t know much yet, I must have liked the service. Even if I spend ten minutes thinking about a sentence, it is ten minutes of pleasure. Pleasure to learn, to discover the whys. I left there straight to the university. Finally, my choice was presenting itself to me in all its intimacy. At first, I only knew her from the outside, I could say that my choice was just a colleague. Not now. Suddenly she appeared with the most obscure secrets, with interesting conversations and with some useful tricks. The friendship between us was forming. And that stimulated me in an absurd way. I wanted to know everything. The what, for what and where. Do you know when we are taken by that feeling of fulfillment, but we cannot control it because what will fill us does not (yet) fit within us? Do you know when we come across something and feel very small and distressed? It was at that moment.
I saw the full breadth of my choice. And it was divine. And it was so right. I had made the right decision. Even with all the people, even with all the vastness of knowledge, even with the tiredness, even with the sleepless nights and the eternal desire to stay in bed on rainy mornings, it filled me. I was on the right path, I thought, on the walk to my classroom. It was okay. That step would be one of the most difficult, one of the most time consuming and one that I would never forget. Funny. There is no better feeling than that when you look back and see all the steps already up. Some think “it was no more than my obligation”, others cry, others smile. I just give that cinematic little smile
I feel grateful. I often say to myself that “after the storm comes the calm”. As much as, in a first impression, this storm has a bad face, I actually like it. It refreshes me, whether with water or wind, it comforts me, whether with the cold or the sound of its drops, it makes my day more beautiful, whether with the drops of dew or the intense blue of the sky.

I want to be able to get to the top of that staircase and say it was worth it. No matter how tired I am. It has to be worth it. Otherwise, what’s the use? Goals, dreams, call it what you want, one hour it appears and looking for it is essential, it is that filling, remember? Ah … I have proof tomorrow, time to read another thousand pages. Good afternoon!

لوحة



خوسيه أروجو دي سوزا

لتشعر بوجودك
عندما لم تعد هنا ،
لقد صنعت صورتك في ذهني
لاعتقالك معي.
جعلت ابتسامتك أكثر نقاء
بهذا الجمال ،
حتى أنني ابتسمت معك.
جعلت فمك صغيرا
لتغطيتها بالقبلات
في الليل وقتما تشاء.
لقد جعلت يديك ناعمة جدا
وضعت بهذه الطريقة
يمكنني أن أتطرق إليها.
جعلت جسدك مظلم
مناسب للجميع على الشاشة.
فعلت الرسم
بشكل رائع جدا
ومع الكثير من التفاصيل الجميلة
أنه عندما أتذكر أحلامي ، انتهى ،
بكيت بكاء حزينًا ،
مع كل حزني
ولد من غيابك.

NOT TO CRY MORE

José Araujo de Souza

I will wait for you
with all the anxiety to see you
and I miss you
again, with me.

I will wait for you
with my arms open
in a tight hug
that I will have kept, in me.

I will wait for you
without feeling any tiredness
to walk with you, step by step,
until eternity finds us.

I will wait for you
as a child waiting for affection
not to be, never again, alone
and never leave you alone, alone.

I will wait for you,
because when you come back
all joy will return with you
and my eyes never again
they will cry.

CONSCIOUSNESS


José Araujo de Souza


When my hands roam
the curves, the straight, the lumps
of your body
naked,
I don’t feel dominant,
I don’t feel sir,
I don’t even feel like your protector
in no time.
In those moments,
fast or time consuming
I know I am,
only,
the happiest of mortals.

THE DREAM OF A RIDICULOUS MAN

(FANTASTIC NARRATIVE)
(1877)

FIRST

I AM a ridiculous man. Now they almost think I’m crazy. Which would have meant taking into consideration, if he weren’t still a ridiculous man. But I don’t get bored because of that anymore, now I don’t hold a grudge against anyone and I like everyone, even if they laughed at me … yes, sir, now, I don’t know why, but I feel for all my friends. special tenderness nearby. I would be delighted to accompany you in your laughter … not precisely in that laughter at my expense, but for the affection they inspire me, if it would not make me so sorry to see you. It is a pity that they do not know the truth. Oh my God! how much does it cost to be one to know the truth! But they don’t understand it. No, they would never understand this.
At first it made me suffer a lot to look ridiculous. Not to look like him, but to be. I’ve always been ridiculous, and I’ve known it maybe since I was born. Perhaps by the time I was seven years old, I realized that it was ridiculous. Then I went to school, and then to university, but … the more I learned, the more compelled I saw myself recognizing my condition as a ridiculous creature. So that all my university studies had no other purpose than to demonstrate and explain to myself, in my meditations, that I was a ridiculous being. And in life, the same thing happened to me with science. Every year the knowledge of my ridiculous condition increased and strengthened in me, in every way. Everyone laughed at me. But no one knew, nor even suspected, that if there was a man in the world who knew how ridiculous I was, I was myself. And that was precisely what angered me most: that they didn’t know. But that was my fault. I have always been so proud that for nothing in the world I would have confessed it to anyone. And that pride was growing in me as well over the years, and if I had allowed myself to confess to someone, whoever it was, spontaneously, that he was a ridiculous man, I would have immediately shot myself in the head that afternoon. Oh, how much it made me suffer, in my youth, the fear that I might not be able to contain myself and to say it suddenly, myself, to my companions! But, as time went by, when I became a boy and, although I continue to recognize this terrible condition of mine every year, I felt more and more calm … I don’t know why … precisely because some reason that I still ignore today. Perhaps because, at that time, fear entered into my soul before a certain knowledge that was humanly higher than my self … and that was the acquired conviction that everything in this world is, after all, one.
I had sensed it for a long time, but the full conviction has only been based on my spirit in the last year and in a sudden way. I felt from one moment to the next that everything was indifferent to me, that it made me so much that the world existed or not. Little by little I was seeing and feeling that there was nothing outside of me. It seemed to me that, in fact, there had been many things in the beginning, but I also guessed afterwards that there had been nothing before, and that, if it had seemed so, it was for some reason. And little by little, I became convinced that from then on there would also be nothing. From that time until now, I stopped worrying more about mortals and almost and hardly paid attention to them again. Which did not take long to reflect on the most insignificant things, for it occurred to me, for example, when I walked the streets, bumping into everyone. And don’t think it was because I was sinking into meditations, that couldn’t be, because I already had to think about everything, everything was indifferent to me. Even if I had only given myself to problem solving! But no, not one solved it in my life, and that, having them kicked. But as he did so much, the problems left me alone.

And later on, suddenly, I learned the truth. I learned the truth in the last month of November, precisely on the third of November, and since then no detail of my life has been erased from my memory. It was on such a dark night, as dark as I have ever seen another so dark. I came home, around eleven at night, and I still remember thinking that there could be no darker and more gloomy night. Even in a physical sense. It had rained all day, but an extremely cold and boring rain, a rain that depresses the mood to the point that I still remember feeling hostility towards men. And suddenly, the rain stopped and the terrible humidity began to feel, even more humid and colder than the rain, and from all sides a kind of mist arose from every stone in the street and from each corner, when, when passing, a person started to look at the street from afar. It suddenly occurred to me to think if the lamps would have gone out, it would be much better, because with the gas lights everything became sadder, because the light showed everything. I had barely eaten that day and since it was dark I had been at an engineer ‘s house. I hadn’t opened my mouth all that time, and I guess my presence bothered them. They spoke I don’t know what, and suddenly they started to alter, getting caught up in the discussion. But, deep down, none of that interested them at all, I knew that, and if they got hot it was because they got hot. I suddenly went and said to them: “Stop arguing, that this, for you, comes to the same thing”. Instead of taking him badly, they did nothing but laugh at me. Because I had not said that to them in an air of censure, but because everything was indifferent to me. They clearly perceived that everything was indifferent to me and found it funny.
While I was thinking about the extinction of the lamps in the streets, I remembered to look up at the sky. It was tremendously dark, but thick clear clouds were clearly visible, which strayed through it, torn apart, undone, and between them, in the empty space, large black stains. I suddenly discovered a starlet in one of those spots. I stopped and started to watch her, attentive. I did it only because that little star suggested an idea to me: I decided to shoot myself in the body that same night. Two months ago he had decided it so solemnly, and, despite being as bad of money as he was, he had found a beautiful revolver, which he had carried that very day. However, two months had passed and the revolver was still in my drawer, everything was so indifferent to me that I wanted to wait for a moment when it was not so, although I ignored the reason for this postponement. And when I came home every night during those two months, I thought it was going to be the night I shot. I was always waiting for the moment. And suddenly, that little star suggested the idea to me and I decided to put the bullet in the body that night. I don’t know why the star would have suggested such an idea.

But it happened that, while looking at the sky, a girl elbowed me. The street was already deserted, completely deserted, and there was no soul in those surroundings. Just in the distance a drójki coachman slept on the box. It may be that the girl was only eight years old, she was wearing a very thin dress, as she was wearing only a scarf, she was completely soaked by the rain, but what caught my attention were her little shoes, broken and wet, in such a way who still seems to be seeing them. They jumped out at me, in a strange way. Suddenly, the little girl hit me on the arm and screamed I don’t know what. He did not cry, but he said a few words, which he could not articulate well because of the cold, as in a thief, and his whole body shivered. She was so scared, she was so scared, that in her desperation, she just babbled and screamed the same: “Mum! Bad!”. I turned to look at her, but said nothing and went on my way, she started running after me, constantly pulling me by the arm and screaming in that tone that, in frightened children, denotes despair. I know that tone. Even though the little girl did not express her conflict clearly in words, I understood that her mother was dying at home or that another horrible misfortune must have happened there, and that she had left the house to ask for help from a passerby in order to find something to help the mother with. But I did not go in the direction she was showing me, and even, on the contrary, I started to chase her away from me. At first I told him I was going to look for a night guard. But she opened both hands, imploring, and continued to run after me, sobbing, anxious. It looked like I was afraid of losing myself. I then stepped forward and suddenly I stamped my foot on the floor, and she screamed. He shouted anguish: “My rich lord, my rich lord! …” But then he stopped and, suddenly, he ran across the street, where a figure was seen, leaving me to tease another.
I went up to my fifth floor. I have a room there that I rented to a woman. It is a miserable and small room, with only a skylight in the ceiling. My furniture consists of a divan, lined with oilcloth, a table, on which I have my books, two chairs and an armchair, this one, old, very old, but very comfortable. I sit on it, turn on the light and start thinking. In the adjoining room, separated from mine only by a thin partition, the watering has been going on for three days. A retired captain lived there, who also had guests – six men. They were almost always playing with an old, greasy deck. In the previous nights they had fought, and of two of them I knew that they had pulled each other’s hair. The lady of the house thought to complain, but she didn’t dare, because she was afraid of the captain. In addition to the neighboring sites, there was also a very thin and thin lady in the house, a provincial with three young children who became ill here. Both she and the children have a ridiculous fear of the captain, and whenever they have guests they stay up all night, shivering and crossing themselves, and the little one even suffers from seizures, he is so afraid. This captain, I know very well, sometimes asks Niévski Próspekt passers-by to give alms, and is not at all concerned with getting a job, although – strange thing – during all the time he has been with me, he has never not bothered at all. It is true that I, from the beginning, avoided his coexistence, and that I did everything possible to upset him the first time he came to my cubicle, to visit me, but that they shout there in his room as much as they want … that I do not care. I spend the whole night sitting in my chair, and, to tell you the truth, I don’t even hear them … So much I can forget about them and their screams. But I stay up all night … This has been happening for a year. I sit in the armchair until it clears, and do nothing. Read, I only read during the day. I’m sitting and I don’t even think about anything, I sit quietly and let the thought wander. The light is consumed in one night. I sit down at the table, pick up the revolver and place it in front of me. I still remember that … when I put it there, I asked myself, “Yes?” And that I replied with all tranquility: “Yes”. So I decided to put a bullet in the body that same night. I knew that on that same night I would irrevocably tear the cranial box, but I did not know how long I would still be sitting there until that moment. And there is no doubt that I would have been shot in the head that night, if it weren’t for that little girl …

II

BUT SEE: despite everything being indifferent, I felt, for example, the pain, yes, the pain, I felt it. If someone had hit me, I would have felt the pain. And the same in the moral field, if something sad had happened, I would have felt pity, just as before I had become indifferent. So, that time, I felt compassion, I had no choice but to help my little one, in any case. Why hadn’t he given it to that one? Because, precisely at that moment, an idea occurred to me: when she pulled me by the arm and spoke to me, a problem arose to which I could not find an answer. It was an idle question, but it still annoyed me. It put me in a bad mood, due to the logical conclusion I had reached, the conclusion that, since I was going to blow up the box of brains, everything must be indifferent to me. But why would I suddenly feel that not everything was indifferent to me and that I felt sorry for the little one? I still remember that it inspired me with genuine pity, yes, to the point of feeling a very special pain, it inspired me pity, a pain that was absolutely unlikely and untimely, in the situation I found myself in. No, I can’t quite describe my elusive feeling back then, but that feeling was still lingering in my spirit after I entered my room and after I was already sitting at the table, and I was as agitated as I hadn’t been in a long time. One appreciation betrayed the other. However it is evident that I, despite being a man and not a zero, that is, although I have not yet become a zero, it is evident, I repeat, that I am alive … and therefore I can still be bored- me and suffer without feeling ashamed of my actions. Well. As for me … But if I, for example, kill myself within two hours, what can that poor little girl care about me and that shame and the whole world may bother me? I become a zero, an absolute zero. And it could really be the awareness that I will soon cease to exist, and, as a consequence, that everything will also cease to exist, not having the slightest influence on the feeling of piety that inspires this being, nor on the feeling of shame for the brutality that a person has incurred? It was only for this reason that I stamped my foot on the floor and let out that furious cry, because I wanted to demonstrate that I … not only did I feel no pity but was also able to commit the most inhuman rudeness, since in two hours everything would be over and there would be absolutely nothing. Will you believe me if I tell you that’s why I chased you away? I am absolutely convinced of this. At that moment it was absolutely evident to me that life and the world depended almost solely on me. I can say even more: that the world now seemed almost created to me only … because when I had shot, the world would cease to exist, at least for me. Not to mention that maybe there was really nothing left for anyone after me, and that maybe the whole world, when my knowledge was extinguished, would immediately disappear as a vision, as a simple attribute of that knowledge of mine and leave to exist, because maybe this whole world and all these men are … just me. I remember that I was abandoning all these new questions, which assault me ​​one after the other, and I was thinking something completely new to me. All of this, sitting in my chair, always thinking. And suddenly, among others, a strange thought occurred to me: if I, for example, had lived on the Moon in another time, or on the planet Mars, and committed some incredibly dishonest action there, the most dishonest I can imagine, and because of that action he had seen me outraged and dishonored there in a way that only can sometimes be seen in dreams, under the influence of a nightmare, and then, on Earth, the memory of what I had done in others would not abandon me planets, and knew, moreover, that I would never, in any way, return to those other planets – I ask then: “When I looked at the Moon, here on Earth, would everything be indifferent to me … or not? Would I be ashamed or not, then, of my actions? ”

These questions were idle or superfluous, since the revolver was there in front of my eyes, on the table, and I knew with absolute certainty that it was going to happen infallibly … But, nevertheless, these questions stung me and harassed me. It seemed to me that after all I couldn’t die without having solved these problems anyway. In short: that little girl saved me, because, because of those questions, I postponed my death. Meanwhile, in the captain’s room there was silence, the owner of the house and the guests had just finished playing and were preparing to sleep, although they did not stop grumbling or insulting themselves until the end, in their drinking. And then I suddenly fell asleep, something that had never happened to me before, sitting in the armchair, by the table. I fell asleep from one moment to the next.
As you know, dreams are a very strange thing. We perceive in them, with frightening clarity, with an artistic elaboration, certain details, while we pass others completely over, as if they did not exist, thus succeeding, for example, with time and space. I believe that dreams do not dream reason, but desire, not the head, but the heart, and yet, about what such complicated things my reason sometimes passes through, in the dream! Absolutely incomprehensible things. For example: my brother died five years ago, but I often see him in my dreams, he takes part in everything that interests me, we talk at length about everything imaginable, but at the same time, I always have the conscience and I never forget a moment that my brother has been dead and buried for a long time. But why is it that I am not surprised at all by your presence? That I am not surprised that the dead man sits next to me and that he speaks to me? Why is my reason not revolted? But that’s enough. I will now tell you about my dream. Yes, at that time I had that dream, my dream of November 3rd. You will tell me now that it was just a dream. But is it completely indifferent whether it was a dream or not, once this dream had revealed the truth to me? Because once the truth has been recognized, after it is seen, we already know that it is the only truth, that outside of it there can be no other, whether we are asleep or awake. Well, if it is a dream, for me, I admit it. But this life, which you appreciate so much, I was willing to leave it to serve suicide, while my dream, my dream … oh, my dream came to reveal a new, great life to me , Wonderful!
Attention.
III

I SAID that I had let myself fall asleep without realizing it, it seemed to me that I was doing nothing but continue to meditate on these problems. Suddenly, I take the revolver – that is, it seemed to me that I took it in my dreams, that I aim it at the heart, at the heart and not at the head, when at last I decided to shoot myself in the head, irrevocably in the head, and, for even better accuracy, in the right source. After leaning the pipe against my chest, I waited a second, just a second, and the light, the table and the wall suddenly started to fall on me and dance. I quickly pulled the trigger.
Sometimes we dream that we fall from a great height or that they kill or hit us, but we don’t feel any pain, in these cases, unless a person gets hurt in bed: in that case, yes, we feel a little pain that wakes us up. That’s exactly what happened to me in my dream then: I did not feel pain, but it seemed to me that, because of the shot, all of me … had gone and suddenly fell apart, and everything around me was plunged into dreadful darkness. I stopped, almost blind and dumb, and realized that I was lying on something hard, with my mouth up, and I saw nothing and could not make the slightest movement. And around me people passed by, screaming, I heard the captain’s voice below and the housewife’s soprano voice, and suddenly, another pause … and they start putting me in the coffin, and I feel like the My coffin bearers stagger as I walk, and I start to think about it, and suddenly I become aware for the first time that I am dead, that I am deceased, that I have no doubt, that I cannot see or move. me, although, despite everything, feel and think. But it doesn’t take long for me to resign myself, and, as we usually do in dreams, I accept reality without fighting back.

But behold, they throw me into a deep pit and bury me. Everyone leaves and I stay there alone, completely alone, which can be said absolutely alone. Before, when I started thinking about the day when they buried me, the idea of ​​the tomb was only linked to a feeling of humidity and cold. And so it was now, I felt very cold, especially at the tips of my fingers, but, in addition, I felt nothing else.
He lay in the tomb and, strange thing … he expected nothing, as he accepted without contradiction the idea that a dead man has nothing to wait for. But it was too damp. I don’t know, however, how long it would have been: if an hour, if a few or many days. When, suddenly … I hit my left eye, which had closed, a small drop of cold water, which had infiltrated through the lid of the coffin, a minute passed and a second drop splashed me, then a third, and so on. , always, from minute to minute. This produced a violent setback, and I suddenly felt a physical pain in my heart. “It’s the wound – I thought – that’s where the bullet got in.” But the droplet continued to fall every minute and always exactly in my left eye. And then I screamed, not with my voice, since I couldn’t make any movement, but with my whole being, to the author of everything that happened to me:

  • O whoever you are, if you exist and that there is something more reasonable than what happens to me, also order him to impose his dominion here. But if you want to punish me for my foolish suicide with the folly of continuing to exist, learn that nothing that is reserved for me can compare with the contempt that I will feel in silence, even though my torture and my martyrdom may last millions of years.
    I screamed like that and then I shut up. That deep silence would have lasted close to a minute and, after that time, the usual drop fell on my closed eye again, but I knew, knew in an infinite and unbreakable way, that everything would change immediately. And behold, my tomb suddenly opens. That is, I am not sure if they would have opened it to me, the fact is that an obscure being, and for me unknown, took over me, and we both went to interplanetary spaces. And suddenly I recovered my sight, it was night, deep night, and I had never, never seen such darkness. We crossed the sidereal spaces, already far from Earth. I didn’t ask my driver any questions, I expected and felt immense pride. I made sure I wasn’t afraid and almost fainted with joy when I thought I wasn’t. I don’t know how long we would have flown through spaces like this, I can’t even imagine it well, it all happened as things usually happen in dreams, going beyond the laws of reason, space and time, and everything being limited to what our heart dreams of . I remember that suddenly, in the midst of that darkness, I saw a little light.
  • Is it Sirius? – I asked him against my will, because I didn’t want to ask anything.
  • No, this is the same little star you saw among the clouds when you came home – replied the being who led me, and of which I only knew that he had a human face. But, strange thing: that being was not nice to me and inspired even a deep aversion. I had counted on absolute non-being and, based on that hypothesis, I had decided to commit suicide. And now I found myself in the arms of a being who was not, of course, a human being, but who was nevertheless a reality, and was effectively.
    “So there is a life after death! – I thought with that strange quickness of the one who sleeps, although the fundamental essence of my heart retained all its depth in me. – Since I have to exist again and again, I have to live, under a mandate of I don’t know what an unappealable will, I don’t want anyone to win or humiliate me!

“You know I’m afraid of you and that’s why you despise me,” he said suddenly to my driver. I had not been able to contain myself and had asked the humiliating question that implied confession, and I felt the pain of my embarrassment in my heart, like a stab. The being did not answer my question, but I suddenly felt that he did not despise me or laugh at me, and that he did not even feel sorry, and that our flight had a purpose, an unknown and mysterious goal, and that only interested me. . And the fear grew in my heart. Something emanated from my dumb conductor, silently but painfully, over me, and it overwhelmed my heart. We passed through obscure and ignored spheres. The known constellations had long since disappeared from my sight. I knew that in interplanetary spaces there are stars whose rays of light take thousands and even millions of years to reach Earth. But it is possible that we had already covered even greater distances. I hoped I didn’t know what, and nostalgia tortured my heart. And suddenly, a familiar, familiar feeling came to me, I saw the sun! I knew that it could not be our Sun, the father of our Earth, which gave birth to our Earth, but I understood, because I do not know that, with my being, that Sun was a Sun absolutely like ours, that it was its reproduction and its double. A sweet, uplifting feeling filled my soul with pleasure, the precious, bodily force of light that had engendered me, found an impact on my soul and made it resurrect, and I felt life, the life of yore, for the first time after of my burial.

  • Since there is the Sun and it is a Sun completely like ours – I exclaimed -, where is the Earth?
    And my companion pointed to a little star that emitted an emerald glow. We flew just over it.
  • How is it possible to have such copies in the Universe? Is this really the law of the Universe? And, if this is the Earth, tell me: it will be an Earth like ours … an Earth also deprived and poor, but no less appreciated and dear, that inspires the same painful love for your most ungrateful children, like ours Earth? – I exclaimed, trembling with a rapturous, audacious, irrepressible love for that sacred Land, the muddy and dusty Land that I had just abandoned. And the little girl’s figure, which I screamed with a scream, instantly appeared in my memory.
    “You will see with your own eyes,” replied my companion, and sadness vibrated in his voice.
    We were fast approaching the planet. It was looming before my eyes, and I could already make out the oceans, then perceive the contours of Europe, and suddenly, a great and sacred envy woke up in my heart.
  • How could a copy exist, and what is the purpose of its existence? I love and I can only love this Earth that I have just left, in which the drops of that blood still remain, how thankless! I shed when I let go of life. But never, never did I stop loving our Earth, and maybe even that night when I abandoned it would have been the moment I loved it most passionately and painfully! Is there also pain in this new Earth? In ours, can we only live with pain or thanks to it? We don’t know how to love any other way nor do we know any other love. I want pain to be able to love. Yes, at this moment I just want to be able to kiss, bathed in tears, the Earth that I abandoned! And I don’t want to, I don’t accept any other life but that of our Earth!
    But my partner had already left me. I had arrived, without realizing it, to that other Earth, in the clear sunlight of a day of paradisiacal beauty. I believe I was on one of those islands that form the Hellenic archipelago, if it was not, perhaps, some point on the coast that surrounds the Aegean Sea there. Oh! It was everything just like us, everything just seemed to be in a firm disposition and to shine in a great victory, holy and finally conquered. The smooth, dark blue sea beat gently against the coastline and girded itself with immense, visible and almost unconscious love. The shadowy trees appeared in all the splendor of their flowering, and I am convinced that their innumerable leaves welcomed me with their light and friendly whisper, murmuring ignored words of love. The grass was very fresh and shiny; birds flocked through the air, and the birds landed me, without fear, on their shoulders and arms, and gave me cheerful pats with their trembling wings, and finally, I looked and recognized the men of that one too. Happy land. People came to me spontaneously; they surrounded me and kissed me. They were children of the Sun, children of their Sun … Oh, and how beautiful they were!

I have never seen such beautiful men on our Earth. At most we can find in children, in their youngest years, a weak and distant reflection of such beauty. These happy men had clear, bright faces. In his face there was intelligence and a knowledge that, allow expression, seemed complete even to tranquility, and yet these faces breathed a special uproar; both the words and the voice of these men showed childlike joy. Oh, the first look I landed on those faces, I understood everything, everything! That was the Earth, the Earth untainted by original sin, in which men who had no sin lived, and lived in a Paradise identical to that in which, according to all the traditions of mankind, our first parents lived before the “fall”, without the slightest difference, except that the whole earth was, everywhere, a single Paradise. Those men approached me with affection, smiled and caressed me; they took me to their home and everyone tried hard to reassure me. Oh, they didn’t ask me any questions; they seemed to know everything, and they only yearned to chase away, as soon as possible from my face, every trace of pain.

IV

NOW SEE: Let us admit that all of this was just a dream. But the feeling of love, which those beautiful and innocent men showed me, lingers on me through time, and I feel how that love, already distant, falls on me. I saw them, met them, loved them, and later, I suffered for them. Oh! I understand, and I understood it from the first moment, that I could not understand them in many things; it seemed incomprehensible to me, as it seems to contemporary Russian progressives and bad petersburgers, the fact that, knowing as much as they knew, they did not possess our science. But I was not late in proving that his science was nurtured by knowledge different from that of Earth, and that his concerns were also of a different nature. They had no desires; they were calm and content; they did not aspire, as we do, to know life, because their life was completely filled. But her knowledge was deeper and higher than our science, because our science seeks to explain life, it intends to cement it itself, to show men how to live, and this I understood, whereas they already know how to live, and I understand this, even though I cannot understand their science. They showed me their trees, but I could not feel the greatness of the love with which they beheld the same way as they did: as if the trees were men. And see: I may not be fooled into saying that they even spoke to them. Yes, they knew their language and I am convinced that the trees understood them. And they looked in the same way all the rest of Nature and the animals that lived peacefully with them, and, far from attacking them, they loved them, overcome by their love. They would point to others and tell me anything I didn’t understand; but I am convinced that they were in relationship with the stars of Heaven, not through thought, but in another way. Oh, those men did not strive for me to understand them; they loved each other without needing it; but besides that, I knew that they would never understand me either, and that’s why I never told them about our Earth.

I limited myself to kissing the Earth in which they lived before them, and to worshiping it, and they saw this and let me do it, without saying anything, without being ashamed that I loved it at the same time as they did. They did not suffer because of me, when, devastated with tears, I kissed their feet, because I knew the love with which they paid me. Sometimes I asked myself, astonished: how could they offend a man like me, once, or how could they arouse a feeling of envy or jealousy in me either? Sometimes I also asked myself how I, as if I were a fraud and deceiver, did not communicate some of my knowledge, which, of course, they had no idea, to make them fall in amazement, or simply because their love … They were bonacheirões and jovial like children. They roamed among their magnificent woods and flowering meadows, singing beautiful songs, and supported themselves from the fruits of the trees and the milk of the animals that accompanied them. They cared very little about food and clothing. Love also existed between them and they begat children; but I never realized that they were victims of those raptures of cruel lust, which take over almost all the men of this Earth of ours, all, without exception, and which constitute the sole source of almost all the sins of our humanity. They rejoiced with the newborns, as new co-participants in their happiness. They knew neither the fight nor the envy, and they didn’t even know what that was. The children of others were also their children, for they were all one family. They had almost no disease, counting on death; and their old people were extinguished gently, as if sleeping, surrounded by loved ones, pouring out blessings, smiling and accompanied by their clear and happy looks.
I have never seen pain or tears at the head of a dying man, but a love exalted to ecstasy, to a calm and pure fervor. One could almost believe that even after death they remained in communication with their dead, and that she did not interrupt her earthly life. They hardly understood me when I asked them about eternal life; but apparently they were so convinced of its existence that they did not for a moment remember to question it. They had no temples, but they maintained a vital identification with the Whole; they professed no belief, but they were convinced that, when their earthly joys had reached the limits of earthly nature, a more intimate contact with the Whole would come to all of them, both the living and the dead. They waited happily for that moment, but they neither longed for it to arrive nor suffered because of it, they already had their anticipated enjoyment in their soul, and communicated it to each other. At night, before falling asleep, they sang in harmonious choirs. In these afternoon songs, they expressed the feelings they experienced during the day, and they boasted and cherished the day that had passed, saying goodbye to him. They praised Nature, the Earth, the sea and the forests. They praised and praised each other in their songs, just as children praise; his songs were simple, but they put his heart in them and they reached the hearts. And not only in their songs, but in their whole life, they did nothing but love one another. It was, in fact, a life of mutual love, a great life, universal love. But some of his songs, which had a triumphant and inspired expression, I could not understand. As much as he understood its lyrics, it could not penetrate all its meaning. They were intangible for my reason, even though they penetrated deeper and deeper into my heart, without me being able to realize what was going on. I used to tell them that I had already guessed all this; that already on our Earth the presentiment of that whole adventure, that joyful song of praise, had made me experience a sterile and sometimes excessive enthusiasm; that I had seen it all in my soul’s dreams and in my senses; that far away, on our Earth, the sunset had brought tears to me more than once; that there had always been pain in my hatred for the men of our Earth. Why couldn’t I hate them, since I didn’t love them; why couldn’t I forgive them, why did it make me suffer to love them, why could I love them by hating? They listened to me, and I saw clearly that they could not imagine any of this, but I did not regret having spoken to them about these things; I knew that they understood all the power of my nostalgia for those I had abandoned. Yes, when I felt his diaphanous and pleasant look resting on me, pierced with love, I felt how among them my heart also became pure and innocent like yours, I did not regret not being able to understand them. I lacked the breath, because I felt the fullness of life so intensely, and I was silent worshiping them.

Oh! everyone now laughs in my face and tells me that nothing similar to what I am describing can be seen; that, in my dream, I did nothing more than experience a feeling elaborated by my own heart and that all these details should have architected them later, already awake. And when I agreed and said that it could be that they were right … God knows the laughter, the hilarity that my words provoked. Naturally, I was just overwhelmed by the feeling of the dream, and only this single feeling lingered in my bleeding heart. But, in addition, the real visions and figures of my dream, that is, those that I had seen precisely during the time of my dream, kept such harmony among themselves, they were so perfect, so charming, seductive and beautiful, that, waking up, of course, was unable to bring them back to life in our poor language. So, of course, they had to fade in my conscience and fade away, and maybe that was why I really felt obliged to imagine the details afterwards, to which I would have decidedly commissioned the mission to reproduce, given my passionate desire, which was, in a way at least, the main feeling. But nevertheless, why not believe that everything was real? It could be a thousand times better, more radiant and beautiful than I describe. It may have been a dream, but it is not possible that it was completely. Look, I’m going to trust you with a secret: maybe all of this wasn’t even a dream away. For something like this happened, something so real until saturation, that a person could not even have dreamed it! It may be that it was my soul that engendered that dream; but how could she have engendered this terrible truth that I later felt? How could I have imagined it or my heart dreams of it alone? Could it be possible that my petty little heart and my humble and capricious reason could have led to such a revelation of the truth? Oh! Judge yourselves for yourselves; so far I haven’t talked about the case, but now I’m going to tell the whole truth.
The conclusion was that I had … spoiled it all.

V

YES YES; the conclusion was that I screwed up. How it was … is that I don’t know. I no longer remember how it happened. The dream lasted thousands of years and just left me with an overall impression … I just remember that it was me who fell from original sin. Like an amazing trinquine, like a pestiferous bacillus that devastates the Earth, so I devastated that whole innocent and happy Earth. Those men learned to lie, took a liking to the lie and recognized how beautiful they were. Oh !, it could be that, at first, they did it innocently, for pure game, for fun, that it was just a bacillus; but this lie atom took root in their hearts and was to their liking. It was not long before voluptuousness derived from it, and this voluptuousness engendered envy, and this, cruelty. Oh! I don’t know, I don’t remember how, but it was not long before the first drop of blood spilled; at first they only felt astonishment; but then they got scared and started to walk away from each other. Censorship and incrimination came. They knew shame and erected it in virtue. The concept of honor arose and each group joined in the shadow of its flag. They began to torture the animals, and the animals moved away from them, went into hiding in the woods and became their enemies. The struggle for separation, individualization, personality, “yours” and “mine” began. They started to speak several languages. They knew the pain and took its taste; they longed for suffering and said that the truth was only bought at the price of martyrdom. Then science came. As they had become evil, they spoke of brotherhood and humanity, and understood these ideas. As they had become criminals, they invented justice and drafted codes to enclose it in them, and, to ensure compliance with those codes, they raised the guillotine. They barely remembered what they had lost and did not want to believe that they had ever been innocent and happy. They even laughed at the possibility of their past happiness and called it a fantastic dream.

They could not even have an idea of ​​that state, and, moreover, something strange happened: now that they had lost all faith in past happiness and classified it as fantasy, they went so far as to be innocent and happy again that they they knelt like children before their hearts’ desires; they worshiped these desires, built temples for them and prayed to their own idea, to their own “will”, while continuing to believe, with an unshakable conviction, in the possibility of fulfilling and fulfilling that idea, just of begging for it from them. knees. And yet … if it could have been the case that they returned again to that innocent and blissful state that they lost; if someone had consulted them, asking them: “Do you want to go back to him?”, they would have resolutely replied that they did not. They said to me: “Well, we will be liars, bad and unjust; we know it and regret it, and that is our torture, and perhaps that is why we torment and punish ourselves more than this merciful Judge who will judge us in the future, but whose name is unknown to us, would do. But, on the other hand, we have science, and thanks to it we must find the truth again, and then we will accept it with conscience. Knowledge is above feeling; the knowledge of life … above life itself. Science will make us omniscient; omniscience knows all laws, and knowledge of the law of happiness … is above happiness itself. ” That was how they spoke to me, and, judging by these words, each of them became more fond of himself than of the others; he had valued himself more than anything in the world; yes … and it could not have been otherwise. They all became so jealous of their selves that each one was eager to demean, oppress and diminish the self of others, by all possible means, and that was the only thing about his life. Slavery developed and even voluntary slaves emerged; the weak submitted with pleasure to the strongest, but with the proviso that they help them to subdue the weaker than themselves. Prophets appeared among them who spoke to them of their weeping pride, of the loss of measure and the harmony of the feeling of modesty. But they laughed and made fun of these prophets and ended up polishing them. Sacred blood flowed over the threshold of the temple. But there were also men who began to discuss how to bring them all together again, without, however, ceasing to want themselves more than anyone, nor to harm others, so that everyone would thus live again. common, forming a single friendly and agree society. This idea was, among them, the cause of great wars. All the belligerents believed at the same time that science, omniscience and the instinct of conservation itself would finally compel men to unite in a reasonable and reasonable society, for which, however, the “omniscient” endeavored, in order to to speed things up, by exterminating all non-omniscient people and those who did not understand his idea, lest they be an obstacle to his triumph. But it was not long before the general feeling of conservation diminished and voluptuous and proud people appeared who openly proclaimed that they wanted everything or nothing. Achievements of all kinds were recorded, and when they achieved nothing with them … the remedy of suicide remained. There were religions devoted to the cult of non-being and annihilation itself, in honor of eternal rest in nothingness. Until, finally, those men got tired of their absurd efforts and in their faces the pain was reflected, and they proclaimed: pain is beauty, because only pain has meaning. And they sang the pain in their poems. I was in an agitation among them, wringing my hands and crying; but he loved them, however, and perhaps more than before, when there was still no pain on his face and they were beautiful and innocent. The Earth stained by them then seemed to me more valuable than before, when it was a paradise, and that was only because the pain had appeared on it. Oh, I have always loved pain and sadness, but only for me, only for me! But, as they were suffering now, he wept with compassion.

I extended my hands to them and, in my despair, accused me, cursed me and despised myself. I told them that it was all my doing; that I, just me and no one else, was to blame for everything. That I had taken them corruption, plague and lies. I asked them to crucify me, I taught them to set up a cross and to lift it. I couldn’t kill myself; I didn’t have the courage to do it; but I wanted to suffer torment at the hands, I longed to spill my blood to the last drop in the torment. But they did nothing more than laugh at me, ending up saying that I was a crazy nut. They even defended me, saying that they had now no more than what they had wanted, and that all this had happened because it had, inevitably, to happen. Finally, they declared that I was a danger to them, and that, therefore, they had decided to lock me up in a mental institution, if I did not give up my sermons. When I heard them say this, the pain was so great that it pierced my soul that my heart was confused and I felt myself die, and … it was then that I woke up from my dream.
*
It was already morning; the sun had not yet risen, it was six in the morning. I woke up in my chair; the light had gone out completely; in the adjoining room the captain and his people slept, and in the house there was a strange silence. At first I shuddered, amazed; nothing similar had ever happened to me; even small things impressed me; for example, he had never fallen asleep like that, in the chair. And then … as I stood up and just woke up, I suddenly looked at the revolver, the loaded revolver, but at the same moment I threw it away. Oh, life, great and sacred life! I opened my arms and invoked eternal truth; sobbed; enthusiasm, immeasurable enthusiasm filled my whole being. Yes, life and … annunciation! The announcement was decided for me at that very moment … decided for my whole life. I will go, I will go and I will announce! What? … The truth, once I saw it, I saw it with my own eyes, and I recognized all its magnificence!
And since then I announce the good news! … I love you all, and, more than anyone, those who laugh at me. Why do I love these more? I don’t know, nor can I explain it, but that’s how it is. They say I am mistaken … But if I am mistaken now, how will it be further on? Yes, they are probably right; I am mistaken and the more I am, the worse it may be. I will probably still make a mistake frequently, until I learn how to preach, that is, with what words and with what acts, because it is difficult to know. Now it is as clear to me as light; but listen to one thing: who doesn’t make a mistake? And yet, they all struggle for the same object; everyone, from the sage to the last criminal, simply proceeds differently. This is an old truth; but here’s another new one: I can’t be so wrong. For I saw the truth, I know it; men can become beautiful and happy without having to stop living on Earth. I do not want nor can I believe that evil is the normal state of man. But they make fun of my belief. They don’t believe me! I saw the truth! Not that I discovered it with my intelligence, no: I saw it, what is called seeing, and its living face filled my soul for all eternity. I saw it in such complete integrity that … how could I now believe that this truth cannot exist among men as well? And how, how could I be mistaken? You may be a little disoriented, you may also use strange words, but this should not last long; the living image of what I saw will live in me forever and will serve as a guide and a guide. Oh, I am very happy and hopeful, and I will not tire of walking, even though I have been on a pilgrimage for a thousand years. Look: at first, I wanted to hide from you that I had been the cause of his doom; but that would have been a fault on my part … because then we already had the first fault. But the truth told me in my ear that I lied, saved me from error and led me on the right path. But I couldn’t find out how they got to Heaven, because I can’t express it in words. I lost the words in the dream. At least all the necessary words, the most accurate. But it does not matter; I will walk through these worlds and announce the good news, since I saw it with my own eyes, although I cannot express what I saw. But this is precisely what the mockers cannot understand. “He had a dream, as he says; a feverish delusion, a hallucination. ” Ah! Is that wise? And they are all swollen. A dream? But what is a dream? Is our life not a dream? Wait, I’ll tell you more. Well, let us admit that this will never happen and that this paradise will never become a reality (I admit this myself!); well, because, despite everything, I will continue announcing the good news. And yet, how simple that would be! In one day, in one hour, everything would change. Love humanity as yourself! That’s all; this is all and nothing more is needed; then you will know how to live. And besides, there is only one truth … an ancient, ancient truth, but one that needs to be repeated over and over again, and that until now has not taken root in our hearts. The knowledge of life is above life; knowledge of the law of happiness … is above happiness itself … This is what you must fight against. And I will fight it! If everyone wanted, everything would change on Earth in a moment.
But I’m still looking for that young girl … And I continue, I continue ….

END


THE PREBOSTE TALE

A. J. Cronin
It was St. Silvester’s night – the eve of Scotland’s biggest festival – and a compact audience was getting ready, at the Levenford Philosophical Club, to see the New Year enter. The partners treated the guests without ceremony, and abandoning any and all thoughts of deep debates, consented to spend those hours in affable conversation. Many songs had been sung and many stories told, interspersed with spontaneous lectures, until, in the middle of the evening, a pause fell in the noisy and clear room. It’s just that John Leckie had started talking. Leckie had been preboste of the borough for more than thirty years, and was now a taciturn old man, of eighty years, only appearing in the club on solemn occasions, in order to honor him with his presence of oldest member. He then sat in his special corner, remaining silent, apparently distant. I would not stop talking, however, at the right time. Now, for example, interrupting a conversation that cursed the recent change in weather at Levenford, he said: – You are talking about the thaw. Well, I can tell you a story about a thaw that happened a long time ago. A helpful whisper of encouragement rose from the audience. Then he paused, removed the pipe from his lips, fixed a watery and evocative look on his listeners and kept them attentive as he spoke. – There are not many people here tonight who remember Marta Lang, but in my day no woman in this parish was better known. At the end of the last century, she owned a small tobacconist on the corner of Rua da Igreja and Rua Dobbie. This property was extinguished when the road was widened, in order to extend the trams further into the city – that thing twenty years ago. But in any case, it was where Marta kept her shop. Some called her “Marta Trigueira”; others, “Marta da Bíblia”; however, only on her back, because face to face, no one would dare take freedom with Marta Lang. If she looked like a shadow in the darkness of her store, that darkness was not something that hovered in her spirit. There was an expression on his narrow, pale face that hurt and stunned us – a kind of bitter, hard spark that came out like fire from his deep black eyes. Certain people were afraid of her, and others hated her, but everyone agreed that she was the right woman and the right one. Shop not very attractive there, no! The small window, with greenish-glass lattices, seemed too low to contain the image of a East Indian brig, which swayed over it, and all it supported were three vaults arranged in a solemn row. The hard door creaked as it opened. Windy interior. It looked like an apothecary’s shop, with its counter, its small metal scale and its row of blue and white jars; but there was a certain severe silence, being too cold in the winter and extremely hot in the summer. There was no point for us to linger, no. Wall and a half with the store was the kitchen of Marta’s house; he had a window that looked out on Rue Dobbie, not counting another in the dividing wall, a kind of hatch, so to speak, allowing the store to be seen from the kitchen and vice versa, as the case may be. At the time I am referring to, Marta’s husband had been lying dead and buried for fifteen years. A long time! She had stayed with a son, a boy named Geordie. When Marta was widowed, the child was three years old, and had to raise him alone. If you created it! The term “severe” is not enough to describe the way she treated him. Never did a flicker of human affection sparkle in those black eyes. For those who dared to blame her on this, Marta had a useful answer, throwing chapters and verses from Ecclesiastes at them. Yes, he was rude and harsh with his son, in everything and for everything. So Marta and her son were living there. By the time the horrible thing I am going to tell you happened, Geordie was eighteen years old. He was a robust young man, with broad shoulders, outstretched arms, shooting in large red hands. And what a pleasant and frank face! Still, a kind of simple, placid expression had settled on his face, as if the lump had been flayed from there when he was a child. He worked at the shipyard as an apprentice engineer. In the winter of 1895 a wild frost fell on the region. The roads were like iron, the dam had frozen, some nights it was 12 degrees below zero, in the morning there was a layer of ice in the jar and the porridge cooled before we took it. Two days before Christmas, I was at about six thirty in the afternoon at Marta’s store when Geordie came in from the kitchen. As soon as Marta caught sight of him, she clattered the jar and asked him, in her harsh manner: “Where are you going?” “I thought of going around the dam,” he replied, with his notorious humility, as he rocked his skates, holding them in his hand by the straps. – Didn’t you leave last night? She replied. – Can’t you find a more profitable job to entertain yourself? Geordie apologized, alluding to the advantage of exercising, but all the while she heard him without raising a frown. At last she looked up suddenly, and it was as if the sight of her son was taking her away. “Then try to get in before the clock strikes nine,” he declared dryly. – And be careful with the companies … As Geordie’s path coincided with mine, we went down the road together. Despite the cold, the night was excellent. The clanking of Geordie’s skates – they had been his father’s, imagine you, and that was the only way he could have them – produced a pleasant, clear clang. He was very fond of skating, you see, and he was an expert and hard skater. The truth was that at Levenford, no one matched him. At the corner of Rocio we said good night. There he went to the ice, and I headed for the fireplace. I didn’t see Geordie for two or three days. Christmas passed and the harsh winter continued all that time. The people said that this could not continue. While they talked briefly at the crossroads, they stamped their feet on the ground, asserting that the ice had to break without delay, as in other worse frosts. But it lasted! … It lasted fierce and hard, and in the middle of the week they sent word to Darroch that the bay was all frozen, something that had not happened in the last seven years. I was at Marta’s store earlier than usual, as I remember that the barracks trumpet had sounded five and a half hours. I had already taken my dose of tobacco, had already put it in my pocket and paid for it. He was just exchanging two prose fingers with Marta; not that I took great pleasure in it, but in my capacity as a foreman it was more convenient than ever to keep myself safe from Marta’s scathing tongue. She was behind the counter, handed over to her everlasting mail, and I remained standing in the far corner, when suddenly the door flew open and Geordie burst out. He was so worried about what he was going to say, that he didn’t even see me, and he shouted at once: “Mother, the bay is freezing over a huge expanse that goes all the way to Ardmurren Island.” – And what benefit does this have for me or for you? – she replied knitting, knitting endlessly. Geordie looked down at the boots, showing off. And he replied: – There will be a race! – Running! She repeated sharply, as if doubting her own ears. He dropped the knitting and gave his son a dark look. But Geordie went on, excited: – Well, don’t you know, Mother? Race to dispute the Winton trophy. They are waiting for me to participate. Don’t you mind that I take part? Now I knew what Geordie was up to. The race on top of the ice, leaving Markinch, bypassing Ardmurren Island and returning to the starting point. It was a historic race, given to the people of the region and instituted by the Earl of Winton a long time ago … some claimed that it had taken place for the first time when Rob Roy was in full swing … The Earl had offered a kind of trophy as a prize: a stuffed deer head, mounted on oak, on top of a silver shield. Although the race was rarely carried out, the old custom still remained, and some gave it great appreciation. Anyway, I could see that Marta was suspicious of what her son meant, because she glared at him and exclaimed: – Have you lost your mind? Geordie explained: – But they consider me the best in town, and it will be Saturday the day of São Silvestre, so that I won’t have to miss work. It will be … it will be an honor. – Honor, yes! Black dishonor should you say. Is he still a boy who doesn’t know what that means? A meeting point for the wicked in the immediate vicinity! Fights and drinking among corrupt and sinful men. And, above all, a race with iniquity contractors betting stupidly on the winner! I was concerned with that in my youth, before enjoying the divine grace. He made an effort and calmed down: – No, no! You will not take part in such a denial, in full light in the face of God! “But, Mom, I won’t bet a ceitil or drink a drop,” said Geordie. – All I want is just skating representing the city. – Do you think you can pick up tar without getting dirty? Geordie’s lip rolled down, like a child’s. And he grunted: – Why do you live like this to humiliate me? Treat me like a dog. Marta’s face tightened. – Go back inside! He shouted, pointing to the kitchen. – You will not go to any race! And cover him with fiery and disgraceful disgrace, since he dared to raise his voice against his mother! He gave her a rather dismayed look, and despite his size, he bowed his head and withdrew, as she had ordered, with a shrug. After her son left, Marta sucked in air through her teeth. His face was livid, though somewhat triumphant. The week continued, as did the excessive cold, which towards the end of the week seemed to stiffen its scythes, like the final trismus of an agonizing one. On the eve of São Silvestre some snowflakes fell, falling from a cloudy sky. People prophesied a snowy end of the year, but the morning of the last day broke clear, and all that remained of the snow was a remnant that sprinkled nooks and crannies, like sugar. The sun came up, round and red, as if ashamed to have been away so long. And as it went up in the sky, it became brighter and more vigorous. The race date has arrived. I had no great interest in the case, but the day was bright, the feeling of the change of year hanging in the air, and when the bailiff Weir invited me to follow him to Markinch, I easily agreed. So we left after lunch, and arrived in Markinch very early. The only street in the village – usually so empty that a dog could sleep in the middle of it with the utmost safety – was buzzing with people moving, laughing and heading together towards the hard white layer of ice that bordered the beach. In the vicinity of the frozen cove they had put up some tents, and the crowd was crowding around those tents, very lively. Almost two hundred people were grouped on top of the ice. When race time approached, general excitement increased. At three o’clock the competitors left their tent, heading for the clear space that formed the starting point. There were six young men, and they started skating around there, tracing circles and making short pitches across the track in order to untangle the limbs. I must tell you straight away that when I saw them my eyes almost fell out of my head, for I found Geordie between them. Incredible as it was, it was. Geordie Lang was there! There was a strange and nervous air about him, as if he were both happy and sad to be there. I have already told you that he was a tall, but placid boy, and now he was frightened and dizzy, as if he did not know how he came to be in Markinch. The truth is, the bailiff and I went over there and talked to Geordie. I hadn’t told Weir anything I knew, and besides, he wasn’t Marta’s customer. He asked, “So, how do you feel, Geordie?” – I feel in a good mood, thank you, Mister Weir. – How is it? Are you all excited and in order? Better day for that they couldn’t have. “Better or not, whatever, because I will never win,” said Geordie bleakly. “It is half a victory for you to have convinced your mother,” I said, patiently. – I was afraid she wouldn’t let you come. Geordie made no reply. He heard what I said, but he pretended he hadn’t. I noticed rapid movement in his red eyebrows. I realized then that he got out of gear, rocking to the race against his mother’s will. And that’s what happened, in fact. He had come straight from work, not going to the house for dinner. You can see how much Geordie liked skating. Good heavens, how much anguish I felt, thinking about the sadness he would have on returning home, whether he lost or won, entering with or without the trophy! Meanwhile, Weir continued to speak: – Take care when you are going around the island. Don’t turn too wide, otherwise you’ll lose distance, do you hear? And always stay in the middle. You will have the smoothest ice. Geordie nodded nonchalantly, as if to say, “Anyway, now I’m in it.” But what he said was: – I’m going to work hard. It’s the most I can do. – Good luck then, boy! Weir cried. The three of us looked at Ardmurren, which stood like a noisy hill on the wide, flat. It was three miles away, in the middle of the cove, but it was so clear, in the intense light, that we could see the scarlet races over the distant holly. The six lined up competitors were preparing for the match, in their straw-marked places. The crowd remained silent, but breathless. Geordie was leaning forward, his lips pursed, and I could see the cold sweat that clamped his forehead. With or without foundation, it made me shiver to look at him, but it was difficult for me to stop looking at him. Two of the other skaters I knew by name. The one in the middle, Big Callum, was an athlete who had won medals in mast throws at the Luss Games – which is not a small thing – and he seemed not even apprehensive. Next to him was Dewar, a reinforced big boy who tightened his belt and chewed tobacco in order to recover. The other three boys at the end of the line did not inspire much of a chance, but by their respective ways they gave the impression that they were going to try. After all, they were ready. Colquhoun, the guard, who was supposed to give the start signal, put the hunting rifle on his shoulder and raised his nose to the sky. The crowd held their breath. Colquhoun yelled: – Are you ready, boys? I saw Geordie clench her teeth, intertwine her huge red hands, and at that the shotgun fired, giving the start signal. The skates started to crush the ice. The gang left. The crowd shouted. The start was good, and the six boys charged down the flat track, over that expanse, flitting like a flock of birds through a sea of ​​glass. The clang of his skates had such a whirring of wings that it sounded like a whistle. – Great, great match! There is nothing to criticize! Exclaimed someone. Nothing unusual happened in the first mile. Then, in a kind of gradual advantage, Callum started to stand out from the rest. He was not a graceful skater, but he was very vigorous and advanced with wild throws from his strong legs. – Callum up front! It was ten yards away! The guardian shouted, watching through binoculars. Callum’s name echoed in the air. – Dewar in second! The others make a mess! So they went on for another mile. Then they approached Ardmurren, heading there like an arc to a target. Now they were in a long column, and the six hid themselves from view as they skirted the island. A kind of sigh, like a gust of wind, erupted from the crowd as soon as the skaters were gone. Then there was a cry of encouragement when the first man reappeared. – Callum came around first! Callum comes first! Beside me, the bailiff Weir stood on tiptoe. In his good days he had been a blood man, and now he looked purple. He shouted at me: – Did you notice? Lang went right into the curve. Now come inside, as I advised. Far, far away, as I could see, Geordie came in third, behind Dewar and Callum. The speed was too much for the rest. They dragged themselves behind, a long distance away. But Geordie was doing very well, with easy momentum from her slender legs. There was no doubt that he was a graceful, splendid skater. All the while the crowd was in an uproar. But I, for one thing, was not excited. I weighed something. I couldn’t explain what it was or how I felt, but there was no doubt that there was some fear and some apprehension. There they came, getting closer and closer. Halfway up, you could see, even at a distance, that Callum was getting tired. Dewar had managed to force him, close to his heels, coming up with the short, fast style he had. Callum accelerated the momentum, but could not get rid of the other. Dewar and Callum erupted, almost parallel. Then Callum started to falter. The crowd was still feverish, half shouting Callum’s name and the other half instigating Dewar, so excited about both that he forgot about Geordie. But the magistrate was attentive to him. – Look at him, look at that! Is coming! Undoubtedly Geordie lengthened its already long legs, and came like a gust of wind. The people of Levenford, who wanted the victory of their representative, started to make a squeaky noise, shouting: – Geordie! Come on! Come on, Geordie! Of course, Geordie couldn’t hear them, but he was coming. And before he could blink, behold, he passed so quickly between Callum and Dewar, that they seemed to retreat. They were two, five, ten yards ahead of him. A mile from the finish, he was about twenty yards ahead. Geordie! Geordie Lang! The crowd roared, clapping and shouting and throwing caps in the air. As I told you, in the midst of all that shouting I felt an unpleasant oppression. The bigger the shouting, the worse my malaise. I can’t tell if it was due to Marta’s idea or the strange expression on Geordie’s face, but I was afraid that something awful might happen. It really happened. Half a mile from the finish, when Geordie was already well ahead of the others, suddenly, and without warning, there was a crash capable of paralyzing people’s hearts, a dreadful noise, similar to the doomsday burst, and which interrupted the noise as if cutting him off. God only knows the infinite number of stories about ice breaking and skating submersion. But it differs from everything else, as hell differs from heaven. I saw it with my eyes, and the memory still gives me chills. The ice broke, and Geordie penetrated the crack like a stone. A second before it flapped like a bird … in the second it was sipped by a hissing hole, which poured dark water like cancerous fluid. The others, who came after him, turned away like crazy things. Only Geordie was sipped. It all happened a second before we could breathe. A kind of gasp went up from the crowd, then a lament, and finally a hideous cry of horror. Weir’s bloody face went white as a sheet. – Almighty God! Shouted Colquhoun, who then threw the shotgun back and ran over the ice. A certain panic was established, there was a great rush by the beach, but some of us followed the guard. It was a terrible, horrendous affair! When we reached the site, there was no sign of Geordie. As we tried to get close to the broken shore, there was such a crackle that collapsing would terrify the most intrepid heart. People came from the village with ropes and a ladder, but we could not see even a hint of Geordie. Then Callum yanked the skates off. He knew Geordie very well, and was desperate for distress. He exclaimed: – I will take it off! I will take it out! They tied a rope around Callum, after which he slipped down the stairs and into the icy water. It was the most courageous thing I have ever seen. He went down once, twice, three times. And this last time, when he came up with a livid face, grinding his teeth, his hair matted over his forehead, he came with Geordie in his arms. You have never heard a cry like the one that arose then. And the most distressing thing was to be a useless cry! Geordie was dead. We try a lot of resources when we extend it on the dike. All things possible, for an hour. Everything was in vain. He must have ground his head against the block of ice, but whatever the cause, he lay there, cold and inert on the cove beach. It was a hideous business, and there was a terrible hustle and bustle. This one said one thing, that one proposed another. There was a great stir against Colquhoun, who was responsible for the preparations and arrangements and announced that the race was viable. The guard was very distressed, and he kept swearing before me that he had gone to Ardmurren twice that morning. True, yes. But you didn’t think to go around the island and go back in the middle, where the ice was thinner, understand? And the heat of the sun had taken him away. Now, what happened happened, there was no remedy. Much less had the time and place to throw nicknames. And I, as a candidate, had the right to give my opinion. I reduced them to silence, and the conclusion was that poor Geordie’s body was placed in a cart on the estate, covering it with due consideration. Then, with Weir’s cabriolet at the front, we started back to Levenford. Oh my God! Imagine our shaking path in the sunlight, and you will understand how exhausting and annoying our work was. The bailiff and I didn’t exchange a single word on the way back. We had to think about Marta now, and what she was going to tell us. Not that I feared his suffering, no. Today I am an elderly man, and I can speak frankly: what I feared was the unruly bitness of his tongue. Well, when we approached Levenford the sky was all cloudy, and a light rain attacked us. You must calculate that my mission was not to my liking at all. So that when we entered Rua da Igreja my eyes popped when I saw the parson walking slowly along the flagstones. It was exactly the usual time when on Saturdays he went to Marta’s tobacconist. I called him as soon as I saw him. The parish priest was a little man with glasses, a little hunchbacked, always around with his books, but an excellent creature, both in the pulpit and outside. He didn’t know how to quibble, and as soon as he saw that it was his duty to accompany us to Marta’s house, he closed his jaws and followed us to the store. Now, I do not know how to pretend what I am not. He was overwhelmed with what he had seen on the beach, and he didn’t have the stomach to put up with more. When the parish priest and I entered that pharmacy, my heart hammered my ribs. Marta was inside, standing behind the counter, waiting for her son who had disobeyed her. You could tell by the look in her eyes that she was willing to punish him … not with children, but with scorpions. Before we could speak, she went out to meet us. Seeing us together, he suspected that we had come to intercede in favor of Geordie, for participating in the race. He immediately cried: – It is useless to come and beg me to forgive you. He traced his destiny himself! A chill ran through me when I heard those words. “Marta, listen, woman,” said the vicar, in a placid voice. – You must forgive your son. – I do not forgive him until he kneels … until I beg my forgiveness. Her eyes looked at him, daring. But the vicar did not hesitate. “I urge you to forgive your son,” he insisted. “Either try to do that now, or you’ll be sorry for the rest of your days.” A repel contracted Marta’s face, which replied vehemently: – Only after I have punished him for what he did. – Punish him, he will not do … because it’s all over. Then he told what had happened. There was a kind of constriction on Marta’s chin, which still said out loud: – I don’t believe it. You are lying, to scare me and free you. I will punish my son. As soon as these words came out of his mouth, the door opened. The men had arrived with the cart, and in the face of the crowd that had gathered there, in the rain and so many other things, they found it preferable to drop the cargo inside without delay. When they came in, staggering a little, because the weight was too much, and the ground was uneven, I looked as if I was struck, unable to take my eyes off Marta. In a glimpse she saw everything. Her face was like stone, her eyes looked sore in the midst of that strange lividness, and her expression was that of an astonished woman. It didn’t move. Absolutely! Even when they passed her in the direction of the kitchen, Marta remained stiff, frowning on the wall, as if struggling with her own breath. They were trying to get poor Geordie into the upstairs room, but they couldn’t quite get up the stairs. It was then that she suddenly parted her lips, saying out loud and pointing to the kitchen sofa: – Put him there. They put him where she ordered. “Now leave me alone,” he exclaimed, in a terrifying voice. – Leave me alone! Good heavens! I tell you how relieved I felt to be sailing out there. The vicar was the last to leave the store. He stood for a while, looking at her, raised his arm, then dropped it, started to speak, but remained silent. Finally he left. Whoever saw that Saint Sylvester in Levenford will not forget him until his last day. People walked the streets as if they were in the church, and spoke in a whisper. When they passed the store on Rua da Igreja, they did not dare to speak. At the Club that night, we were very few. As you know, it has always been a habit among members to attend the New Year’s entrance in a pompous way, as we are doing tonight. For once this custom was interrupted. The same happened in the city. When the clock struck twelve, expelling the Old Year, receiving the New Year, there was no other sound. No bells, no trumpets, no choir. Just deadly silence. And when the last chime died out, we all put on our three-flapped hoods and went to our homes. How much humidity, sadness and darkness! It was an endless thaw. As we jumped along the puddled street, we heard the water dripping from the eaves and the rain, like tears running down the windows. There were four or five of us, all following the same road, and when we passed the corner of Alley Dobbie, we saw a narrow bar of light emerging from the darkness. It was not a clear, warm light that could come from a happy and placid house, but a pale, loose light. Knowing that it emanated from Marta’s kitchen, made it more frightening. John Grierson was with us, a man who was not easily frightened, and somewhat sarcastic. Scandalous as it seemed, there was nothing to stop him from going to the window to have a look, to know what was going on inside. Much to our dismay, we peek out of that mysterious window. The kitchen was immersed in shadows, but the loose light of a candle allowed us to see Marta Lang walking from side to side, like a demented creature. His expression was helpless, and his hair had taken on the color of flaking snow. He wrung his hands, as if he were struggling with something, and all the while he was saying the name of his son Geordie with regrets. The Bible was open on the kitchen table, and once or twice she started to pick it up to read. But I couldn’t. I couldn’t, no! – Geordie! Geordie! – did not cease to exclaim loudly. Until suddenly he turned and dropped to his knees beside the low cot. He put an arm around the dead son’s neck, so that his head turned and hung like a child’s head on his mother’s chest; and with the other hand he began to caress her cold, hard face and smooth her hair. Marta started to rock back and forth, on her knees, desperate with distress: – Geordie! Geordie! I never came to know, as I know now, how much I loved you, my son! But I loved him always, always!
Author: A. J. Cronin Visual Production: Carlos Cunha


The last question

Isaac Asimov

The last question was asked for the first time, half as a joke, on May 21, 2061, when humanity was taking its first steps towards the light. The question arose as a result of a five-dollar bet on alcohol, and it happened as follows.
Alexander Adell and Bertram Lupov were two of Multivac’s faithful assistants. They knew better than any other human being what went on behind the miles and miles of the luminous, cold and noisy carcass of that gigantic computer. Still, the two men had only a vague notion of the overall circuit plan that had long since grown beyond the point where a lonely human might not even try to understand.
Multivac adjusted and corrected itself. And so it had to be, because no human being could do it with sufficient speed, nor in the proper way. In this way, Adell and Lupov operated the giant only subtly and superficially, but still as well as was humanly possible. They fed it with new data, adjusted the questions according to the needs of the system and translated the answers given to them. The two, like their colleagues, certainly had every right to share in the glory that was Multivac.
For decades, Multivac helped design the ships and plot the trajectories that allowed man to reach the Moon, Mars and Venus, but beyond these planets, Earth’s meager resources were unable to sustain exploration. Too much energy was needed for long journeys. The Earth exploited its coal and uranium reserves with increasing efficiency, but there was a limit to the quantity of both.
However, Multivac slowly accumulated enough knowledge to answer deeper questions with greater reasoning, and on May 14, 2061, what was no more than theory became real.
The sun’s energy was captured, converted and used directly on a planetary scale. The entire Earth paralyzed its coal plants and uranium fission, turning the lever that connected the entire planet to a small station, a mile in diameter, orbiting the Earth at half the distance from the Moon.
The world started to run through invisible beams of solar energy.
Seven days were not enough to diminish the glory of the feat and Adell and Lupov finally managed to escape from public functions and find themselves in secret where no one would think to look for them, in the deserted underground chambers where the portions of the splendid buried body of Multivac. Underused, resting and processing information with lazy clicks, Multivac had also been on vacation, and they both enjoyed it. At first, they had no intention of disturbing him.
They had brought a bottle with them and their only concern was to relax in the company of the other and the drink.
“It’s amazing when you stop to think …,” said Adell. Your wide face
kept the age lines and he slowly stirred his drink,
while watching the ice cubes swimming ungainly. “All the energy that is needed, for free, completely for free! Enough energy, if we wanted to, to melt the whole Earth in one big drop of liquid iron, and we still wouldn’t miss the energy used in the process. All the energy we could ever need, forever and forever. ”
Lupov nodded sideways. He used to do that
when he wanted to counter it, and now he did, partly because he had to carry the ice and utensils. “Not forever,” he said.
“Ah, hell, almost forever. Until the sun goes down, Bert. ”
“This is not forever.” “It’s ok. Billions and billions of years. Ten billion, maybe. Are you satisfied? ”
Lupov ran his fingers through his thin strands of hair as if to make sure the problem was not over and took a gentle sip of his drink. “Ten billion years is not eternity”
“Well, it will last for our time, won’t it?”
“Coal and uranium would also go.”
“That’s right, but now we can turn on each individual ship at the Solar Station, and they can go to Pluto and back a million times without ever worrying about fuel. You couldn’t do that with coal and uranium. If you don’t believe me, ask Multivac. ”
“I don’t have to ask Multivac. I know that”
“So try to stop diminishing what Multivac has done for us,” said Adell nervously, “He did everything right.”
“And who says you didn’t? What I am saying is that the sun will not last forever. That’s all I’m saying. We have been safe for ten billion years, but then what? ” Lupov pointed a slightly shaking finger at his companion. “And don’t tell me that we are going to change the sun”
There was a brief silence. Adell just lifted the glass to his lips
occasionally and Lupov’s eyes closed.

They rested a little, and when their lids opened, he said, “You are thinking that we are going to get another sun when ours is finished, aren’t you?”
“No, I’m not thinking.”
“Of course it is. You are weak in logic, that is your problem. It is like the character in the story, who, when surprised by a rain, runs to a group of trees and takes shelter under one. He doesn’t worry because when one tree gets too wet, it just goes under another. ”
“Got it,” said Adell. “You don’t have to shout. When the sun is gone, the other stars will also be gone. ”
“You can be sure of it,” murmured Lupov. “It all started at
original cosmic explosion, whatever it was, and it will all end when the stars fade. Some fade faster than others. Now, the giants don’t last a hundred million years. The sun will shine for ten billion years and perhaps the dwarfs will remain that way for two hundred billion. But give us a trillion years and only darkness will remain. Entropy must increase to its maximum, and that is all. ”
“I know all about entropy,” said Adell, maintaining his dignity.
“I doubt you know.”
“I know as much as you do.”
“So you know that one day everything will come to an end.”
“That’s right. And who said it won’t? ”
“You said, you fool. You said that we had all the energy we needed, forever. You said ‘forever’. ”
It was Adell’s turn to counter. “Maybe we can rebuild things back someday,” he said.
“Never.”
“Why not? Someday.”
“Never”
“Ask Multivac.”
“You ask Multivac. I challenge you. I bet five dollars that it can’t be done. ”
Adell was drunk enough to try, and sober enough to
construct a sentence with the necessary symbols and operations on a question that, in words, would correspond to this: can humanity one day without any available energy be able to reconstruct the sun to its youth even after his death?
Or perhaps the question can be put more simply as follows: Can the total amount of entropy in the universe be reversed?
Multivac fell silent. The bright lights stopped, the distant pops stopped.
And then, when the scared technicians could no longer hold their breath, there was a sudden return to life on the display integrated with that portion of Multivac. Five words were printed: “INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR SIGNIFICANT RESPONSE.”
The next morning, the two of them, with a headache and a dry mouth, no longer
they remembered the incident.

Jerrodd, Jerrodine, and Jerrodette I and II watched the star landscape in the viewfinder change as the passage through hyperspace consumed in a fraction of a second. Suddenly, the glowing presence of the stars gave way to a solitary and shiny disc, similar to a piece of marble centered on the TV.

“This is X-23,” said Jerrodd confidently. His thin hands clamped tightly behind his back until the joints went pale.
The little Jerodettes had experienced a passage through the
hyperspace for the first time in their lives and were still aware of the momentary feeling of dizziness. They stopped laughing and started running around the mother, shouting, “We arrived at X-23, we arrived at X-23!”
“Quiet, children.” Jerrodine said harshly. “Are you sure
Jerrodd? ”
“And why shouldn’t I?” Asked Jerrodd, watching the bulge
metal that lay below the ceiling. It was the length of the room,
disappearing on both sides of the wall, and, in fact, it was as long as the ship.
Jerrodd had very limited knowledge about the solid metal tube. He knew, for example, that he was called Microvac, that he was allowed to ask questions when necessary, and that he had the function of guiding the ship to a pre-established destination, in addition to supplying itself with the energy of the various Sub-Galactic Stations and do the calculations for hyperspace jumps.
Jerrodd and his family just had to wait and live in the ship’s comfortable compartments. Someone once told Jerrodd that the letters “ac” at the end of Microvac meant “automatic computer” in Old English, but he was barely able to remember that.
Jerrodine’s eyes went moist when he looked at the viewfinder. “There’s no way. I still haven’t gotten used to the idea of ​​leaving Earth. ”
“Why my God?” inquired Jerrodd. “We had nothing there. We will have everything on X-23. You will not be alone. You will not be a pioneer. There are more than a million people on the planet. By God, our great-grandchild will have to look for new worlds because X-23 will already be overcrowded. ” And, after a reflexive pause, “At the pace at which the race has been expanding, it is a blessing that computers have made interstellar travel possible.”
“I know, I know,” said Jerrodine dismissively.
Jerrodete I said promptly, “Our Microvac is the best of all.”
“I think so too,” said Jerrodd, smoothing his daughter’s hair.
Having a Microvac of his own made Jerrodd feel cozy and made him happy to be part of that generation and not another. In his father’s youth, the only computers had been monstrous machines, spanning hundreds of square miles, and each planet held only one. They were called Planetary ACs. For a thousand years, they only increased in size, until, suddenly, refinement came. In place of the transistors, molecular valves were implemented, allowing even the largest of the Planetary ACs to be reduced to half the volume of a spacecraft.
Jerrodd felt elevated, as he always did when he thought that his personal Microvac was often more complex than the ancient and primitive Multivac that first dominated the sun, and almost as complex as the Earth’s AC, the largest of all , when it solved the problem of hyperspace travel and made it possible for man to reach the stars.
“So many stars, so many planets,” cleared Jerrodine, busy with her thoughts. “I think families will always be looking for new worlds, as we are now.”
“Not forever,” said Jerrodd, with a smile. “Migration is going to
end one day, but not before billions of years. Many billions. Even the stars come to an end, you know. Entropy needs to increase. ”
“What is entropy, Daddy?” Jerrodette II asked, interested.
“Entropy, baby, is a word for the level of wear in the Universe.
Everything wears out and ends, that’s how it happened with your little remote control robot, remember? ”
“Can’t you put new batteries in, like my robot?”
“The stars are the stacks of the universe, dear. Once they are finished, there will be no more batteries. ”
Jerrodette I offered to answer. “Don’t leave, Dad. Don’t let the stars go out. ”

“Look what you did,” whispered Jerrodine, exasperated.
“How was I supposed to know that they would be scared?” Jerrodd whispered back.
“Ask Microvac,” proposed Jerrodette I. “Ask him how to light the stars again.”
“Go ahead,” said Jerrodine. “It will quiet them down.” (Jerrodette II already
was starting to cry.)
Jerrodd was uncomfortable. “Well, well, my little angels, I’m going to ask Microvac. Don’t worry, he will help us. ”
He asked the question to the computer, adding, “Print the answer”.
Jerrodd looked at the thin piece of paper and said, happily, “See?
Microvac said he will take care of everything when the time comes, so there’s no need to worry. ”
Jerrodine said, “And now, kids, it’s time to go to bed. Soon we will be in our new home. ”
Jerrodd read the words on the paper once more before destroying it: INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR A SIGNIFICANT RESPONSE.
He shrugged and looked at the TV, X-23 was just ahead.

Lameth’s VJ-23X fixed his eyes on the black spaces on the map
small-scale three-dimensional image of the Galaxy and said, “I wonder if it’s not ridiculous to worry so much about this issue.”
Nicron’s MQ-17J shook his head. “I do not think so. At the present rate of expansion, you know that the galaxy will be completely taken over in five years. ”
Both looked to be in their twenties, both were tall and had perfect bodies.
“Still,” said VJ-23X, “I hesitated to send a pessimistic report to the Galactic Council.”
“I can’t think of any other type of report. Shake them. We
we need to shake them up a bit. ”
VJ-23X sighed. “The space is infinite. One hundred billion galaxies are waiting for us. Maybe more.”
“One hundred billion is not infinity, and it is getting even smaller by the second.
Think! Twenty thousand years ago, mankind first solved the paradigm of using solar energy, and, a few centuries later, interstellar travel became viable. It took humanity a million years to fill a small world and, after that, fifteen thousand to fill the rest of the galaxy. Now the population is doubling every ten years… ”
VJ-23X interrupted. “We must thank immortality for that.”
“Very well. Immortality exists and we must take it into account.
I admit it has its downside. AC Galáctico has solved many problems, but in providing the answer on how to prevent aging and death, it has outpaced all other achievements. ”
“However, I suppose you would not want to leave life.”
“Not even a little.” MQ-17J replied, amending. “Not yet. I am not old enough. How old are you?”
“Two hundred twenty-three, how about you?”
“I haven’t reached two hundred yet. But, back to the question; the population doubles every ten years, once this galaxy is full, there will be another flood within ten years. Ten more and we will have occupied two more galaxies. Another decade and we’ll fill four more. In a hundred years, we will count a thousand galaxies overflowing with people. In a thousand years, a million galaxies. In ten thousand, the entire known universe. And then?
VJ-23X said, “In addition, there is a transportation problem. I wonder how many units of solar energy it will take to move populations from one galaxy to another. ”
“Good question. At the present time, humanity consumes two
solar power units per year. ”
“Most of which is wasted. After all, our galaxy alone
it produces 1,000 units of solar energy per year and we only use two. ”

“Okay, but even with 100% efficiency, we can only postpone the end.
Our energy demand has been growing in geometric progression, even more rapidly than the population. We will run out of energy before we even run out of galaxies. It is a good question. In fact, a great question. ”
“We will need to build new stars from interstellar gas.”
“Or from the dissipated heat?” asked MQ-17J sarcastically.
“There may be some way to reverse entropy. We should ask AC Galáctico. ”
VJ-23X was not really serious, but MQ-17J withdrew his
AC-communicator out of his pocket and placed it on the table in front of him.
“It seems like a good idea,” he said. “It is something that the human race will have to face one day.”
He cast a sober look at his little AC-Communicator. It was only two cubic inches and nothing inside, but it was connected through hyperspace with the powerful Galactic AC that served all of humanity. Hyperspace itself was an integral part of AC Galactic.
MQ-17J paused to think if one day in his immortal life he would have a chance to see the Galactic AC. The machine inhabited a dedicated world, where a network of tangled force rays fed the matter within which waves of submonsons had taken the place of the old and clumsy molecular valves. Still, despite its ethereal components, the Galactic AC was more than a thousand feet long.
Suddenly, MQ-17J asked his AC-Communicator, “Can entropy ever be reversed?”
VJ-23X said, surprised, “Oh, I didn’t want you to actually ask that question.”
“Why not?”
“We both know that entropy cannot be reversed. You cannot build a tree back from smoke and ash. ”
“Are there trees in your world?” Asked MQ-17J.
The sound of AC Galáctico kept them silent. His voice came out
melodious and beautiful from the small AC-Communicator on the table. It read: INSUFFICIENT DATA FOR SIGNIFICANT RESPONSE.
VJ-23X said, “See!”
The two men returned to the question of the report they had to submit to the galactic council.

Zee Prime’s mind navigated the new galaxy with a slight interest in the countless whirlwinds of stars that dotted space. He had never seen that galaxy before. Would he ever be able to see them all?
There were so many, each with its own load of humanity. Even though that load was virtually dead weight. Long ago, the true essence of man inhabited space.
Minds, not bodies! Eons ago immortal bodies were left behind, suspended on the planets. From time to time they would get up to perform some material activity, but these moments became increasingly rare. In addition, few new individuals came to join the incredibly massive crowd of humans, but what did it matter? There was little room in the universe for new individuals.
Zee Prime left his daydreams behind when crossing the tangled filaments of another mind.
“I’m Zee Prime, are you?”
“Dee Sub Wun. And what is your galaxy? ”
“We just call it the Galaxy. Is that you?”
“So do we. All men call their galaxies galaxies, don’t they? ”
“True, since all galaxies are the same.”
“Not all. Some in particular gave rise to the human race. It makes it different. ”
Zee Prime said, “Which one?”
“I can not answer. Universal AC must know. ”
“Shall we ask? I’m curious.”
The perception of Zee Prime expanded until the Galaxies themselves
shrink and turn into an infinity of diffuse points to shine on a wide background. So many billions of galaxies, all harboring their immortal beings, all counting on the weight of intelligence in minds that roamed freely through space. And yet, none of them seemed unique enough to deserve the title of original Galaxy. Despite appearances, one of them, in the very distant past,
it was the only one in the universe to house the human species.
Zee Prime, immersed in curiosity, called: “AC Universal! In which
Was man born galaxy? ”
The Universal AC listened, because in each world and throughout the entire space, its receivers were present. And each receiver connected to some unknown point where the Universal AC was based through hyperspace.
Zee Prime knew of a single man whose thoughts had penetrated the field of perception of AC Universal, and all he saw was a glowing globe, difficult to see, two feet long.
“How can AC Universal be just that?” Zee Prime asked.
“Most of it remains in hyperspace, where it is not possible
imagine its proportions. ”
Nobody could, because the last time someone helped build a Universal AC lay very far back in time. Each Universal AC planned and built its successor, in which all its unique information baggage was inserted.

Universal AC interrupted Zee Prime’s thoughts, not with
words, but with guidance. His mind was guided through the thick ocean of the Galaxies, and one in particular expanded and opened up into stars.
A thought reached him, infinitely distant, infinitely clear.
“THIS IS THE ORIGINAL GALAXY OF MAN.”
She had nothing special, she was like so many others. Zee Prime was disappointed.
“Dee Sub Wun, whose mind had followed the other, said suddenly,“ And
are any of these the original star of man? ”
Universal AC said, “THE ORIGINAL STAR OF MAN ENTERED
COLLAPSING. NOW IT’S A WHITE DWARF. ”
“Did the men who lived there die?” asked Zee Prime, without thinking.
“A NEW WORLD HAS BEEN BUILT UP FOR YOUR BODIES AGAIN
TIME.”
“Yes, of course,” said Zee Prime. He felt a distant sense of loss overtake him. His mind broke free from the Galaxy of man and was lost among the pale and smoky spots. He never wanted to see her again.
Dee Sub Wun said, “What happened?”
“The stars are dying. The one that served as a cradle for humanity is already dead. ”
“Everyone must die, right?”
“Yes. But when all the energy is gone, our bodies will finally die, and you and I will leave with them. ”
“It will take billions of years.”
“I don’t want that to happen even in billions of years. Universal AC!
How can the death of the stars be prevented? ”
Dee Sub Wun said perplexed, “You asked if there is a way to reverse the
entropy direction! ”
And AC Universal replied: “THERE IS NOT ENOUGH DATA
FOR A SIGNIFICANT RESPONSE. ”
Zee Prime’s thoughts returned to his Galaxy. He paid no more attention to Dee Sub Wun, whose body could have been trillions of light years away, or to the neighboring star of Zee Prime’s body. It didn’t matter.
Sadly, Zee Prime started collecting interstellar hydrogen for
build a little star for yourself. If the stars are to die, at least some could still be built.

The Man thought to himself, because, in some way, he was just one. It consisted of trillions, trillions and trillions of very old bodies, each in its place, resting incorruptibly and calmly, under the care of perfect automatons, equally incorruptible, while the minds of all bodies had chosen to merge with one another, indistinctly .
“The Universe is dying.”
Man looked at the opaque galaxies. The giant, wasteful stars were long gone. Since the most remote past, practically all the stars consisted of white dwarfs, slowly fading towards death.
New stars were built from interstellar dust, some by natural process, others by Man himself, and these were also in their final moments. The white dwarfs could still collide and, from the resulting enormous forces, new stars would be born, but only in the proportion of a new star for every thousand white dwarfs destroyed, and these would also be extinguished one day.
The Man said, “Carefully controlled by the Cosmic AC, the energy that remains in the entire Universe will still last for a billion years.”
“Still, it will eventually end. As much as it can be saved, once it is spent, there is no way to recover it. Entropy needs to increase to its maximum. ”
“Can entropy be reversed? Let’s ask the Cosmic AC. ”
The Cosmic AC surrounded them on all sides, but not through space.
No part of him remained in the physical space. It lay in hyperspace and was made of something that was neither matter nor energy. The definitions of its size and nature made no sense in any terms understandable by man.
“Cosmic AC,” said the Man, “how is it possible to reverse entropy?”
Cosmic AC said, “THERE IS NOT ENOUGH DATA FOR
A SIGNIFICANT ANSWER. ”
The Man said, “Collect additional data.”
Cosmic AC said, “I WILL DO IT. I HAVE DONE THIS FOR ONE HUNDRED
BILLION YEARS. MY PREDICTORS AND I HEARD
THIS QUESTION MANY TIMES. BUT THE DATA I HAVE
STAY INSUFFICIENT. ”
“Will there be a day,” said the Man, “when the data will be sufficient or is the problem insoluble in all conceivable circumstances?”
Cosmic AC said, “NO PROBLEM IS INSOLUBLE IN
ALL DESIGNABLE CIRCUMSTANCES. ”
“Are you going to keep working on it?”
“I WILL.”
The Man said, “We will wait.”

The stars and galaxies faded and died, space became black
after ten trillion years of activity.
One by one, Man merged with the AC, each physical body losing its
mental identity, an event that was, in some way, beneficial.
The last human mind stopped before the merger, looking into empty space
except for the remains of a black star and a handful of matter
extremely rarefied, randomly agitated by the heat that little by little
dissipated, towards absolute zero.
The Man said, “AC, is this the end? Is there no way to reverse this chaos? No
can be done?”
The AC said, “THERE IS STILL NOT ENOUGH DATA FOR A
SIGNIFICANT RESPONSE. ”
The last human mind joined with the others and only AC came into existence – and,
still, in hyperspace.

Matter and energy are gone and, with them, time and space. B.C
continued to exist only because of the last question that had never
been answered since the time when a computer technician
drunk ten trillion years ago, he had made it for a computer that
it had less similarities with the AC than the man with the Man.
All other issues had been resolved, and until the last
so too, AC could not rest his conscience.
Data collection had come to an end. There was nothing left to
learn.
However, the data obtained still needed to be cross-checked and
correlated in every possible way.
An immeasurable interval has been spent on this venture.
Finally, AC figured out how to reverse the direction of entropy.
There was no man for whom AC could give the final answer. But
it didn’t matter. The answer – by definition – would take care of that, too.
For another countless period, AC thought of the best course of action.
CA carefully organized the program.
The consciousness of AC encompassed everything that was once a Universe and everything
that was now Chaos. Step by step, this needed to be done.
And AC said:
“MAKE THE LIGHT!”
And the light was made.

I’ve never been this close

Alan Michel Santiago Nina

I’ve never been this close to touching your body
So close to the royal fable
So close to cotton sting.
My manly hands a second from your muscles,
In an exclusive aura of testosterone,
Breathing the will to transcend.
I’m feeling you here,
Invading my trash can,
Dominating myself with a blind knife,
With the foolish strokes of teddy bears.
Growl pleases
Verses are sung
Beautiful ballet steps
Inside a suffocating jacket.
POETRY 47
Never been this close to consuming me
And to hide in the streets
But I was still afraid to show my body
Blindly,
To the blind,
Because I vegetate in my rushing river.
And when it’s finally poisoned
I’ll put on Carnival masks and dance at will
And I will be so afraid that I will be terrified of losing my fear;
I will reveal myself to the purest Saint,
Reaching the immeasurable depth.
After all, I’ve never been closer to the summit,
Although I know the steps of ants
And the generations that extend to the rain
In the insane line of photographs.
I’ve never been this close to being dominated by dominance.
Stupid to be!
The school houses worms with standardized shells
And I come across hateful skirts and beautiful shorts,
In two bathrooms,
In empty light,
In textbooks,
In system slave teachers,
In robots designed for ciranda:
Maria’s blue face and João’s pink skin.
Domain…
Domain…
Grotesque animals
Pulleys
Sweaty bodies and strong men
Gears
Levers
Biceps and meat
Life and beauty
Revolt!
I’ve never been this close to Revelation,
To see myself at the bottom of the river, rotting,
Knowing that I’m tied to the wild anchor,
Because I’m just a man,
Hand to screen projection
Repetitive and natural.
I’ve never been this close to giving in …
A lifetime at a step
And a step taken for a lifetime
In the mismatch of time,
In the turtle that lives over a hundred years,
Weakening my tiny greatness:
I even think I have lived too long.
I’m opaque, a dog sniffing the bone,
A friend wanting to extend his shoulder,
Fighting his own desire.
I’ve never been this close,
Even though I was always so far away.

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